Ignite Ideas Fund Round 6 frequently asked questions
How to apply
How to apply?
The Ignite Ideas Fund has a two stage application process. An Expression of Interest stage is open to all eligible organisations. The Full Application stage is only open to applicants that are invited, following assessment of their Expression of Interest.
An online Ignite Ideas Fund Expression of Interest form is available on the Advance Queensland website.
Why is there a two stage application process for the Ignite Ideas Fund?
The Ignite Ideas Fund is a very popular grant program and is significantly oversubscribed each round. To reduce the amount of effort and time required of applicants, an Expression of Interest round has been introduced.
The Expression of Interest stage allows applicants to submit a concise summary of their innovation and proposed project. It also allows the Queensland Government to identify, at an earlier stage, the projects that demonstrate the highest level of merit. Only the highest ranked Expression of Interest proposals will be invited to submit a more comprehensive and evidenced Full Application.
Applicants who are unsuccessful at Expression of Interest stage will receive notification quickly, enabling them to pursue other options; address feedback; and/or work towards an improved application for future rounds.
What is the closing date for submitting an application?
The closing date for the Expression of Interest round is advertised on the Advance Queensland website. The closing date for submission of a Full Application will be provided to you at the time of invitation.
In either stage, late submissions will not be accepted.
Can I amend my application after submission?
No. However you must advise the Queensland Government of any changes that are likely to affect your eligibility.
Can I submit more than one Expression of Interest?
No. Multiple Expressions of Interest will not be accepted from one applicant organisation. Where two or more businesses have a significant number of directors and/or shareholders in common, only one Expression of Interest will be accepted.
When will I find out if my Expression of Interest is successful?
Applicants will be advised within approximately six weeks whether their Expression of Interest was successful or not.
Successful applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application which must be completed and submitted within three weeks. Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with brief feedback.
When will I find out if my Full Application is successful?
Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their Full Application at the earliest possible time but please note that this stage involves a more detailed assessment and due diligence process and requires Ministerial approval.
What is Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Minimum viable product is a product, process or service that is beyond initial proof of concept/prototype stage and has been tested with potential customers.
The diagram below may help you to determine what stage of development your product, process or service is at in relation to achieving MVP;
Can I apply for funding to develop my product/process/service to enable me to undertake initial customer testing or clinical trials?
No. Funding is only available to take highly innovative new products, processes or services that have already reached minimum viable product stage or beyond, into the market for the first time, or into new markets. A small proportion of the project plan may include activities and expenditure associated with further refinement of the product/process/service in response to customer feedback, however, the essential core of your new solution should already have been tested in action with potential customers as a proof of concept, prototype and/or pilot.
Clinical trials do not qualify for Ignite Ideas funding given testing is ongoing and typically takes years to complete before the product is ready to enter into the market for the first time, or into new markets.
Should I apply for Tier 1 or Tier 2?
Applicants may nominate the most appropriate Tier for them, taking into account that applicant organisations and/or related parties must not currently be receiving Federal, State or Local government funding for the proposed activity, and that;
Tier 1 applicants must:
- apply for funding of up to $100,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 12 months duration.
- 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 values of the grant funding sought
- be a business or start-up organisation and be registered for GST by the full application closing date.
Tier 2 applicants must:
- apply for funding greater than $100,000 and up to a total of $200,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 24 months duration
- not have received an Ignite Ideas Fund Tier 2 grant previously
- have been registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) prior to 1 January 2018
- make a cash contribution to the project that is at least equal to the value of grant funding sought
- be a business or start-up organisation and be registered for GST by the full application closing date
Can I apply for Ignite Ideas funding if I am already receiving other Queensland Government funding for the proposed project?
No. If the project is currently receiving Queensland Government support you cannot apply for further funding.
Can I apply for Ignite Ideas funding if I have received Queensland Government funding previously?
Yes. You can apply if you have previously received any Queensland Government funding, other than Ignite Ideas funding.
If you have received a grant under Tier 1 of the Ignite Ideas Fund, and have successfully completed the project, you can apply for a Tier 2 grant to expand your market or move into a new market. Previous Tier 1 grants recipients cannot apply for a second Tier 1 grant.
Previous recipients of grants under Tier 2 of the Ignite Ideas Fund are not eligible to apply for further funding under the Ignite Ideas Fund.
How much cash is required from the applicant organisation?
Applicants to Tier 1 of the Ignite Ideas Fund are required to make a cash contribution to the project that is equal to, or greater than 20% of the value of the grant funding sought. For example:
- if you are seeking a grant of $100,000, you would be required to contribute a minimum of $20,000 in cash to the project
- if you are seeking a grant of $90,000, you would be required to contribute a minimum of $18,000 in cash to the project.
Applicants to Tier 2 of the Ignite Ideas Fund are required to make a cash contribution to the project that is equal to, or greater than the value of the grant funding sought. For example:
- if you are seeking a grant of $200,000, you would be required to contribute a minimum of $200,000 in cash to the project
- if you are seeking a grant of $150,000 you would be required to contribute a minimum of $150,000 in cash to the project.
Can the applicant organisation cash contribution be used to cover all/any costs?
The cash provided by the applicant organisation can be used to cover any direct project costs. Direct project costs are costs that are specific to the project (i.e. excluding any business as usual costs) and are actual incurred costs with a transaction taking place that can be evidenced (rather than notional, proportional or ‘missed opportunity’ cost).
Are in-kind costs eligible for matched funding?
No. In-kind costs and non-cash contributions are not considered eligible for matched funding requirements.
Who can I source matched funding from?
Applicants can source cash contributions internally or from investors, customers or business partners. Tier 2 applicants are required to provide evidence of all cash contributions.
Do I have to own the IP for the product, process or service to be able to apply?
No. But if you do not own the IP, the applicant organisation must have exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual rights to commercialise the IP.
Can I use Ignite Ideas funding to cover the costs of protecting IP?
Yes. You can use Ignite Ideas funding to cover the reasonable costs of protecting IP within the new target market(s). However, Ignite Ideas funding cannot be used to cover costs relating to the ongoing maintenance/renewal of existing IP protection.
Applying for the Ignite Ideas Fund
What is meant by “commercialisation”?
For the purpose of the Ignite Ideas Fund, ‘commercialisation’ refers to the process of taking a product, process or service to the market and obtaining paying customers.
How do I demonstrate that the project has a clear focus on commercialisation?
Ensure that your product, process or service has achieved minimum viable product status prior to submitting an Expression of Interest. Activities to bring the innovation to this stage are not considered to be commercialisation activities for the purpose of the Ignite Ideas Fund.
Your Full Application, including the detailed Milestone Activities and Outcomes should set out a clear plan for taking your innovation to the market or a new market and increasing customer up-take. It should clearly demonstrate that the plan is achievable within the project timeframe.
What kind of activities are considered ‘commercialisation’ activities for the purpose of Ignite Ideas funding?
Commercialisation activities include;
- market and customer research
- testing market response or demand
- exhibiting at trade delegations/trade shows
- customer/investor engagement
- limited specialist testing and/or demonstration as required by new customers/markets
- investigation of production and assembly options
- minor corrections or improvements to the product to meet customer/market requirements.
Intellectual property protection activities such as:
- IP research and advice
- securing patents.
What information is required about project outcomes and benefits for Queensland?
In both the Expression of Interest and the Full Application the outcomes of the project should be clearly defined and quantified, as far as possible in terms of economic, social, regional and/or environmental benefits.
In identifying economic benefits of the project, you should consider:
- national sales and/or export revenue from the developed goods/services/processes
- direct employment effects
- its contribution to an increased level of entrepreneurship and innovation
- any benefit that will be delivered to regional Queensland
- any benefit that will be delivered to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses and/or people
- its potential to benefit and/or grow one of Queensland’s priority industries
- its alignment with and/or contribution to any current Queensland Government policy/industry roadmap/ priority industry.
Does my project have to provide outcomes and benefits for regional Queensland and/or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses/people?
No. Your project does not have to result in benefits specifically for regional Queensland and/or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses/people. However, projects that do have a focus on these types of benefits will be well-regarded.
Completing the Ignite Ideas Fund Expression of Interest form
The online form is telling me that my organisation or project is ineligible, should I proceed?
The online form collects information relating to the eligibility of the applicant organisation and the proposed project. If information is entered that identifies your organisation or project as being ineligible, the form will flag this.
Should you receive an ‘ineligible” message on the form, check the information you have entered is correct. If it is correct, you are strongly advised not to proceed with completion and submission of an Expression of Interest.
All forms received will be checked for eligibility and any organisations and/or projects found to be ineligible will not be considered for funding.
The form is not allowing me to provide my full response to a question.
The Expression of Interest round is the first stage of a two stage process. Answers to questions have strict word limits and therefore applicants should ensure that their responses are clear, concise and highly relevant.
Successful applicants to the Expression of Interest round will be invited to submit a Full Application, in which more detailed and lengthy information, justification and explanation can be provided.
Completing the Ignite Ideas Fund Full Application form
Why am I required to complete the project summary in plain English?
Information provided in response to this question in the full 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 technical background and should succinctly promote the benefits of the project. Do not use technical or industry specific jargon or terms.
The overview of the project should include simple statements outlining: the product, process or service and the market need for it; what the project aims to do and how it will be done; and, a summary of the key outcomes for Queenslanders.
As this project summary may be used publically, you should ensure that it does not include any sensitive and/or commercial-in-confidence information.
How do I demonstrate that the applicant organisation has/will have access to the technical and management skills to successfully deliver the project?
You should consider:
- including background information on the founder/management team/investor(s) illustrating the relevant skills and experience
- providing evidence of any prior projects conducted
- identifying the ability to secure critical external expertise, where required
- including details of any advisory boards.
How should I complete the Milestones Activities and Outcomes section of the application form?
Detail 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 ongoing success of the project at the end of each reporting period).
As a guide, each milestone should be five to ten dot points describing the key activities and outcomes for the particular stage of the project with numbers, targets or rates of completion, where possible.
You should ensure that any jobs to be created are included in your Milestones Activities and Outcomes.
It is important to be as realistic and specific as you can when completing this section; should your application for funding be successful you will be required to report actual progress and achievements against the Milestones Activities and Outcomes established in the application form.
The Full Application form will not allow me to provide my full response to a question.
The text fields contained in the online form has been restricted to the word limits considered appropriate for each question and these limits cannot be extended.
Should I provide any supporting documentation?
The required supporting documentation is set out in the Full Application form and includes:
- resumes of key project personnel
- letters providing clear evidence of demand or support from identified customer(s),industry partner(s) and/or investor(s). (Letters of support from organisations must be on the organisation’s letterhead and dated and signed including the author’s title and contact details)
- evidence of Tier 2 applicant organisations ability to meet the required matching funding contribution in the form of a declaration from a suitably qualified independent party as defined under Applicant contribution in the Ignite Ideas Round 6 Guidelines
- demonstration of the product, process or service in the form of a brief slide deck pitch (maximum of 10 slides) or short video pitch (maximum of three minutes)
Any documentation provided that is additional to that requested in the Full Application form will not be considered by assessors.
The online form only allows for the upload of one letter of support/resume and I need to upload multiple.
Multiple documents (letters of support or resumes) should be combined into one PDF file before uploading.
What are the requirements for the video pitch?
The video pitch should be a maximum of three minutes in length and be provided via a YouTube or Vimeo URL. Applicants must ensure that the video stays live until the outcome of the application assessment is known. Video pitches exceeding three minutes will not be considered.
What should I include in the video/slide deck pitch?
The pitch should introduce your product, process or service and clearly and simply illustrate: the problem it is addressing; how it differentiates from what is already available; and the potential market. Applicants should avoid the use of technical/industry specific terminology or jargon and emphasis the benefits of the project to Queensland. Whilst not mandatory, this attachment provides applicants with the opportunity to pitch their concept to assessors as if they were investors.
How can I check the status of my application?
Applicants will be notified in writing or via email on the outcome of their application.
When will I be notified of my application outcome?
The timeframe for assessment will be contingent on the volume of applications received.
How many projects are likely to be funded?
The number of recipients will depend on the funding pool allocated to this funding round and the quality of the applications submitted.
Do I have to spend all the grant funding in Queensland?
It is expected that, wherever possible, the grant funding will be spent within Queensland, i.e. if you are purchasing goods or services that are available in Queensland, it is expected that you would purchase them from within Queensland.
Only international/interstate expenditure that is a prerequisite to ensure successful completion of the project is acceptable, for example, the costs of international travel and accommodation required to engage with potential new customers in a new market, and/or, the costs of procuring expertise, products, or services that are essential to the project but not available within Queensland.
How is the Ignite Ideas funding paid?
Funding is paid in instalments throughout the lifetime of the project. Generally, the first payment is made following execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement between the recipient and the Queensland Government. The remaining payments are made following the submission of satisfactory reports detailing the progress, outcomes and expenditure of the project.
Tier 1 recipients will receive the approved funding in instalments, as follows:
- 50% on execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement
- 40% on completion of Milestone 1 activities
- 10% on completion of Milestone 2 (final) activities
Tier 2 recipients will receive the approved funding in instalments, as follows:
- 25% on execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement
- 25% on completion of Milestone 1 activities
- 25% on completion of Milestone 2 activities
- 15% on completion of Milestone 3 activities
- 10% on completion of Milestone 4 (final) activities.
What information will be required for progress reports?
An online progress report template will be provided for completion by recipients. Recipients will be required to complete the template to outline the progress of the project against the planned Milestone Activities and Outcomes; the number of jobs created; details of expenditure of Ignite Ideas funds and applicant funds; and any potential media opportunities.
What evidence is required in order to receive grant payments?
Recipients must demonstrate that the project has been executed in accordance with the Financial Incentive Agreement and provide evidence that the outcomes have been achieved to the satisfaction of the department.
Recipients must provide details of all expenditure on the project in the form of a categorised transaction listing. In addition, recipients will be required to provide evidence in the form of invoices, payslips, receipts and bank statements, as appropriate.
Once the department is satisfied with the information provided, recipients are required to submit a valid tax invoice for the installment amount (plus GST), addressed to the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development.
What are ‘organisational overheads’?
For the purpose of the Ignite Ideas Fund program, organisational overheads are the institutional and administrative overhead costs attributed to 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 Ignite Ideas 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.
Are grant payments subject to GST?
Yes. All applicants must be registered for GST and all grant amounts will be paid plus GST.
What types of project costs are deemed appropriate and reasonable in nature by the department?
Ignite Ideas funding can be used for reasonable/appropriate project costs such as;
- Economy flights
- Modest accommodation costs and meal and travel costs/allowances
- Car hire costs appropriate to the project activities.
Conditions of award
If my application is successful, when would my project start?
Successful applicant organisation must commence projects within 90 days of execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement.
Are the Terms and Conditions of the Financial Incentive Agreement negotiable?
No. Recipients will be bound by the terms and conditions, as set out in the Ignite Ideas Fund Financial Incentive Agreement.
Ensure you have read and accept the terms and conditions prior to submitting an application for funding, as they will not be negotiable at the time a funding offer is made. Successful applicants will be required to execute the Financial Incentive Agreement within 15 business days of receipt, or the offer of funding will lapse.
Can I apply for funding support for an activity that has already commenced prior to this application?
No. Only activities which commence after execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement will be funded.
If I am successful, am I obligated to acknowledge the Queensland Government’s support?
Yes. You will initially be asked to keep the details of your grant confidential until it is announced officially by the Queensland Government. 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 and applicants may be requested to contribute to case studies and/or other promotional material on success.
Can I vary my project plan after commencement if circumstances change?
Yes. The department has a Project Variation procedure, whereby recipients can request variations to their Financial Incentive Agreements. Decisions are made to approve variation requests on a case-by-case basis. Recipients will be provided more information about the variation process after execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement.
Can I obtain feedback on my application, if it is unsuccessful?
Feedback is available to unsuccessful applicants. If you are unsuccessful at the Expression of Interest stage, feedback provided will be brief and focused on key areas that could be strengthened.
Feedback provided to unsuccessful applicants at the Full Application stage will be more detailed.
Is there any assistance available to unsuccessful applicants?
In addition to the feedback provided, unsuccessful applicants will be given the opportunity to participate in a range of relevant information sessions and/or webinars provided by the Queensland Government, as they become available.
Can I appeal against the decision?
There is no appeals process for the Ignite Ideas Fund. Funding is awarded at the discretion of the Queensland Government and all decisions are final.
Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with feedback and a range of information and assistance from Queensland Government, and are encouraged to take this into account and submit an application to a future funding round.