Climate Grants

Clean Technology Programs Closure

AusIndustry has been sending out letters lately informing the official closure of the Clean Technology Programs. The current Australian Government has committed to abolishing the carbon tax and they expect in doing so they will lower the costs for Australian businesses and manufacturers. This will hopefully promote growth and costs.

As such, the Australian Government has decided to discontinue business compensation measures that were introduced to provide partial relief from the carbon tax. The programs that have been discontinued are Clean Technology Investment Program, Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program and Clean Technology Innovation Program.

No new applications were accepted from 22 October 2013, and the closure of these programs published on 11 November 2013.

Grant Cancellations

The new Liberal government is beginning to make announcements to the changes of the various grant schemes. Many of the different grants have been marked for cancellation as a means of “ending Labor’s waste and reckless spending”. Full details can be found at media release Our Plan to get the Budget under Control.

Schemes to be discontinued are

  • Jobs and Competitiveness Program;
  • Steel Transformation Plan;
  • Clean Technology Program;
  • Coal Sector Jobs Package;
  • Energy Efficiency Information Grants;
  • Clean Energy Skills package; and
  • Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chain programs.

Whether the schemes get discontinued immediately or if they will wait until the government has abolished the carbon tax first is yet to be released. More details expected to come over the next few days.

Keep in mind that other schemes such as Commercialisation Australia, R&D Tax Incentive and Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) seem to be unaffected at this stage and it is business as usual for us.

Clean Technology Grants

The latest update from the Minister of Innovation is as follows:

The Gillard Government is helping one of southern Queensland’s major meat manufacturers to invest in new, clean technology to improve its production efficiency and cut energy costs throughout its operations.

A $6.2 million grant from the Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program has been awarded to AJ Bush & Sons for its rendering plant in the Bromelton State Development Area.
The Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said AJ Bush & Sons would upgrade or replace inefficient coal-fired boilers with high efficiency boilers, reducing the amount of black coal required during the steam raising process.

The company would also cover its anaerobic ponds to capture the methane gas currently emitted and use this as a renewable fuel source to power a new biogas boiler for steam production.
Mr Combet said the measurers would improve energy efficiency and deliver a significant reduction in the company’s direct carbon liability at the Bromelton plant.

“This project will reduce the carbon emissions intensity of AJ Bush & Sons’ steam raising production processes by 64 per cent and cut their energy cost by 46 per cent,” Mr Combet said.
“In order to make the transition to a low pollution economy, manufacturers need to transform their operations by investing in energy efficient equipment and technology.”

The company will match the Government grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Funded by carbon price revenue, the Gillard Government’s $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program has provided a total of $9.3 million in support to date to 12 meat processors, renderers and manufacturers of small goods around the country. The program is open to eligible manufacturers with funding provided over six years from 2011-12.

“The Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Investment Programs provide valuable support to manufacturers looking to improve their operations and competitiveness around Australia. They are an important part of our plan for a clean energy future,” Mr Combet said.

“I encourage manufacturers who are looking to make investments in energy efficient capital equipment to take a look at the guidelines and consider applying.”
For more information, manufacturers can contact AusIndustry on 13 28 46 or visit the website www.ausindustry.gov.au

CEFC Clean Energy Grants

Oliver Yates has been appointed the head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) board. The former Macquarie Group banker will be responsible for managing how $13 billion in green investments will be allocated. The scheme is to drive clean energy products and is expected to drive around $100 billion in investments in the renewables sector over the period to 2050. The main activities of this scheme include the commercialisation and deployment of clean technology.

There are other scheme that are tackling climate change including the $3.2 billion being invested in research, development and commercialisation of renewable energy sector with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. There is also $200 million in funding for the research and development of clean technologies with the Clean Technology Innovation Program. Further, there is the Renewable Energy Target that promotes the use of renewable energy through the carbon price.

For more information can be found here on climate change grants.

Green Light For Clean Technology Investment Program

The Government today announced details of the long awaited Clean Technology Investment Program.  The CITP will provide $1 billion in funding for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution and also help manufacturers buy new plant and equipment which cuts their energy costs or reduces carbon pollution.

The CITP comprises the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program which will support jobs and provide incentives for manufacturers to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable. Eligible manufacturers can apply for funding under the programs from today.

The Government also announced they would change co-contribution requirements to make the grant programs more attractive for small and medium-sized firms.  Manufacturers with turnovers of less than $100 million requesting funding under $500,000 will now only have to match the government grants on a dollar for dollar basis.For all other grants under $10 million, applicants will be required to contribute $2 for every $1 from the Government. For grants of $10 million or more, applicants will be expected to make a co-contribution of at least $3 for each $1 of Government support.

Projects that can be supported include switching to less carbon intensive energy sources or installing new manufacturing equipment, processes and facilities to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Round 15 CRC Program Announced

The 15th Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) funding round for 2012 will focus on clean manufacturing, social innovation and sustainable regional communities which are seen to represent significant challenges for our nation and are vital to our economic and social prosperity.

In the 15th selection round, the CRC committee will place a particular focus on applications that address the program priority areas, although applications remain open to all sectors and research disciplines, and the emphasis on quality and path to utilisation will not be diminished. In developing their proposals, applicants are encouraged to consider international linkages and collaborations.

The CRC program nurtures Australians’ innate resourcefulness and innovativeness by building strong collaborations that bridge the divide between our world-class researchers and our industries and community groups, so we can tackle major challenges head on. The CRC program is partnerships between publicly funded researchers and end users – private, public or community sectors that can deploy research outcomes.

For more information on the program, selection rounds and current CRCs, visit www.crc.gov.au.

Commercialisation Australia Scheme Changes

From today Australian entrepreneurs will not have to repay Early Stage Commercialisation grants for businesses developing a new product, process, or service. Additionally, the annual turnover limit for applicants will rise from $20 million to $50 million and access to skilled managers now have the option to apply for an Experienced Executives grant of up to $350,000 – previously $200,000.

The government has foreshadowed further improvements to the scheme from early 2012 to support innovation in the manufacturing sector. The eligible expenditure guidelines for Early Stage Commercialisation grants will be amended to provide broader support for the development of pilot manufacturing plants and innovative manufacturing facilities.

Almost 180 innovators have already benefited from grants of $71.7 million from Commercialisation Australia, as well as expert advice from experienced case managers, to help turn their inventions into marketable products and services.

Jobs And Competitiveness Program

The $9.2 billion Jobs and Competitiveness Program legislative was passed by the Senate today and is designed to assist industries like aluminium, steel, cement, lead and zinc, glass making, LNG and paper manufacturing. This Program focuses on emissions intensive and trade exposed activities which release high levels of carbon pollution but have difficulty passing on costs because their prices are set in global markets.

In addition, the $1.2 billion Clean Technology Program is also available to assist manufacturers which do not meet “emissions intensity, trade exposed” assistance thresholds.

The Clean Technology Program comprises:

$800 million under the Clean Technology Investment Program for grants supporting investments in energy-efficient equipment and low-pollution technologies, processes and products.

$200 million under the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program for energy efficiency improvements by food processors, metal forgers and foundries.

$200 million under the Clean Technology Innovation Program for business R&D spending in renewable energy, low-pollution technology and energy efficiency.

 

Small Business Is Big Business

A new report released today confirms the significance of Australia’s two million small businesses to the Australian economy.  The research reinforces the essential and vital a role the small business sector plays in Australia’s economic life.  The report was compiled by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other sources.

Australia’s small businesses account for nearly 98 per cent of all businesses in the agriculture sector, about 96 per cent in the services sector, about 91 per cent in the mining sector and just over 88 per cent in the manufacturing sector and also accounted for nearly half of total industry employment and a third of industry value-added in  2009/10.  Clearly small businesses have a major presence in all industry sectors.

There are a number of Government support programs that directly assist small businesses, including the Small Business Advisory Services program. The Government has already committed $48.25 million to fund 37 Business Enterprise Centres around Australia through this program.

A copy of Small Business Key Statistics is available at www.innovation.gov.au

Details of the support available for small businesses is available by contacting the team at Pattens.

Illawarra Region Innovation And Investment Fund

The Government’s new $30 million Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund, announced last week in response to job losses at BlueScope Steel, specifically targets firms providing: engineering, construction and support services to heavy process manufacturing and the mining industry; manufacturing for the power, mining and transport sectors; engineered equipment for oil, gas and downstream industries; and firms involved in creative multimedia and software development.  Illawarra firms are innovative and are being encouraged to invest in new clean technology to apply to the Fund.

Firms like Partech Systems Pty Ltd, a local firm working in partnership with a researcher from the University of Wollongong, are developing and marketing a low cost solar-powered rail level crossing control system. The Government is currently backing Partech with a $50,000 Enterprise Connect Researchers in Business grant.

The University of Wollongong’s new Sustainable Buildings Research Centre will be located on the Innovation Campus. The Centre is part of the Retrofitting for Resilient and Sustainable Buildings (RRSB) project. This project will help transform our construction industry by discovering sustainable building practices and products and find ways to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings.  The Centre and the RRSB project are great news for the Illawarra region. The RRSB project, with the Centre as its main research facility, will create over 100 research jobs and open up to 100 undergraduate and 200 post-graduate positions, which will train students in sustainable construction technologies and practices.