Ignite Ideas Fund Guidelines for Applicants
About the Fund
The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative focuses on growing the economy and creating jobs. This includes supporting the start-up and growth of businesses to deliver new products and services into global markets, and establishing new industries that will provide the jobs of the future.
The Ignite Ideas Fund supports small to medium size businesses that have high-growth potential to undertake commercialisation projects that will:
- strengthen key industries in Queensland
- diversify the Queensland economy
- compete in global markets
- engage and/or benefit regional Queensland
- create new jobs.
Grants of up to $200,000 (excluding GST) are available to enable businesses to take highly innovative new products, processes or services that have reached minimum viable product stage or beyond, into the market for the first time, or into new markets.
Funding is available under two Tiers:
Applicants can apply for a grant of up to $100,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 12 months duration.
Applicants can apply for a grant of between $100,000 and $200,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 24 months duration.
To be eligible to apply to the Ignite Ideas Fund the applicant organisation must:
- be a business or start-up organisation and be registered for GST
- be headquartered in Queensland
- have no more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees
- not be a subsidiary of a group of companies that has more than 50 full time equivalent employees in total
- not have received, or currently be receiving, Queensland Government funding for the proposed project activity.
If applying for Tier 1, the applicant must:
- not have received an Ignite Ideas Fund grant previously
- make a cash contribution to the project that is at least equal to 20% of the value of grant funding sought.
If applying for Tier 2, the applicant must:
- not have received an Ignite Ideas Fund Tier 2 grant previously
- have been trading for a minimum of two years
- make a cash contribution to the project that is at least equal to the amount of grant funding sought
- have successfully completed any project funded under Tier 1 of the Ignite Ideas Fund (if relevant).
Using the Ignite Ideas funding
Ignite Ideas Fund projects should focus on activities that commercialise a new product, process or service that fall within the following eligible cost categories:
- salaries of project staff (including salary-related on-costs)
- services provided by (unrelated) external parties
- consumables and equipment
- travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.
It is expected that all Ignite Ideas funding will be expended in Queensland, unless interstate/ international expenditure is essential to ensure successful delivery of the project.
Costs not eligible for Ignite Ideas funding include:
- capital works and/or physical infrastructure including any buildings, telecommunications and IT networks
- items of equipment costing more than $10,000
- employee allowances, bonuses and fringe benefits
- conference fees
- entertainment costs
- ongoing compliance fees and licences
- inventory and warehousing costs.
Ignite Ideas Fund projects should not include the following activities:
- business as usual or general operation of the applicant organisation
- development of a prototype
- distribution other than to send samples for market/ customer acceptance testing
- distribution, purchase or import of existing products or technology without significant adaptation
- activities involving liquor, gambling, tobacco, adult services and illicit substances.
Tier 2 applicant organisations must provide evidence of their ability to meet the required matching funding contribution in the form of a declaration from an accountant; Chief Financial Officer; and or relevant third-party contributor.
The cash contribution of the applicant organisation can cover any direct project costs.
Read the Ignite Ideas Fund Frequently Asked Questions for guidance on addressing the Assessment Criteria.
You should demonstrate that:
- your product, process or service is clearly innovative, unique and new
- you have a sound understanding of potential competitors and what differentiates your product, process or service
2. Market potential
You should demonstrate that you have a sound understanding of potential market/s and that your product, process or service:
- addresses an identified and significant market/ commercial need and there is a clear demand from customers
- is scalable and has global potential.
The letters of support from customers/potential customers will also be considered under this assessment criterion.
3. Technology/market readiness
You should demonstrate that:
- at the time of application the product, process or service is at, or beyond, minimum viable product stage, with technical proof of concept achieved
- by project completion the product, process or service will:
- be ready to enter the market (Tier 1); or
- have entered the market or be in a new market (Tier 1/Tier 2).
4. Project feasibility and management capability
You should demonstrate that:
- the project is well planned and achievable with key activities, outcomes, expenditure and timeframes identified
- you have identified how, and to what extent, the project will grow revenue and/or increase sales
- own, or have the rights to commercialise
- have appropriate measures in place to protect any intellectual property relating to the product, process or service
- the applicant organisation has/has access to:
- technical and management skills and experience
- infrastructure and funding capacity required to successfully deliver the project
- key project risks have been identified and risk mitigation plans are in place.
The letter(s) confirming ability to make the required matching cash contribution; the resumes of key project staff; and the Milestone Activities and Outcomes will also be considered under this assessment criterion.
5. Benefits to Queensland
You should demonstrate how:
- the project will provide benefit to Queensland (outside of the benefit to the applicant organisation)
- the project will contribute to increased employment, both during the project execution and in the longer-term
- the project has the potential to positively impact a Queensland industry
- the project will provide benefit to Queensland regions (outside of Brisbane city).
Submitting an application
The Ignite Ideas Fund has a two-stage application process.
Stage 1 – Expression of Interest round
Expressions of Interest should be submitted online via the Advance Queensland website.
The closing time and date for submitting applications can be found on the website.
Stage 2 – Full Application invitation round
Following assessment of the Expressions of Interest applications a number of applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application.
Expressions of Interest not progressing to the Full Application stage will not be considered further for funding.
All applications will be assessed against eligibility requirements and only eligible submissions will be considered for funding support.
All eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria in a competitive, merit based approach by a panel of independent assessors with relevant expertise.
Applicant organisations may be contacted at any stage of the assessment process to clarify any information provided in the application and/or to request further information to enable a due diligence and probity assessment.
There is no implicit guarantee of approval at any stage in the process, and applicant organisations will be notified via email of the outcome of applications.
The Queensland Government may give consideration to ensuring successful applications are equitably distributed across the state and to recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
The decision to award funding is at the discretion of the Queensland Government and all decisions are final. There is no appeals process for unsuccessful applicants.
Conditions of funding
Successful applicants will be required to enter into a legally binding Financial Incentive Agreement with the Queensland Government. You should ensure you have read and accept the terms and conditions of the Financial Incentive Agreement, prior to submitting an application, as they will not be negotiable at the time a funding offer is made.
Successful applicants will be required to execute a Financial Incentive Agreement within 15 days of receiving it.
Only eligible expenditure incurred after the date of funding offer can be claimed by successful applicant organisations.
Successful applicant organisation must commence projects within 90 days of receiving the letter of offer.
Payment of grants will be made in instalments based on project milestones. The first payment will be made upon execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement; interim payments will be made upon successful completion of project milestones; and, the final milestone payment will be in arrears following successful completion of the project.
Grant payments will be made upon the provision of documentary evidence that all project requirements have been satisfied, including evidence that the relevant activities have been completed; adequate project expenditure has been incurred and matching cash has been contributed by all committed parties.
Funding recipients will be expected to actively promote their projects, and to provide information and attend media/promotion events if requested.
The Queensland Government funding should be acknowledged by recipients in all relevant published material, media releases and public statements.
The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to assess applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers and approved grant assessors have access to this information.
Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects.
Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of Information Privacy Act 2009.
For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied supporting material.
The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government.