Recent changes in government grants result in looking to other avenues of support
01 August 2023
Recent changes in the Australian government grants space have been observed following the NSW State Election and the recent Federal Government Budget handed down in May, with significant shifts in core programs such as the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG), NSW Minimum Viable Product, Accelerating Commercialisation program, Entrepreneurs Program, and Boosting Female Founders. These changes suggest that some budgetary constraints may be a driving factor in the modifications, prompted by the recent change in government as well as a reset in how grant programs are delivered and the outcomes to be achieved.
As the current government realigns its grant programs, it can lead to a period of uncertainty and anticipation as priorities and strategies are determined. At Findex, we are particularly focused on industry sectors such as technology and innovation, agriculture, healthcare, education, and construction. We recognise the importance of applying for grants and the potential value they can bring. However, considering the changes and potential limitations in certain grant programs like the Export Market Development Grant, it is now crucial for businesses to consider other avenues of support in addition to grants.
While grants remain an important option, businesses are advised to explore alternative avenues to support their growth activities. These options include public and private venture capital and growth funds, as well as tax incentives such as the Research and Development Tax Incentive, employment subsidies, rebates, mentoring programs, scholarships, and accelerator programs. By diversifying their funding approach and considering a range of support mechanisms, businesses can maximise their chances of obtaining the necessary resources to thrive.
Every sector is experiencing rapid change in compliance and targets, for example, carbon credits. In considering specifically agriculture, carbon credits are playing a significant role in shaping agricultural practices and sustainability efforts in Australia. Carbon credits are a market-based mechanism designed to incentivise a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration. They provide an alternative revenue source and financial incentives to landholders and farmers who adopt practices that reduce or offset carbon emissions, contributing to mitigating climate change. Read more about carbon credits here.
Looking forward, the new Industry Growth Program that was announced in the May 2023 budget and is set to launch late this year, will provide advice and matched grant funding for SMEs and start-ups to commercialise their ideas and grow their businesses. A discussion paper has been launched for this program and is currently seeking on development and implementation of the program. Meanwhile, the Victorian State Government have recently opened the Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund which is aimed at supporting Victorian businesses to invest in new R&D capability with a closing date of 18th August 2023. So there appears to be some green shoots appearing in the grant landscape.
Taking a lens to the agricultural sector and available assistance to aid in the uptake of agtech or digital solution, there are some encouraging signs. In NSW, The Farms of the Future Program aims to deliver improved connectivity and encourage farmers to adopt agtech to boost productivity and improve resource management, including water efficiency and drought preparedness. This program closes on 31st August 2023. In recent news in QLD, QRIDA has just opened round 2 of the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grants Scheme offers co-contribution grants of up to $100,000 to support projects which result in the trialling and adoption of digital technologies into supply chains within agricultural, fishery, or forestry industries in QLD. Applications for this program close on the 18th of August 2023.
Given the complexities and challenges associated with grant applications and management, it is highly recommended to engage a Grants Advisory Service with a dedicated grant writer. Such a service ensures that the correct grants are identified, eligibility criteria are met, and submissions are prepared to the highest standards. The background research and investigation are handled by the advisory service, allowing businesses to focus on effectively utilising the funds once received. Moreover, a skilled grant writer can also provide assistance with milestone reporting and acquittal, ensuring that businesses fulfill their reporting obligations accurately and on time.
Applying for grants remains an important and valuable endeavour, even with the changes in the grants landscape. However, it is crucial for businesses to consider the broader range of support options available to them. By strategically combining grants with other avenues of support, businesses can enhance their growth strategies and increase their chances of success in the competitive business environment. With the assistance of a grant writer, businesses can not only improve their chances of securing grants but also receive support in fulfilling reporting requirements, ensuring a smooth and compliant utilisation of funds.
To help ensure your business doesn’t miss out on the possibilities, contact our grants specialists team here and book your complimentary grants consultation.