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Innovation Partnerships guidelines

About the program

The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative focuses on growing the economy and creating jobs. This includes support to attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurial and research talent, build Queensland’s reputation and capacity to conduct applied research and development, support the start-up and growth of businesses to deliver new products and services into global markets, and establish new industries that will provide the jobs of the future.

The Advance Queensland Innovation Partnerships program supports research organisations to undertake collaborative research and development projects with end-users (industry, small and medium size enterprises, public sector and non-government organisations) in order to address a significant issue or problem as identified by the relevant industry or end-user(s). Investment is targeted within the parameters of the Queensland Science and Research Priorities and the Advance Queensland Roadmaps, and will build a foundation for Queensland to develop as a global innovation hub and gateway into markets in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Grants of up to $1,500,000 (excluding GST) are available for projects with a duration of up to 3 years.


The program will assist Queensland-based research organisations and end-user organisations to undertake mission-driven, collaborative research and development projects.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • increase the level of collaboration between industry, SMEs and the research base
  • boost productivity growth and the competitiveness of existing industries
  • accelerate the development of emerging industries and technologies where Queensland could have comparative advantage in global markets
  • increase the speed and scale of translation of our science and research into new products, services and business models that can help to drive economic and jobs growth in Queensland.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for this program you must be:

  • a Queensland-based research organisation
  • GST registered, with an ABN.

To be considered eligible for this program, your project application must:

  • address at least 1 of the Queensland Science and Research Priorities OR be aligned to an Advance Queensland Roadmap
  • involve collaboration between the Queensland-based applicant organisation and:
    • at least 1 other Queensland-based research organisation
    • at least 1 Queensland-based private or not-for-profit industry/end-user organisation (that will progress the translation and practical application of the research).
  • involve partnering organisations that are separate entities
  • have a total cash contribution (from the applicant and partner organisations) that is equal to, or greater than, the Innovation Partnerships funding sought
  • have a minimum of 25% of the required matching cash funding committed by the private and/or not-for-profit industry/end-user partner organisation(s).

Note: if you are successful the proposed project must commence within 6 months of being advised of funding approval.

Your project application is ineligible if:

  • the proposed project is not a distinct activity/set of activities with specified start and end points, and aims and outcomes that are achievable within these specified points
  • the partnering organisations are related (i.e. parent or subsidiaries, or spin-out companies established for less than 1 year)
  • the lead Queensland-based applicant organisation (and/or any partner organisation) is currently receiving Queensland Government funding for the proposed project.

Using the Innovation Partnerships funds

Innovation Partnership funding may be used for eligible project costs:

  • salary costs for project staff (including salary-related on-costs)
  • consumables and small equipment (maximumvalue of $10,000 per item) required specifically for the project
  • third party technical validation/demonstration of the product/process
  • travel necessary to undertake project activity.

Items not eligible for funding include:

  • organisational overheads
  • capital works and/or physical infrastructure including any buildings, land transportation, telecommunications and IT networks
  • items of equipment costing more than $10,000
  • costs associated with the ongoing programs of work and/or core business of the applicant or partner organisation(s).

Funds committed by the applicant and partner organisations to satisfy the matching cash requirements can include:

  • salaries (including salary-related on-costs) for any staff working on the project for a minimum of 20% of their total work time
  • any other direct and actual project costs (non-salaries).

Innovation Partnerships funding either must be expended wholly in Queensland, or if partly expended in the partnering jurisdiction, must directly support the Queensland research proponent (e.g. to cover costs to access specialised research equipment not available in Queensland).

Only eligible expenditure incurred on or after the project commencement date can be claimed by successful applicant organisations.

Payment of grants will be made based on agreed periodic project milestones. A final milestone payment will be made upon the provision of documentary evidence that all project requirements have been satisfied, including evidence that total project expenditure has been incurred and project contributions have been made by all relevant parties.

Assessment criteria

  1. Well planned, novel, industry and Queensland relevant

    You must demonstrate the project:

    • will address an industry/end-user issue or problem that is significant for Queensland
    • will be in an area of research and development in which Queensland has a competitive edge
    • is novel and you are aware of the other research that has been/is being undertaken in the proposed project space
    • has scientific merit and is well planned and achievable.
  2. Quality of the collaboration

    You must demonstrate that:

    • the project will meaningfully involve organisations and individuals with complementary ideas of expertise
    • the industry/end-user partner organisation(s) will be integral in the design and delivery of the project
    • you have the research, scientific and management skills/experience and the access to infrastructure and funding required, to successfully deliver the project
    • researchers will be embedded in the industry/end-user organisation(s) for significant components of their time to ensure true collaboration, building of quality relationships and effective translation of research findings.

    The letters of support from project partners will also be considered under this assessment criteria.

  3. Clear outcomes and relevance for Queensland

    You must demonstrate the proposed project will:

    • address 1 or more of the Queensland Science and Research Priorities OR align to an Advance Queensland Roadmap area
    • deliver a new product, process or service at its completion
    • have a clearly articulated plan to translate research findings
    • have a well-defined path to impact, delivering a tangible benefit for Queensland
    • deliver value for money through quantified economic benefits, with a focus on future job growth, and/or social, environmental and regional benefits to Queensland.

Submitting your application

The Innovation Partnerships program has a 2 stage application process.

Stage 1—expression of interest round

Expressions of Interest should be submitted online on the Advance Queensland website.

The closing time and date for submitting applications is 11.00am, Monday 30 January 2017.

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 for funding.

A full application will include:

  • a detailed response to each of the assessment criteria
  • budget and funding breakdown
  • evidence of level of commitment of all partner organisations.

Application assessment

Expressions of interest and full applications will be assessed against eligibility requirements. Only eligible submissions will be considered.

Expressions of interest and full applications will be assessed in a competitive, merit based approach by a panel of assessors.

Applicants may also be required to attend an interview to pitch their project proposal.

Applicants may be contacted at any stage of the assessment process to clarify any information provided in the expression of interest or full 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 you will be notified in writing of your application outcome.

To support better assessment and targeted investment in science and research, the R.E.D.S. Decision Rules were developed. These rules will be considered in evaluating, prioritising and making decisions around future investment.

Applicants should ensure responses to the assessment criteria address the following science and research investment Decision Rules (the ‘R.E.D.S.’):

  • Real future impact for Queensland—what will be the tangible benefit for Queensland, and how long will it take to happen?
  • External commitment—what is the involvement of, and commitment from, your external collaborative partners and end-users?
  • Distinctive angle—what is in it for Queensland, and why is Queensland the place to conduct the research?
  • Scaling towards critical mass—how, and with whom, will you be collaborating on your research, locally (i.e. statewide) as well as nationally/internationally to achieve quality and significant capability in Queensland?

The assessment process will also take into account the government’s priorities and the imperative to create jobs for the economy, as well as the need to balance the research investment to support a diversity of capability across scientific disciplines, geographic regions and research groups.

Funding agreements

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a legally binding financial incentive agreement with the Queensland Government.

You must you read and accept the terms and conditions of the financial incentive agreement, prior to submitting a full application, as they will not be negotiable at the time a funding offer is made.

Promotion of supported projects

Funding recipients will be expected to actively promote their research, 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 evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised Queensland Government officers, approved grant assessors and the Advanced Queensland expert panel will have access to this information.

Applicants should note 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 in the future.

Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of the Information Privacy Act 2009.

For audit purposes, the Queensland government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material.

The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government.

Further information

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
10 March, 2017

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