The New South Wales government is seeking applications for a share of $52 million worth of clean technology grants in a bid to boost commercial development in low emission technologies.
The $45 million research, development, and commercialisation infrastructure grants program and the $1 million first round of the clean technology ecosystem grants program are now open for expressions of interest (EOIs), with applications closing on April 22.
Further, the $6 million first round of the technology commercialisation grants program will open during the second quarter of 2022. Overall, $10 million has been set aside for the ecosystem program, and $40 million for the commercialisation program.
Firms applying for the infrastructure grants can receive support between $1 million and $10 million, which must be met with co-contributions from another source of equal value. Aside from physical infrastructure, data generating e-infrastructure projects are also eligible.
Following the full application process in the second half of the year, funding offers will be made in the first half of 2023. Funded projects must then start work within three months of signing a funding agreement.
Similarly, the $250,000 to $2 million clean technology ecosystem grants must also be met with a one-to-one co-contribution rate for projects in Greater Sydney Districts, but a two-to-one government-to-applicant co-contribution for projects in the regions. Although the applications timeline mimics the infrastructure grant, funding offers are expected to be made before the end of 2022.
The ecosystem grants target startups and early-stage developments as well as commercialisation training for clean technology researchers at public research institutions.
Finally, firms can apply for clean technology commercialisation grants in the range $250,000-$5 million, again conditional on minimum co-contributions of equal value. Eligible projects include demonstration and full-scale pilots, production scale up, and engaging professionals to provide commercialisation guidance, among others. Offers will also be made at the end of 2022.
Grant assessments will be undertaken by an evaluation committee within the Department of Planning and Environment, although external experts or advisors may be consulted. This may include advice from the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board.
These grants are part of the larger $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program announced in March 2021. Financial support under the program will be allocated until 2030.
When it was announced, $380 million was to support high emitting industries decarbonise, $175 million was to set up low carbon industries such as green hydrogen, and $195 million for research and development into new clean technology.
At the time of the announcement NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said it was important to reach environmental goals in a way that promotes economic growth.
“NSW was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to set a net zero objective, but we must get there in a way that grows the economy, makes our businesses and industry more competitive and puts us ahead of the pack in the low carbon global economy,” Mr Kean said.
“This $750 million program will support the development of new clean technologies, create world-leading centres of research and development and help existing industries future-proof their operations.”
In February 2022, the NSW government allocated a further $300 million to setting up low carbon industries as a response to the early closure of the coal fired Eraring Power Station.
This supports the long-term goal of reducing NSW emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050, which was outlined in the NSW Net Zero Plan at the end of Septem
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