Article:

Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund is Now Open

21 January 2020

Nicola Purser , Partner, Research & Development |

Applications for the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund are now open, fast-tracking collaborative projects for mining equipment, technology, and services companies.

Organisations can now submit an expression of interest for funding between $50,000 to $250,000 per project to develop or undertake collaborative activities with other METS companies with complementary expertise.

Projects from all areas of mining and METS innovation will be considered, with a focus in any of the following fields strongly encouraged:

  • Digital and data analytics
  • Automation & robotics
  • Tailings and mine-affected water.

BDO has compiled a short guide to the Queensland Collaborative Projects Funds, including information on the application and selection process.

Funding information:

Between $50,000 and $250,000 in funding is available per project. Funding is based on the following conditions:

  • Grants must be at least matched by the applicant considering all government funding sources. That is, all contributions from Government Agencies, whether they are Federal, or State must at least be matched in cash by the Consortium Applicants.
  • Funding may be payable by installment and linked to milestones (suggested by applicant in the proposal). This may include an upfront payment of up to 25% with subsequent payments being administered based on milestone completion.

Application Process:

  • Expression of Interests (EOI) can be submitted via the Short Proposal Application form and emailed to [email protected] Closing date is 16 March 2020 (close of business AEST).
  • Submission of an Enhanced Proposal (detailed application) will follow the successful short-listing process. 

Selection Process:

  • METS will seek Short Proposals from prospective consortiums
  • METS Ignited will evaluate Short Proposals and may elect to fund a project solely based on the Short Proposal
  • A selection of Short Proposals may advance to the Enhanced Proposal stage
  • METS Ignited will evaluate the Enhanced Proposals. Successful Proposals will be submitted to an appointed panel for final approval
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a Funding Agreement with METS Ignited, before being entitled to any payments.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Lead applicants must be a METS company based in Queensland, representing a consortium of industry partners that may include interstate or overseas companies from outside the METS sector with at least two METS companies represented and a minimum of three SME’s in total
  • The maximum project period is one year (no minimum project period). Follow-on projects are permitted provided they demonstrate a clear difference to the initial work
  • Proposed matched funds requested must be a minimum $50,000 though total projects costs are not under any financial limit
  • Projects must demonstrate real commercial or operational benefit for the mining company or major METS company involved and must not relate to basic/discovery research
  • Projects must seek to build on a live business opportunity, have customer involvement and contribution to funding and deliver broad benefits to their regional business community (E.g. via capability development and social license)
  • Demonstrate and confirm ownership or access to the IP necessary to conduct the Project and a clear demonstration of how the collaboration will work between the consortium partners
  • Applications must include a detailed budget that separately identifies all cost inputs and other contributions, supporting schedules and statements that evidence compliance with the above principles, together with a proposed mechanism for auditing the project activities.

Assessment Criteria:

The following criteria are equally weighted and must be clearly demonstrated by the project proposal:

  1. Alignment: Extent of alignment with METS Ignited’s strategy around collaboration and innovation
  2. Market Opportunity: Extent to which the project addresses a gap in capacity and capability of the mining company, major METS company or the METS sector, and is business-ready (viable commercial pathways including customer ecosystem readiness considerations)
  3. Impact: Extent to which the project will deliver local, regional, national and sector-wide impact, considering also the funding ratio (Government to industry cash ratio)
  4. Skills and Education: Extent to which the project will improve training or workforce skills development
  5. Management capability and risk: Demonstrated evidence of technical, methodological and management capability to deliver the project, including track record and risk profile.

Eligible Project Costs:

The fund is intended to be flexible and can support a wide range of projects including those that focus on market, value chain or technology issues to deliver commercial outcomes that have a sector-wide impact:

  • Construction, renovation or extension of facilities such as buildings or laboratories, but only where the primary purpose of those facilities is to achieve the outcomes of a Project
  • Research and development that has known commercial application(s) and a clear timeframe for implementation are eligible
  • Cost incurred from outsourcing some of the project is directly related to research elements in a project.

Note that eligible expenditure can be accrued from the day a funding agreement is signed.

Ineligible Project Costs:

  • Charges for all ‘internal resources’ of the applicant that would be incurred irrespective of whether the Project was undertaken or not:
    • Applicant employee salaries or wages
    • Fees for the use of a proponent’s facilities
    • Use of applicant-owned plant and equipment
    • Any charges related to participant overhead recovery
    • Cost of access to IP
  • Costs relating to discovery or basic research
  • General operating costs incurred by the recipient and collaborative partners including administrative, general business, training, operational and production costs.

Useful Links:

For more information on the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund please contact your local BDO adviser.