EOI Guidelines

Who should submit an EOI?

An EOI can be submitted by a consortium or a single organisation with a project proposal that demonstrates a clear benefit for the energy resources sector. Organisations must be based in Australia with Intellectual Property created through the project remaining in Australia. You can access the EOI form on this page.

Consortium
Key requirements for a consortium are:

  • Involvement of a minimum of two independent organisations drawn from any combination of producers, small to large service and/or equipment providers, research and academia. Consortium members must operate business in Australia, or principally in Australia.
  • All consortium members should be committed to the project prior to the submission of the EOI.
  • Each consortium lead will be required to sign a funding contract with NERA and separately with their consortium members.

Single entity
Submissions can be made by single entities on the condition that the outcomes of the project are accessible to the broader energy resources sector.


While we accept all projects that have a clear benefit for the energy resources sector, in this round of funding we are targeting the following four focus areas:


Remote operations, robotics and Artificial Intelligence


Unconventional gas technologies


Hydrogen


Decommissioning

Eligibility and selection criteria

Eligibility criteria for NERA’s Future Tech Funds are set out as follows:

  • The extent of alignment with NERA’s 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP), Knowledge Priorities, and the areas of focus for this EOI.
  • Projects must demonstrate innovative approaches, clear commercialisation applications and implementation timeframes. Project Funds are not intended to support discovery or basic research.
  • The extent to which the project addresses a gap in the capacity and capability of the energy resources sector.
  • The extent to which the project will deliver national and sector-wide impact.
  • Demonstrated evidence of technical, methodological and management capability to deliver the project, including track record and risk profile.
  • The consortium or single entity must have access to, or ownership of, the intellectual property (IP) necessary to conduct the project should it be required.
  • Any IP created through the project should remain in Australia.
  • Projects must be completed on or before the 31 December 2021.


Knowledge Priorities

1

Enhance skills and business capabilities to support automation and digitisation

2

Build talent and enable effective collaboration and innovation

3

Pursue a sustainable and low carbon energy future

4

Understand and unlock Australia's resource base

5

Develop new market and business models

6

Commercialise technology and research

7

Enhance efficiency in operations and maintenance

8

Optimise the regulatory framework

Project funding criteria

The awarding of funds will be dependent upon the quality of the EOI, the potential impact of the project, the number of other successful applications and the amount of funding sought.

NERA can potentially match industry funding; however, funding is limited so it is highly recommended that you engage with a NERA representative (eoi@nera.org.au) prior to submitting an EOI application. The Project Fund allows NERA to potentially match industry funding from $100,000 up to $500,000.

Consortia or single entities must contribute cash at least equal to the project funding requested, either individually or collectively. For example, if NERA provides a financial contribution of $100,000, the consortium members or single entity collectively must provide financial contributions of at least $100,000.

Where funding is being provided by a third party then letters of support detailing the commitment of this funding should be provided to support your application.

In-kind contributions can be made by participants but cannot be matched by NERA.

Contributions from other government agencies, whether they are federal and/or state/territory do not count towards the matched funding contribution and must also be matched with at least equal cash contributions. For example, if NERA provides project funds of $100,000 and other government contributions to that project are $50,000, the threshold cash contribution required from the consortium is $150,000.

Project 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 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.

Reporting on the use of project funds and the cash contribution of participants will be required by NERA from successful applicants.

NERA project funding will be payable by instalments as agreed with NERA and will link to agreed milestones.


Award of funding and reporting

The Project Funding Agreement will include full details of the project including scope, milestones, deliverables, funding, governance and oversight arrangements, and reporting requirements.

The terms and conditions of the funding and timing of instalments will be set out in the Project Funding Agreement between the project participants and NERA.

Within 14 days of a signed Project Funding Agreement, NERA is required to provide details of projects which it funds on its website, but not including confidential information. Information to be published includes:

  • A description of the project and an overview of how the project meets NERA’s strategic priorities and the objectives of the Project Fund;
  • A list of project participants; and
  • Details of funding for the project, namely total NERA funding, and total industry co-contributions for the project.

When a Project Funding Agreement is fully executed, NERA reserves the right to publicly report on the progress and outcomes of the project, consulting with the project partners prior to doing so.

Reporting on the project is to be provided to NERA as outlined in the Project Funding Agreement. On project completion, a report is to be submitted to NERA which describes project learnings and outcomes.


    Selection and approval process

    The following process and timeframe will be applied to reviewing, selecting and approving project proposals from NERA’s Future Tech Fund. Key dates:

    8 Aug 2019 - 30 Sept 2019

    Applications open — The process includes a short EOI template that is completed online. This forms the basis of the project proposal which will be used to assess eligibility.

    1 Oct 2019 – 13 Nov 2019

    EOIs will be evaluated by NERA, who may seek specialised assistance. Further information and supporting material may be requested by NERA when developing a shortlist. Short listed project proposals may be asked to provide a presentation of their project in the first week of November.

    20 Nov 2019

    NERA’s Programme Development Committee (a subcommittee of NERA’s Board) will review and assess shortlisted EOIs for recommendation to NERA’s Board.

    4 Dec 2019

    Recommended project proposals will be reviewed for approval at NERA’s December Board meeting.

    5 Dec 2019

    Successful applicants will be notified and sent a draft Project Funding Agreement with NERA.

    28 Feb 2020

    While NERA acknowledges that contractual discussions can take some time, NERA is aiming to have Project Funding Agreements fully executed by all parties by the end of February 2020. Funding arrangements cannot commence until a Project Funding Agreement is in place. Failure to enter into an agreement by 28 February 2020 may result in withdrawal of the offer by NERA.


    Submission of EOI

    EOI submissions are to be provided using an on-line form. The form has mandatory fields and word limits, so please ensure you are able to describe your application in a clear, succinct way.

    The form will allow for up to three attachments at the end of the application.

    You can access the EOI form at the end of this page.


    NERA will not disclose EOI contents and EOI information, except:

    • as required by law;
    • for the purpose of investigations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or other government authorities having relevant jurisdiction;
    • to external advisers who may be engaged to assist with the EOI review process.

    No legal relationship will be created between NERA and any successful applicant unless a binding Project Funding Agreement is executed by both parties.

    NERA reserves the right, in its absolute discretion at any time, to vary or extend any time or date specified for an EOI round and can amend these guidelines and EOI terms and conditions. These guidelines do not form any legal arrangement between NERA and any other party.

    Questions about EOIs should be directed to NERA at eoi@nera.org.au and a relevant representative will be in contact.