Last week, we talked a little about the Victorian Premier’s Jobs and Investment fund, which is very much focused on sectoral growth and job creation. Today we’re looking more closely at how organisations can put themselves in the best position to benefit from this fund.
In the 2015/16 budget, the government allocated $508 million to the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Fund – with some funding allocated to Start-Up Victoria and LaunchVic ($60 million) and the Future Industries Fund ($200 million).
Jobs and Investment Panel
At the heart of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Fund, however, is the Jobs and Investment Panel, which comprises senior economic and business leaders providing direct advice to the Premier on creating high-skill, high-wage jobs. The Jobs and Investment Panel will provide direct advice to the Premier on the expenditure of the other half of the fund, which is to be reserved for strategic, job-creating investments.
Industry has the opportunity to submit investment proposals that demonstrate strong growth opportunities in Victoria for funding consideration. Prior to consideration by the Jobs and Investment panel, these industry-led investment proposals will be reviewed by the Investment and Economics Project Group, within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).
Like any grant opportunity, all investment proposals must demonstrate a very strong fit with immediate government priorities. (These priorities clearly enunciated on the Premier’s home page, in the budget papers, and other government publications.) The investment proposal must also clearly identify the economic development opportunities to Victoria, such as the quantum and timing for real jobs growth and perhaps sector growth.
Future Industries Fund: New Energy Jobs Fund
The $200 million Future Industries Fund supports high-growth industry sectors that are critical to securing Victoria’s future as a competitive, innovative and outward looking economy. A grants program delivered through the Future Industries Fund will support the government’s six priority sectors that are identified as having the potential for high economic growth and the capacity to create high-skill, high wage jobs.
One of these six priority sectors is ‘new energy technologies’, which has been allocated $20 million of funding through the New Energy Jobs Fund. This fund will support Victorian-based projects that create long-term sustainable jobs, increase the uptake of renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive innovation in new energy technologies.
Funding will be available through three annual grant rounds, the first round of which opened in December 2015 and will close 16 March 2016. Up to $5 million is available for round one. The second and third grant rounds are expected to open in the second half of 2016 and 2017.
The program offers grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. Projects under the Community category can apply for funding of up to $100,000 for the development of a business case or up to $1 million for project implementation and advisory services. Under exceptional circumstances, grants of up to $2 million may be considered. Such projects would need to clearly demonstrate exceptional merit and benefit to the State to warrant consideration.