Top Australian manufacturing grants

Coles Nurture Fund Woolworths Organic Growth Fund

Thinking about expanding your business? Want to update your equipment to meet growing demand? Raising capital for business-growth initiatives is one of the biggest challenges Australian manufacturers face.

But there is a solution…

Grants. 

There are countless grants and funding programs available to help Australian manufacturers and processors. Many of these are government initiatives, but there are also some available from companies such as Coles, Woolworths and Mars.

We’ve done the hard yards and found some great opportunities that you should keep an eye on.

Pro Tip: Bookmark this article and check it regularly – we’ll be adding to, and updating it, with more grants as we find them. 

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Certain Inputs to Manufacture

The Certain Inputs to Manufacture government grant is designed to provide Australian manufacturers with duty-free tariff concessions to help reduce your importing costs. It’s specifically for manufacturers importing chemicals, plastics, paper goods and metal materials, or goods used in food packaging. 

Who can apply?

There are a few eligibility requirements to tick. At a minimum:

  • You must be importing (or intending to import), raw materials and intermediate goods to use in manufacturing a specific end product
  • You need to be able to show that the imported goods will perform better than similar goods produced in Australia
  • You need to submit an application before importing the goods

What you get: duty-free tariff concessions to help reduce your importing costs. 

Does your business have the right manufacturing workforce skills for the future?

CSIRO Kick-Start

The CSIRO Kick-Start grant was created to help Australian start-ups and SMEs access CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities so they can grow and develop their business. 

Who can apply?

The eligibility requirements are mostly to ensure you are a small business. You must:

  • have an Australian Company Number (ACN) 
  • be registered for GST
  • have an annual turnover of less than $1.5 million in the current, and two previous financial years
  • have been a registered company for less than three years

What you get

Dollar-matched funding between $10,000 and $50,000 to research a new idea with commercial potential, develop a new or improved product or process, or test a new product or material.

Moving into the industry cloud ­– manufacturing’s ‘new phenomenon’.

R&D Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive is a great opportunity if you are looking at investing in research and development. Open to all sectors, it provides a refundable tax offset of 43.5% for costs incurred on R&D activities that benefit the Australian economy through innovation, competitiveness and productivity.

Who can apply?

You need to be an incorporated company that has incurred eligible R&D costs or deductions of at least $20,000. 

Eligible core R&D activities are defined as “experiments that are guided by hypotheses and conducted for the purpose of generating new knowledge”. Don’t worry – the website provides an in-depth explanation of what is and isn’t eligible. 

Also, the annual turnover of your business must be less than $20 million.

What you get

43.5% refundable tax offset against R&D expenditure of $100m or less. Claims can be made up to FY24 (while funding lasts); simply register your eligible R&D with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and claim it through your company tax return. 

small artisan producer Woolworths

Small Queensland Business Artisan Producer Grants Program

Are you an artisan producer of gourmet food or non-alcoholic beverages? The Small Business Artisan Producer Grants Program (Queensland) could help you grow your business, aid with access to new market opportunities and enhance your expertise.

Who can apply?

All small artisan producers in Queensland who make gourmet food or non-alcoholic beverages. 

The business must:

  • be an artisan producer of gourmet food/ non-alcoholic beverages 
  • be based in Queensland
  • have a registered business name and active ABN
  • have fewer than 20 employees 
  • have Queensland headquarters 
  • use ingredients in a skilled or unique way 
  • be sensitive to the impact of production on the environment and people

What you get

A 50% funding contribution of up to $5,000 to engage consultants, mentors or digital experts. 

Hint: This grant is currently closed so watch for updates on the next round!

Lean manufacturing + Industry 4.0: the next level of operational excellence?

Regional Manufacturing Clusters

A Victorian Government initiative delivered by Ai Group, the Regional Manufacturing Clusters sets out to support regional manufacturers who want to invest in innovation, develop capability and grow. Target regions include Ballarat to Warrnambool, Bendigo to Mildura, Shepparton to Echuca, Traralgon to Morwell and Wodonga to Wangaratta. 

There are two programs:

  • The Collaborative Business Improvement Program is a two-year tailored program aimed at driving continuous improvement and solving the biggest barriers to growth. 
  • The Innovation Culture Program is to nurture an innovative, organisation-wide culture through workshops, coaching and peer-learning sessions. 

Who can apply?

The two programs have different eligibility requirements:

1. Collaborative Business Improvement Program – Open to 100 businesses in total, including 10 businesses located in and around the 10 target areas, with between 15-70 employees. 

2. Innovation Culture Program – Open to 5 businesses with 55+ employees located in and around each of the 10 target regions. 

What you get 

Successful businesses will receive tailored support for a range of activities, including improved business processes, new market exploration, skills development, collaboration, and developing a culture that fosters innovation and continuous improvement. Each participating business needs to invest $5,000 towards the cost.

Circular economy + Australian manufacturing: what you need to know.

Queensland’s Business Growth Fund Program

The Business Growth Fund Program aims to help small and medium Queensland businesses that demonstrate high-growth and employment aspirations.

With the grant, successful businesses can buy and implement specialised equipment or services, such as production equipment to meet growth demand, advanced manufacturing or digital equipment and systems, advanced logistics systems and equipment, and so on.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, your business must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  • have a minimum trading history of 3 years 
  • have a minimum turnover of $500,000 for the last financial year
  • have fewer than 50 employees 
  • have Queensland headquarters
  • have competitive opportunities in domestic or international markets

In addition, your business must be experiencing growth and have clearly defined high-growth and employment opportunities in Queensland. High-growth is generally considered to be a 20% increase in turnover or employment.

You should apply if you’re considering increasing employment, improving processes and systems to increase productivity and efficiency, entering new markets, or increasing turnover/sales.

What you get

Funding of up to $50,000 (excluding GST). Successful applicants must provide a co-contribution of between 25% and 50% of the total project cost. 

Hint: Look out for the Victorian Business Growth Fund to be launched soon! 

Coles Nurture Fund

Running since 2015, the Coles Nurture Fund was designed to help small Australian food & grocery producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow. The fund has offered more than $19m in financial support to 50 different producers who wanted to improve existing services or products, or create new systems or processes. 

Woolworths Organic Growth Fund Australian manufacturers and suppliers

Who can apply?

You need to tick the following boxes:

  • have a turnover less than $25m per year
  • employ no more than 50 full time employees (excluding casual seasonal labour)
  • have a registered ABN and have been trading for at least two years

You must also provide audited financial statements for at least the previous two financial years and provide a funding declaration from an external accountant confirming ability to fund your share of project costs and the business’s solvency. 

Here’s the surprising thing: you do not have to be a Coles supplier, and are under no obligation to supply Coles if successful. 

What you get

Financial support of up to $500,000 in grants and interest-free loans.

Hint: A new round of funding will open in early 2020.

What is sustainable manufacturing? Examples from Australian companies.

Woolworths Organic Growth Fund

To help Aussie farmers meet the growing customer demand for organic fruit and vegetables, the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund offers interest-free loans and grants, on top of contracted purchase volumes, to help growers start their journey to organic farming or grow existing organic production. 

Who can apply?

Australian farmers who:

  • Operates a farm within Australia
  • Have a registered ABN or ACN and have traded for a minimum of two years
  • Can provide Woolworths with financial statements for the two previous financial years
  • Can demonstrate to Woolworths that they have the commercial and technical expertise and financial capacity to deliver the proposed organic farming initiative or project

What you get

Interest-free loans and grants for land acquisition, new produce varieties, new facilities and equipment for organic enterprises, and for those farmers who convert their conventional farming to organic production.

Through the fund, farmers will also have contracted purchase volumes for Woolworths, which provides the certainty of longer-term supply.

Manufacturing equipment: should you lease or buy? 

Manufacturing Efficiency Funding for NSW

Through the Manufacturing Efficiency Funding (NSW) the state government is supporting projects that help manufacturers save energy and money. This could be upgrading energy-monitoring systems, replacing old inefficient equipment, installing new energy-efficient equipment, and improving manufacturing processes.

Who can apply?

Any business with a manufacturing site in NSW that:

  • has an ABN and is registered for GST
  • undertakes manufacturing activities, according to the Manufacturing Division of ANZSIC 2006, or cotton ginning

What you get

Matched funding for upgrading energy-efficient equipment or installing energy metering systems to save energy and money. 

  • For metering and process optimisation, funding is capped at $50,000 per site 
  • For simple energy-efficiency upgrades (such as replacing or retrofitting technologies), funding is capped at $30,000 per site
  • For measured and verified energy efficiency upgrades, funding is capped at $70,000 per site 

Hint: Watch out for the next round of funding in 2020. 

Conclusion

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to fund your business growth and innovation. Bookmark this page to stay on top of the latest grants for Australian manufacturers.

&D Tax Incentive government grants

Need help with your grant application for new equipment or process improvements? Matthews can help you put together the details you need. Speak to our team today. 

 

Looking for insights and tailored information for Australian makers & movers, domestically and on the global stage? You’ll find it all here. Connect with us now!

Image credits: iStock/ serts (main), iStock/ Shablon (2nd),

Mark Dingley
Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and is the CEO at Matthews Australasia. With 25 years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile
Mark Dingley

by Mark Dingley

Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and is the CEO at Matthews Australasia. With 25 years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile

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