Platform Technology Program frequently asked questions
About the Platform Technology Program (PTP)
What is the Platform Technology Program (PTP) and what does it aim to achieve?
This Advance Queensland initiative will encourage the development and deployment of platform technologies in existing and emerging industries. The program provides investment for collaborative research and development activities, focusing on technology platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles for application in aerospace, defence, agriculture, oil and gas field management, disaster management, environmental monitoring and more.
Why involve small to medium size enterprises (SMEs)?
The speed at which technology is disrupting industries around the world is increasing, posing huge challenges for traditional large businesses.
Working with SMEs and startups brings a considerable innovative leap for these traditional industry leaders, as they are able to source innovative new products and services, experiment with new business models and discover new market needs at a much higher speed than they would have otherwise.
The PTP will offer partnering opportunities to successfully commercialise new-to-Australia or world- first innovations within Queensland priority industries. These collaborations will build the competitiveness of Queensland business and industry and in turn, create the conditions for new jobs and a stronger Queensland economy.
What is meant by transformative ‘step change’?
A transformative ‘step change’ is a recognisable and significant shift from business as usual. The change may enable new, or significantly improved, processes or products, or increase productivity, or provide new solutions to end users and customers.
The change should be a significant step towards the development and commercial application of technologies that improve productivity and competitive advantage. They should have transferability across industry sectors to create jobs in key industries and regions of Queensland.
The application process
How do I apply?
An online PTP application form will be available on the Platform Technology Program page on the Advance Queensland website from 16 January 2017.
What is the Financial Incentive Agreement?
The Financial Incentive Agreement is the legally binding contract between the project lead (the funding recipient) and the Queensland Government. It sets out the terms and conditions of the PTP grant.
What are the key dates?
An information session was held on 3 February 2017 to provide applicants an opportunity to ask questions about the PTP.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to lodge a Stage 2 Application.
Can I submit a Stage 2 application immediately?
Submission of a Stage 2 application will be by invitation only. Submissions will be invited following an initial assessment and shortlisting of expression of interest (EOI) applications.
The application process has been designed as a 2 stage process to provide applicants with feedback on the assessment of their proposed project before significant effort is invested.
EOI applications not shortlisted for progressing to the Stage 2 full application stage will not be considered for further funding.
When do Stage 2 applications need to be lodged?
Applicants invited to submit a Stage 2 application will be advised of a due date for their submission.
Can an application be revised after submission?
Applications cannot be revised after submission. However, applicants must advise the Queensland Government of any changes likely to materially affect eligibility or the circumstances of the project.
Can I submit a hardcopy application?
All applications must be submitted online. No hardcopy applications will be accepted.
What is required for Stage 1 application and assessment?
Expressions of interest (EOI) should be submitted online. An online EOI application form will be available from 16 January 2017.
What is required for Stage 2 application and assessment?
For the Stage 2 application a full detailed proposal is required. This will include:
- a more detailed response to each of the assessment criteria
- a detailed project plan including milestones, timeframes, budget and funding breakdown
- evidence and details of commitment of all partner organisations
- demonstrated ability to fund at least 75% of the cost of the eligible project, other than from Queensland Government funding sources. (For instance by providing certified financial statements, including profit and loss statement and balance sheet, for the previous 2 financial years or otherwise demonstrating that that matched funding is guaranteed).
Proposals shortlisted for Stage 2 may also be requested to pitch their application to an assessment panel.
How are applications assessed?
The guidelines for applicants outline the 5 assessment criteria.
Applications for Stage 1 expressions of interest and Stage 2 will be assessed by a panel. The panel for Stage 1 will only consider the first 4 criteria (excludes technical merit).
The Stage 2 panel may include external commercial and technical advisors, depending on the nature of the project proposal being assessed.
Will I be advised of the assessment outcome?
Applicants will be advised in writing of the outcome of their application after each stage of assessment.
Will information sessions be offered?
An information session was held on 3 February 2017.
If I am invited to deliver a ‘pitch’ what is expected?
Following assessment of the Expression of Interest (EOI) applications, shortlisted applicants may be invited to pitch their projects to an assessment panel.
The pitch is an opportunity to present and discuss the project proposed in the application. Pitch style may vary based on individual preference, however, each pitch is expected to address the selection criteria, include a short presentation and participate in a question and answer discussion led by the assessment panel.
The time allocated to each applicant may vary at the discretion of the assessment panel considering the scale and complexity of the proposed project. Applicants will be advised of the amount of time allocated at the time of invitation to present their pitch.
Will early research be funded?
Early research is not funded under this program. The program is focused on the development and application of platform technologies. It is therefore expected that projects will have a strong focus on proving commercial capabilities and applying these in real world scenarios.
How many projects are likely to be funded?
The number of funding recipients will depend on the size and number of approved applications.
What is the minimum project budget?
The funding incentives target larger scale investment, to grow Queensland leadership and capability in the development and delivery of platform technologies.
PTP projects will be funded at a minimum 1:3 ratio of Government-to-applicant funding.
Projects will represent a minimum total investment of $1 million (i.e. a minimum $250,000 Government grant and a $750,000 cash contribution from lead applicants and their partners, excluding GST).
What is the maximum project budget that will be considered for funding?
There is no maximum project funding amount. Funding is limited by the PTP’s budget.
How much funding is required from the applicant organisation and the partner organisation(s)?
The applicant and partner organisations must collectively contribute at least 75% of the total project budget as a cash contribution.
The cash contribution from the lead applicant and their partners may include contributions from governments other than the Queensland Government, however the cash contribution from private sector sources must be at least 25% of the project costs.
The cash contribution must be a new investment. Historic investments or expenses prior to application cannot be counted towards the cash contribution.
How is ‘cash’ defined?
For the purposes of the PTP, cash is the funds contributed directly by the application and/or project partners towards eligible costs defined in the program guidelines.
Contributions as cash are deemed to include:
- Salary costs (including on costs) of employees and contractors who are assigned to work on the core business of the project; and
- Where an employee works only partly on the core business of the project (and is assigned to the project for more than 20% of his or her work responsibilities, the salary cost of the employee multiplied by the percentage of the employee’s total working hours spent on the project (for 1 FTE).
How is funding paid?
Funding will be paid progressively against agreed project milestones. These milestones will be set out in the relevant schedule of the Financial Incentive Agreement.
What are ‘organisational overheads’?
For the purpose of this funding 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 PTP funding.
Are salary on-costs eligible for funding?
Yes. Costs associated with the employment of an individual, such as superannuation, workers compensation, payroll tax, and leave loading are eligible under the PTP.
Can an in-kind contribution be counted towards the recipient's funding obligation?
No. Only cash contributions at a minimum ratio of 1:3 Government-to-applicant can be counted towards the overall applicant contribution. However, it is open to include the nature and value of in-kind contributions in an application.
What is the minimum spend with Queensland small to medium entreprises (SMEs) and startups?
A core objective of the program is to support Queensland based SMEs and startups.
Projects are expected to spend a significant portion of the Queensland Government contributed funds with Queensland based SMEs and startups.
A minimum level is not set, however the amount to be spent must be specified in the application and will be considered in the assessment process under the criteria of impact and collaboration.
What counts as spending with Queensland small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups?
The amount spent with Queensland based SMEs and startups must be cash, and be either directly related to participation in the project, or associated with the procurement of goods and services for the project directly from Queensland SMEs.
How is a ‘Queensland-based organisation’ defined?
The organisation’s ABN must be registered to a principal address in Queensland which must be maintained for the duration of the project.
How is a partner organisation in a project defined and managed?
A partner is an organisation that is materially contributing to the project and its outcomes, as evidenced by a cash or in-kind contribution, and its involvement in the project.
A partner organisation to a lead applicant is required to enter into a formal collaborative agreement with the lead applicant and shall be obliged to provide their respective contributions to the project.
Partner organisations must not be related to the applicant organisation—including subsidiary organisations.
Is there a minimum number of organisations that can be involved?
Projects should have a minimum of 3 partners contributing funding and/or in-kind support, including Queensland-based SMEs and/or startups, universities, research institutes and other organisations that can contribute to the demonstration and commercial development of platform technologies.
Does the lead applicant organisation need collaborative agreements with partner organisations?
Yes. The organisation leading the proposal will be required to enter into and manage a formal collaborative agreement with their partner organisations.
Partner organisations will be obliged to provide their respective contributions to the project. The Queensland Government will contract only with the project lead organisation.
Do collaborative agreements with partner organisations need to be in place at the time of application?
No. Applications should include details of proposed partnerships with the intent of executing a formal collaborative agreement if successful.
Applications should as a minimum include letters of commitment to the project from major participants.
The establishment of formal collaborative agreements will be a condition precedent to be achieved within a nominated timeframe from the execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement.
What are the requirements of collaborative agreements?
The requirements of the collaborative agreements are set out in the Financial Incentive Agreement. It must be consistent with the Financial Incentive Agreement, set out the roles of the partner organisations, and contain provisions to enable the recipient to provide information in reports to the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation.
Intellectual property and personal information
What expectations does the Queensland Government have in respect to intellectual property (IP)?
The lead applicant and collaborative partners must have ownership, access to, or beneficial use of, any intellectual property that is the subject of, or is necessary to carry out the project.
The lead applicant and collaborative partners will ensure that rights to IP developed as part of the project will be subject to a separate agreement as agreed between the lead applicant and all collaborative partners. However, as a measure of good faith, it is expected that any subsequent negotiations for the use or application of the PTP solutions by the Queensland Government would take into account the financial support provided to the applicant as part of the PTP.
General information about IP in Australia can be found on the IP Australia website.
Will entity and project information remain confidential?
Yes. The Queensland Government is bound by information security and information privacy legislation. All information will be treated confidentially and will not be disclosed, unless required by law.