Innovation Partnerships: frequently asked questions
How to apply
How do I apply?
An online Innovation Partnerships Expression of Interest form is available.
What is the closing date for submitting an Expression of Interest?
Applications must be submitted online by 11am (AEST) on Monday 30 January 2016. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Can I submit a full application?
Following the assessment of the submitted Expressions of Interest applications, a shortlisted group of applicants will be invited to submit a full application.
What is the closing date for submitting a full application?
If you are invited to submit a full application, you will be advised of the closing date for submissions as part of the invitation.
Can an application be revised after submission?
No, however you must advise the Queensland Government of any changes likely to affect your eligibility.
Can I apply for Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships funding if my research proposal does not address any of the Queensland Science and Research Priorities, or align with a Queensland Government Advance Queensland Roadmap arena?
Your application will not be eligible for funding if it does not address one or more of the Queensland Science and Research Priorities, and/or align with one or more of the Advance Queensland Roadmap areas.
Can I get more information on the Queensland Science and Research Priorities?
More information on the priorities can be found on the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist website.
Can I get more information on the Queensland Government Advance Queensland roadmaps?
More information on roadmaps can be found on the Queensland Government Advance Queensland website.
Can I apply for Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships funding if I am already receiving other Queensland Government funding for the proposed project?
No. If your project is currently receiving Queensland Government support you cannot apply for further funding. If funding was received for an earlier development phase of the current project (and has since been finalised and acquitted), further funding may be considered.
How is a ‘Queensland-based organisation’ defined?
The organisation must be operating its business in a physical location in Queensland for the full duration of the project.
What organisations are eligible to be the applicant organisation?
Applications will be accepted from the following Queensland-based organisations:
- research institutes
- Australian Government agencies that conduct research as their primary business
- not-for-profit/charitable organisations that conduct research as their primary business.
How is a ‘partner organisation’ defined?
A partner is an organisation that is materially contributing to the project and its outcomes; as evidenced by a cash contribution, and its involvement in the project.
How is an ‘industry/end-user organisation’ defined?
For the purposes of this funding program, an industry/end-user organisation is the relevant private, public or not-for-profit partner organisation(s) that will progress the translation and practical application of the research. Examples include:
- a small mining equipment company and/or a major resources company interested in applying the new technology
- a medical device company and/or a hospital interested in implementing a new medical device
- the health department wishing to support the development of a generic technology.
Are Queensland Government departments eligible to apply for funding?
Queensland Government departments cannot be the lead applicant in a funding application.
Can Queensland Government departments be project partners and contribute financially to a project?
A Queensland Government department can be a research partner or an industry/end-user partner, however this must be in addition to non-government organisations also contributing financially to the project.
The cash contribution from Queensland Government agencies will not count towards the matched funding requirement.
Applications must show:
- the Innovation Partnerships funding sought will be matched on a dollar for dollar basis in cash from funding sources excluding Queensland Government agencies
- the 25% minimum contribution from industry/end-user partners excludes Queensland Government agency funding.
The exception to this rule is Queensland Government hospitals. Funding contributed to a project from a Queensland Government hospital is elegible to count towards the dollar for dollar cash matching funding and the 25% minimum cash contribution from the industry/end-user partners.
Are private businesses eligible to apply for Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships funding?
Private businesses/companies cannot be the lead applicant in a funding application. However, it is a requirement of the program that at least one private or not-for-profit end-user organisation is involved in the project.
The private and/or not-for-profit end-user(s) must also contribute a minimum of 25% of the required matching cash funding to the project.
Are Australian Government agencies considered to be ‘industry/end-user organisations’ and can they contribute financially to a project?
Yes, where the application clearly outlines how the organisation will contribute to the translation of research into practical outcomes.
In this scenario, any cash funding contributions from the Australian Government agency would count towards the total (dollar for dollar) cash matching funding requirement, but would not count towards the requirement that 25% of the required cash matching funding is contributed by the private/not-for-profit industry/end-users.
How is a Government-owned-corporation partner classified?
For the purposes of the Innovation Partnerships program, a Government-owned-Corporation (GOC) is classified as a private sector industry partner. Therefore funding contributed by a GOC towards the project can be counted towards the total (dollar for dollar) cash matching funding requirement, and the 25% minimum cash matching funding contribution from the private/not-for-profit industry partner(s) requirement.
What is meant by 'involve partnering organisations that are separate entities'?
The partner organisations must not be related, i.e. as a parent of subsidiaries organisations. Any spin-out companies must have been established for a minimum of 1 year and must have separate management personnel.
Can the project involve partner organisations that are not Queensland-based?
It is a requirement of the program that the project is led by a Queensland-based research organisation and has at least 1 Queensland-based research organisation partner, and at least 1 Queensland-based private or not-for profit industry/end-user partner. Any additional partners can be Queensland-based, interstate and/or internationally-based organisations.
How much funding is required from the applicant organisation and the partner organisation(s)?
The amount of funding sought from the Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships program must be matched, in cash, on a dollar for dollar basis. For example, if you apply for $1 million, the (collective) cash funding commitment of the applicant and partner organisation(s) must be at least $1 million.
You must ensure that at least 25% of the required matching cash funding is provided by the private and/or not-for-profit industry/end-user partner organisation(s). For example, if you apply for $1 million, the (collective) cash funding commitment of your private and/or not-for- profit industry/end-user partner organisation(s) must be at least $250,000.
The remaining matching funding requirement should then be met by the applicant and other project partners (excluding any Queensland Government departments).
It is acknowledged that in-kind contributions are likely to be made to all projects, however there is no requirement to record 'in-kind' funding, and it does not form part of the matching funding requirements.
How is ‘cash’ defined?
For the purposes of the Innovation Partnerships program, cash is either, or a combination of:
- cash as raised directly by the applicant organisation and/or leveraged from project partners
- salary* costs, attributed to the project, of employees of the applicant organisation and/or the project partners, who are assigned directly to the core business of the project.
*In relation to salary costs, by definition employees:
- must have at least 20% of their work responsibilities assigned directly to the core business of the project
- can be full-time or part-time.
If an employee's time is charged or allocated to more than 1 project (i.e. where an employee's time has been double counted) DSITI will withdraw funding for the project.
Can salaries of employees be counted as cash for matching funding purposes?
Yes, if the employee is spending at least 20% of his/her working hours on the project, then the cost/time can be counted.
Why do researchers need to spend ‘significant components of time embedded with the industry/end-user organisation’?
This is to build relationships, help develop ‘industry-savvy’ researchers, focus attention on real-time problem solving, and help decrease the ‘loss in translation’ challenge currently pervasive through Australian research.
It is expected the research team will be able to demonstrate that significant time (approximately 50%) will be spent physically located and working with their industry partners. Flexibility will be provided where physical location is not justified, e.g. geographical separation or lack of research facilities at the industry partner location.
Does the Queensland Government require the applicant organisation to have collaborative agreements with partner organisations?
The Queensland Government does not require copies of collaborative agreements, however the applicant organisation may independently decide to enter into agreements with partner organisations to clarify and outline the details of the collaborative arrangements.
Can an Advance Queensland Research Fellow be a lead researcher in an Innovation Partnerships application?
Yes, but activities in the Innovation Partnerships project application must be clearly identified as additional to the activities of the Research Fellowship, and allocation of funding for the project must be clearly delineated from the funding allocated to the Fellowship project.
Completing the Expression of Interest/Full Application form
The online form will not allow me to provide my full response to a question.
The text fields in the application form have word limit restrictions. These limits cannot be extended.
The online application form only allows for the upload of 1 letter of support/resume and I need to upload multiple.
Multiple documents (letters of support or resumes) should be combined into 1 PDF file before uploading.
Why am I required to complete the project summary in plain English?
Information provided in this section of the application form will be used to inform politicians and senior government officers of the proposed project, and may be used to promote the project to the general public. It is therefore important that it is clear and easy to understand by a person with a limited scientific background. Do not use scientific jargon or technical terms.
The overview of the project should include simple statements outlining:
- what the project aims to do and how it will be done
- the need for the research and the significance of the issue being addressed
- the significance of the collaboration between the project partners
- a summary of the key outcomes for Queenslanders.
What information should I provide about project outcomes and benefits for Queensland?
The outcomes of the project should be clearly defined and quantified as much as possible, in terms of economic, social, environmental and/or regional benefits.
In identifying economic benefits of the project, you should consider:
- the additional researchers and research expenditure attracted to Queensland and the value of goods and services used in the research
- the benefit and the potential benefits of the research output to industry or service providers
- the expected demand for products, processes and services generated from this research, particularly within the first 5 years
- sales revenue from the developed goods/services/processes
- direct employment effects
- flow-on effects to other Queensland industries or organisations through use of research outcomes.
If you intend to commercialise your research, you should consider:
- the proposed pathway/s for commercialisation
- how collaboration and alliances will contribute to the commercialisation of proposed research by describing linkages and/or spin-offs
- the projected commercial returns.
If your project will provide benefit to the community or public, you should:
- consider how the research addresses an important problem and why the research is significant in relation to current knowledge in the field
- demonstrate how delivery of a public good will be achieved, i.e. describe a pathway for uptake of research outcomes through engagement with key stakeholders, and/or communication of research benefits to the community
- qualitatively describe the impacts and benefits, if you are unable to quantify them.
The qualitative assessment should not just be a summary statement of benefits and impacts; it should be a systematic analysis of expected benefits. Where possible, these qualitative arguments should be supported through authoritative studies or data sources. Qualitative benefits and impacts of the project can be described by aspects such as:
- the scale and importance of the industries, social issues and/or environments affected
- the economy-wide benefits which may arise if their innovation becomes a key input to other production processes
- the magnitude of improvements promised through the project.
How do I demonstrate I am aware of other research that has been, or is being, undertaken in the proposed space?
You should describe your awareness of similar/comparable research undertaken by academia and industry, including patent searches, as appropriate.
How should I complete the Program Plan—Planned Activities and Research Outcomes section of the full application form?
You must describe the key project activities to be completed, split into six-monthly reporting periods. You also need to detail the expected outcomes of these activities (i.e. how you will measure the success of the project at the end of each six-monthly reporting period).
Although scientific milestones are usually highly technical in nature, they should be described in clear, non-technical language (as much as possible), so non-scientific personnel can understand the milestones and provide meaningful verification. As a guideline, each milestone should be 3 to 5 dot points describing the key activities and outcomes for the particular stage of the project with numbers, targets or rates of completion, where possible.
If your application for funding is successful, this milestone table will form the basis of your progress reporting.
How many Expressions of Interest will be invited to the Full Application stage?
The number of applicants invited to the Full Application stage is dependent on the quality and quantity of Expressions of Interest received, and the available funding.
When and where will interviews take place?
Interviews will take place in Brisbane. Applicants invited to the Full Application stage will be advised of the interview schedule.
How much can I apply for?
Grants of up to $1,500,000 (excluding GST) are available for projects with a maximum duration of 3 years.
How many projects are likely to be funded?
The number of recipients will depend on the funding allocated to this round and the quality of the applications submitted.
How will the total funding allocation be split between research priorities/roadmap areas?
There is no pre-determined allocation of funding between priority areas.
How is the Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships funding paid?
Funding is paid in instalments through the lifetime of the project. The first payment is generally made after you submit the collaborative agreement(s) between the recipient and the partner organisation(s). The remaining payments are made after you submit satisfactory reports detailing the progress and outcomes of the project against the research plan.
What are ‘organisational overheads’?
Organisational overheads are the institutional and administrative overhead costs for a position, such as facilities and accommodation-related costs, ICT costs and general administrative support costs. In some organisations this is calculated as a percentage of the salary costs. These on-costs are not eligible for Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships funding.
Are salary on-costs eligible for funding?
Costs directly associated with the employment of an individual, such as superannuation, workers compensation, payroll tax and leave loading are eligible.
Conditions of award
If my application is successful, when would my project start?
Successful projects must commence within 6 months of being advised that funding has been approved.
What is a Financial Incentive Agreement?
The Financial Incentive Agreement is the legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the Innovation Partnerships program grant, including the payment schedule and the reporting requirements.
Are the Terms and Conditions of the financial incentive agreement negotiable?
No. If you are offered funding from the Advanced Queensland Innovation Partnerships program, you will be required to execute the standard financial incentive agreement within 15 business days of receipt, or the offer of funding will lapse.
Is there any restriction on using the resulting intellectual property outside Queensland/Australia?
There are no restrictions on this, however the application will be assessed on its benefits to Queensland.
If my application is successful am I under any obligations regarding communication/publicity?
Innovation Partnerships recipients will be required to proactively communicate the research project’s aims, progress and outcomes through activities such as publications, conferences, the media and science education activities. The support of Queensland Government should be acknowledged in all public communications. Recipients will be required to evidence these communications during the lifetime of the project.