This grant supports projects that are time-sensitive and strategically significant for a priority industry or location. Projects may be recommended for funding support under the Regional Investment Activation Fund.
- Status: Open
- Grant amount: From $1,000,000 to $10,000,000
- Application opened: 5 October 2022
- Application closes: 31 December 2024, 5:00 pm
The $110 million Regional Investment Activation Fund will co-invest with eligible entities on 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 Two is an open, non-competitive grants program where applicants can contact the Department to apply for funding. This stream aims to provide increased flexibility to secure investments that are time sensitive and strategically significant for a priority industry or location.
This program is administered by Department of Regional NSW.
Who can apply
To be eligible to apply for funding through Stream Two 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 eligible under Stream Two of the Regional Investment Activation Fund provided the lead applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria and the proposed project aligns to the key objectives of the fund and Stream Two.
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 Two Program Guidelines for further information about applicant eligibility including examples of ineligible applicants.
To be eligible for funding through Stream Two 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 and operational by 30 May 2025. It is recommended applicants have a COVID plan in place to mitigate any potential delays due to COVID-19
- Support sustainable employment opportunities and drive increased productivity, innovation and competitiveness of businesses in regional NSW priority industries or in a location of strategic importance
- Deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for a priority industry or location
- Provide proof of $20 million of public liability insurance at time of contracting
- Secure approvals to meet project timeframes
- Confirm secured cash co-contribution
- Not be suitable for financial support under other Australian and/or NSW Government funding programs, or requires a NSW Government funding co-contribution to support an application to another government or industry program.
Please refer to the Stream Two Program Guideline for further information about eligible projects, including examples of ineligible projects.
What funding can be used for
Stream Two 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
- 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.
Applicants should consider how they can support accessibility for people with disability above the Australian Standards (AS)1428.1-2009 or supporting universal design principles when undertaking new or upgraded site works and fit out.
Please refer to the Stream Two Program Guideline for further information of eligible project costs, including examples of ineligible project costs.
What your application needs to include
You can download the complete Stream Two Program Guideline below:
Applicants can contact the Department to apply for Stream Two funding of the Regional Investment Activation Fund. There are two stages as part of the application process:
- Stage 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI) Application
- Stage 2 – Detailed Application.
1a. Stage 1 Expression of Interest - Pre-submission meeting
A pre-submission meeting will be held between the applicant and the Department to formally explore whether the project is likely to meet the Regional Investment Activation Fund Stream Two eligibility and assessment criteria.
The applicant will be required to demonstrate the project is time-sensitive and strategically significant for a priority industry or location to progress through the process. Other key attributes, benefits, requirements and assumptions underlying the potential project may also be discussed.
If the applicant and the project meet the eligibility criteria and the applicant chooses to proceed, an invitation and pack of supporting materials will be provided to the applicant.
- Applicants will be provided with the invitation within five days of the pre-submission meeting.
1b. Stage 1 - Expression of Interest Application
Applicants who are invited to submit an EOI Application must include:
- Organisation eligibility details, primary activities of the organisation, entity type (e.g., company, trust, cooperative, partnership etc), industry sector, key competitors, ANZSIC code, ownership structure and project contact details
- A short description of:
- Unique attributes of the project that make it time-sensitive and demonstrate that it is strategically significant for a priority industry or location
- 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 through the Therapeutics Goods Administration
- Status of appropriate IP rights for the project (if applicable).
- Project budget including the estimated total cost of the project, grant request to the NSW Government, and cash co-contribution amount and source details
- 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).
- Applications must meet the eligibility criteria and demonstrate compliance with the EOI assessment criteria outlined in the Stream Two Program Guidelines to be considered suitable for progression to the Detailed Application stage
- Notification of the assessment outcome will be within seven business days of the EOI Application submission by inviting applicants to partake in a Detailed Application.
2. Stage 2 - Detailed Application
The Department will contact successful applicants of the EOI Application process to discuss the Detailed Application process including confirmation of willingness to participate.
The Department will provide a link to an online Detailed Application form, data sheet and other templates for applicants to complete. The Department will be available to support applicants with the preparation of applications and supporting documents.
The Department will assess an application against the eligibility criteria outlined in the Stream Two Program Guideline, this includes:
- Whether the applicant meets 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
Applications will be assessed against the Detailed Assessment Criteria outlined in Section 5.3 of the Stream Two Program Guidelines. Applicants should ensure they provide as much information as possible to demonstrate evidence of:
- The unique attributes of the project that make it time-sensitive and strategically significant for a priority industry or location
- Project alignment to the objectives of Regional Investment Activation Fund and relevant NSW policies, strategies and frameworks
- Experience in delivering projects similar in scope and scale to the project or otherwise demonstrates capability and capacity to deliver the project
- Project readiness, including status of development applications, landowner’s consent and/or regulatory approvals where required or applicable
- Co-contribution to the project, including from the applicant and other sources, that demonstrates to DRNSW that the applicant has sufficient funds available for the required co-contribution amount
- Other expected benefits of the project and how they will be measured
- Rationale for and impact of government financial support including but not limited to:
- Secure the investment if the project is contestable
- Address a funding gap
- Improve an uncommercial payback period
- Bring forward the project by a number of years
- Deliver greater scale benefits
- Provide certainty and confidence to project lenders, equity partners and foreign investors etc.
Applications with insufficient evidence or detail will be disadvantaged in the assessment.
Subject matter experts and/or technical advisors may be consulted to assist in the assessment of projects.
Start the application
To speak to a Department representative to arrange a pre-submission meeting contact: email@example.com
NOTE - applications received from 16 December 2022 to 8 January 2023 will be processed after 9 January 2023, due to the departmental shut down period.
After the application is submitted
The assessment of applications will be coordinated by the Department and undertaken in two stages:
Stage 1 – EOI Application
A suitably qualified Departmental official will assess the application against the eligibility and EOI assessment criteria outlined in the Stream Two Program Guidelines.
- A Department executive will provide a recommendation as to whether the project is considered suitable for progression to the Detailed Application stage.
- Ineligible applications will not be considered for further assessment.
Stage 2 – Detailed Application
The Assessment Panel will be convened to determine the suitability of the application for funding under Regional Investment Activation Fund. The relevant executive from the Department will provide final funding approval of the project and funding amount.
The Assessment Panel may also consider the following factors when assessing the suitability of the project for funding:
- Geographical and industry spread of projects across regional NSW
- The amount of funding available
- Suitability of the project for other government funding opportunities
- Applications that have requested consideration for extenuating circumstances (e.g. less than the minimum required co-contribution, late submissions etc) and have provided supporting evidence for being unable to meet a threshold requirement
- Whether further information is required to make an informed decision and delay the status of an application, and
- An independent probity advisor will be present during the Assessment Panel meetings. Industry experts, either internal or external to the NSW Government, may advise the Assessment Panel during the assessment.
For further information on the assessment process for Stage 1 and Stage 2, please refer to the Stream Two Program Guidelines.
Successful applications will be decided by the Assessment Panel, with final funding approval to be made by an executive from the Department.
Successful applicants will be notified via email and/or letter. 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.