NERA can potentially match industry funding from $100,000 up to $500,000. Funding is limited so it is highly recommend that you engage with a NERA representative prior to submitting an application.
In this round of funding NERA is specially targeting the following focus areas impacting the Australian energy resources sector: Remote Operations, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Unconventional Gas Technologies, Hydrogen and Decommissioning. Proposal in other areas of the sector will still be considered. All proposals must address the objectives of the Growth Centre and clearly demonstrate national or sector wide benefit. Assessment criteria includes:
  • Extent of alignment with the NERA 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) and Knowledge Priorities.
  • Extent of alignment of the focus areas called for in this expressions of interest process.
  • Extent to which the project addresses a gap in the capacity and capability of the energy resources sector.
  • Extent to which the project will deliver national and sector wide impact and how the results will be made available.
  • Extent to which the project will improve training or workforce skills.
  • Demonstrated evidence of technical, methodological and management capability to deliver the project, including track record and risk profile.
  • Projects must be completed by 31 December 2021.
NERA welcomes project proposals for applied research and development that has known commercial application and a clear timeframe for implementation. NERA project funds are not intended to support discovery of basic research. While the research can originate in other countries the results of the project must be proven in Australia and clearly benefit the Australian energy resources sector. NERA strongly encourages research to be undertaken in Australia where possible. NERA’s understanding is the project participants are still eligible for the R&D tax incentive on their individual cash contributions to the project. However, NERA encourages project participants to check this with their accountant.
Signed contracts or agreements are not required as part of the EOI process. Written commitment to the project should be obtained from all project participants before including their details in the EOI document. Delays in signing the project funding or consortium funding agreements are common if written commitment is not obtained from consortium members as part of the EOI process.
NERA will acknowledge any pre-existing IP. Ownership of IP created as part of any NERA-funded project will need to be negotiated and outlined in the project funding or consortium agreement.
Successful applicants will be required to enter into either a project funding or consortium funding agreement with NERA before being entitled to payments. Projects will not commence until such agreements are in place. Funding is dependent on a number of factors including the number of other successful projects and the overall benefit the project has to the energy resources sector.
NERA project funds must be at least matched by project participants cash. Cash contributions are the financial/cash contributions of the industry funding partners. NERA welcomes in-kind contributions towards projects but can only match cash contributions and not in-kind funding (such as existing employees). Project Funds cannot be used to duplicate, but may complement and leverage funding arrangements from other government sources including from State and Territory Governments. Any additional Government cash contributions must also be matched with equal additional industry cash co-contributions. In-kind or cash contributions from Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and Applied Research Centres (ARCs) are not considered matched funding so NERA will not provide project funds matched by CRCs and ARCs alone.
Projects funds may be used for activities directly related to the project, for example equipment testing, software, laboratory disposables, equipment directly related to the activities in the project, materials, travel and accommodation for field activities in Australia. Project funds can be used for capital works where the works are directly related to the project. Project Funds may be used to pay for the 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 the Project.
Project funds cannot be used to reimburse parties for in-kind contributions or to pay indirect costs of the project. Project funds cannot be used for international travel, salaries for international personnel or students or any overseas activities, unless the parties can demonstrate to NERA’s satisfaction that the activities are directly related to the project.
Applicants will be notified in writing if they are successful or not and which session they will be in by the end of January 2020.
An EOI can be submitted by a consortium or a single entity with a project proposal that demonstrates a clear benefit for the energy resources sector. Submissions can be made by single entities on the condition that the outcomes of the project are accessible to the broader energy resources sector. NERA strongly encourages as much collaboration as possible. The expectation is that local and Australian service providers should be used on the project and the results of the project must clearly benefit the Australian energy resources sector. Consortium members do not have to be an energy resources company. They only have to demonstrate how the project will have clear benefit to the sector. A CRC or a university can be the lead of a consortium; however, there must be clear industry involvement and industry cash contributions for matched funding.
Yes. NERA may be required to disclose information to the Federal Government Department of Industry Innovation and Science as part of its reporting requirements. Both NERA and the Federal Government have processes in place for commercially sensitive information.