This grant will deliver sustainable employment opportunities, activate new industries, promote cluster development, and drive increased productivity, innovation and competitiveness of businesses in regional NSW.
- Status: Closed
- Grant amount: From $2,000,000 to $20,000,000
- Application opened: 5 October 2022
- Application closed: 14 November 2022, 5:00 pm
The $110 million Regional Investment Activation Fund (RIAF) will co-invest with eligible entities on catalytic projects that will deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for a priority industry or location.
The objectives of the grant are to:
- Support the growth of existing industries and the establishment of new/emerging industries where regional NSW has a strong actual or potential competitive advantage
- Activate the economic potential of Special Activation Precincts, Regional Job Precincts, Renewable Energy Zones, hydrogen hubs and other priority locations through increased private sector investment
- Create new high quality employment opportunities
- Support the shift towards higher-value-added activities and participation in global value chains and supply chains
- Promote collaboration between businesses, education and research institutions and other parties through sharing of knowledge, resources and infrastructure.
Stream One is an open, competitive grants program with a two-stage application and assessment process (Expression of Interest followed by Detailed Application). Eligible applications will be assessed on their comparative merits against the nominated eligibility and assessment criteria.
This program is administered by Department of Regional NSW.
Who can apply
To be eligible to apply for funding through Stream One of the Regional Investment Activation Fund, applicants must:
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Be one of the following:
- A company incorporated in Australia
- A company limited by guarantee
- An incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- An incorporated association or co-operative
- An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.
- Be registered for GST
- Be financially viable and able to demonstrate that they are likely to remain so over the duration of the project
- Have at least $20 million public liability insurance or be able to secure before entering into a Funding Deed if successful.
Applicants must provide a cash co-contribution of at least 50 per cent of the total project cost.
Joint applications are strongly encouraged, provided the lead applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria. The lead applicant must enter into the Funding Deed and will be held ultimately responsible for the delivery of the project.
Applicants can be based internationally, interstate or in either metropolitan or regional NSW. International businesses will need an ABN, be registered for GST, have at least $20 million in public liability insurance and be an eligible entity (as listed above), to enter into a funding deed if they are successful.
Please refer to the Stream One Program Guidelines for further information about applicant eligibility, including examples of ineligible applicants.
To be eligible for funding through Stream One of the Regional Investment Activation Fund, projects must:
- Be located in one of the 93 regional NSW local government areas, the Unincorporated Far West or Lord Howe Island. Projects located in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Wollondilly), Newcastle or Wollongong Local Government Areas are not eligible
- Demonstrate the project would not occur in regional NSW at all, or in the same timeframe, without government investment support
- Be delivered by 30 May 2025. It is recommended applicants have a COVID plan in place to mitigate any potential delays due to COVID-19
- Deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for an industry or region
- Deliver economic benefits to multiple organisations or businesses
- Be registered for GST
- Provide proof of $20M of public liability insurance at time of contracting
- Secure approvals to meet project timeframes
- Confirm secured cash co-contribution.
Please refer to the Stream One Program Guidelines for further information about eligible projects, including examples of ineligible projects.
What funding can be used for
Stream One of the Regional Investment Activation Fund grant funding may be used for capital and other expenses directly related to the delivery of eligible projects. This may include:
- Purchase of land (if necessary for the project and suitable alternatives to rent do not exist)
- Purchasing, constructing, installing and/or commissioning new plant, equipment and/or machinery
- Purchasing, constructing, establishing and/or fitting out new facilities, buildings or hubs
- Purchasing technology and/or intellectual property (IP) required to undertake the project
- Upgrading existing facilities, buildings, plant, equipment, machinery and/or technology where necessary, to deliver the project and achieve its outcomes
- Cost of contractors to construct new buildings and facilities
- Costs relating to activities that directly contribute to, or enable knowledge sharing (i.e. reports, database development)
- External project management and administration costs up to 10% of project cost
- Contingency costs up to 25% of project cost
- Eligible costs incurred once both parties have signed a Funding Deed.
Applications should consider how they can support accessibility for people with disability above the Australian Standards (AS)1428.1-2009 or supporting universal design principles is encouraged.
Please refer to the Stream One Program Guideline for further information of eligible project costs, including examples of ineligible project costs.
What your application needs to include
For more information about Stream One of the Regional Investment Activation Fund, including the key dates, application and assessment process, see below:
The application process for Stream One will be coordinated by the Department of Regional NSW and undertaken in two stages:
- Stage 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI) application
- Stage 2 – Detailed Application (by invitation only).
All applicants must submit a Stage 1 EOI application. This provides an initial entry point for organisations seeking financial assistance under the Regional Investment Activation Fund.
- Applicants may submit more than one EOI application, per eligible project
- All EOI applications must be submitted online via the SmartyGrants portal
- All EOI applications must be submitted prior to the closing date and time specified in the Stream One Program Guidelines to be eligible for further assessment.
1. Stage 1 - EOI application must include:
- Organisation eligibility details as listed in Section 2.1 of Stream One Program Guidelines, primary activities of the organisation, industry sector, key competitors, ANZSIC code, ownership structure and project contact details
- A short description of:
- project scope and proposed use of the grant, including the aim, objectives, deliverables/outputs, timeframes for delivery and location
- proposed governance arrangements to manage the project
- organisation’s experience in delivering projects similar in scope and scale to the proposed project
- benefits the project is expected to provide
- collaboration arrangements including identification of project partners and how resources, technology and/or infrastructure will be shared (if applicable)
- status of any permissions or approvals relevant to the project and pathway to achieve all relevant permissions and approvals within the proposed project timeframe, for example development approval, landowner’s consent, other regulatory approvals such as required by the Therapeutics Goods Administration
- status of appropriate IP rights for the project (if applicable).
- Project budget including:
- estimated total cost of the project
- grant amount requested; and
- cash co-contribution amount and source.
- Financial statements (trading, profit & loss statements and balance sheets) for three continuous years starting from the latest available year or other evidence of financial viability if statements are not available (for example a signed statement from an external accountant).
2. Preparation of a Stage 2 Detailed Application – by invitation only
The Department will contact successful applicants of the Stage 1 EOI application process to discuss the Stage 2 Detailed Application process, including confirming the applicant’s capacity and willingness to participate.
The Department will provide a link to an online Stage 2 Detailed Application form, data sheet and other templates for applicants to complete. The Department will be available to support applicants with their preparation of applications and supporting documents.
- All applicants invited to submit a Detailed Application will be considered through a competitive grants evaluation process whereby each application will be assessed on its comparative merits
- All Detailed Applications must be submitted online via the Detailed Application form in the SmartyGrants portal
- For more information about the Stage 2 Detailed Application process and what to include for this, please refer to the Stream One Program Guidelines
The Department will assess an application against the eligibility criteria outlined in the Stream One Program Guideline, this includes:
- Whether the applicant or joint applicants meet the eligibility criteria to apply for funding
- Whether the projects meets the eligibility criteria for funding
- Whether the grant amount requested is within the eligible funding range
- Whether the grant will be used for capital or other eligible expenditure types, directly related to the delivery of an eligible project
- Competitive impacts
Where there is uncertainty or unintended outcomes arising from the eligibility requirements, the Department will take the approach that, in its opinion, best achieves the objectives of Regional Investment Activation Fund.
The Department will assess eligible Stage 1 EOI applications against two assessment criteria:
- Strategic alignment
- Project feasibility and deliverability.
A project must demonstrate compliance with the EOI assessment criteria to be eligible for progression to the Detailed Application stage.
A Departmental official will confirm that the application meets the eligibility criteria outlined in the Stream One Program Guideline. Final approval to progress to the Detailed Application stage will be made by an
executive from DRNSW.
The Department will assess Stage 2 Detailed Applications against the following seven assessment criteria:
- Strategic alignment
- Precinct or key industry activation
- Sustainable employment
The level of information provided should be proportional to the scale and complexity of the project. Applications with insufficient evidence or detail will be disadvantaged in the assessment.
Start the application
Expression of Interest for Stream One of the Regional Investment Activation Fund grant opportunity must be submitted online via SmartyGrants.
If submitting a joint application, only the lead applicant should complete an application form, but they must identify all other joint applicants as part of the application.
After the application is submitted
The assessment process will be coordinated by DRNSW and has two stages:
- Stage 1 – Expression of Interest
An Assessment Panel will review all eligible Stage 1 EOI applications against the grant eligibility and assessment criteria to determine if the application is considered suitable for progression to the Stage 2 Detailed Application stage.
Final approval to progress to the Stage 2 Detailed Application phase will be made by an executive from the Department.
- Stage 2 – Detailed Application (by Invitation Only)
The Assessment Panel will be convened to determine the suitability of each application for funding under Regional Investment Activation Fund. The relevant executive from DRNSW will approve the projects and funding amounts
For further information on the assessment process for Stage 1 and Stage 2, please refer to the program guidelines.
Through the assessment process, the Department may request additional information from the applicant/s. The Department may also seek advice from other NSW Government agencies or other third-party providers (such as probity advisors) to assist with the assessment of projects.
Successful applicants will be notified via a Letter of Offer and confidentiality document. Applicants may be requested to keep the grant confidential for a period if an announcement is likely to be made by the NSW Government.
Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application and will be offered a feedback information session.
Support and contact
Staff from the Department of Regional NSW are available to provide information and support for Regional Investment Activation Fund applicants, please contact us via:
Applicants should seek advice from their legal, business and financial advisers to determine the suitability of the funding before applying.