The AustCyber Projects Fund

Grant Organiser https://www.austcyber.com/grow/projects-fund
Grant Overview The AustCyber Projects Fund is a $15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cyber security industry grow and take ideas global. Over the past 12 months, AustCyber has provided $6.5 million in funding across ten projects that are making a real contribution to growing Australia’s cyber security ecosystem. In 2019, an additional $8.5 million will be awarded to fund industry led projects that deliver on the goals of the Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan.
Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible the applicant must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be non tax-exempt
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • be operating as a business for a minimum 12 months and be able to provide the proposed matching funds at each milestone payment.

and be one of the following entities:

  • a company, incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust

Joint applications are acceptable, provided there is a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project, and the lead applicant is eligible to apply.

Additional eligibility requirements

Applicants must have access to, or ownership of, the intellectual property (IP) necessary to conduct the Project should it be required.

Project participants must demonstrate the financial capacity to complete the project. This must be demonstrated through the provision of financial evidence during the full application stage of the process. The portion of funding provided by AustCyber Project Funds will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.

Merit Criteria

To be accepted for funding, applicants will need to address all merit criteria in their EOI application. AustCyber will assess applications against the merit criterion using a scoring framework.

Project Fund EOIs that progress to the full Project Application stage will be asked additional questions that relate to the merit criteria listed below. The amount of detail and supporting evidence the applicant provides should be relative to the project size, complexity and project amount requested. The applicant should provide evidence to support their answers. The application forms include word limits for answers and pitches at Stage 2 will be time capped.

As a merit-based program, funding will only be awarded when Project Applications score satisfactorily against all merit criteria at each stage of the process.

Merit criterion 1

Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The AustCyber Project Fund can be used for early stage development of new technologies and products. Projects should start at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4 or higher. Projects at a lower TRL will not be considered. Projects can also provide a solution that addresses a specific industry problem. Projects that are addressing an identified industry problem must demonstrate a TRL of no less than 5 and finish at 8 or higher.

TRL definitions can be found on the Additional Information page.

Merit criterion 2

Alignment with the Knowledge Priorities of Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan. AustCyber led research identified several Knowledge Priorities in line with the current and foreseeable needs and opportunities for industry research and commercialisation in the Australian cyber security sector. These are:

  1. Emerging prevention, detection and response technologies
  2. Identity, authentication and authorisation in the cyber domain
  3. Ensuring security, privacy, trust and ethical use of emerging technologies and services such as:
    • Cloud computing relevant
    • Cyber-physical systems, including the Internet of Things, robotics, self-driving cars etc.
    • Machine learning
    • Big data and data analytics
    • Mobile applications
  4. Approaches to deal with the increasingly ‘shared’ responsibility of cyber security

Detailed Information on AustCyber Knowledge Priorities can be found here.

Merit criterion 3

National benefit. AustCyber has identified a need to develop certain infrastructure to sustain the growth of the cyber security sector. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how the project proposal will benefit Australia and or the broader Australian cyber security sector after project completion. The Project should have the potential to generate significant spill overs and develop world best commercial activity. Responses should demonstrate:

  • The level of potential impact and contribution to the growth of the ecosystem
  • Creating a champion for the sector and showcasing Australian capability both domestically and internationally
  • Creating a pathway for growth for other cyber security companies
  • Level of innovation / emerging technology
Level of Funding:

The maximum amount of Projects Fund to be awarded through this process is AUD$8,500,000 for this round. Match funding for projects can be between AUD$100,000 and AUD$3,000,000. The funding amount for each project will be up to 50% of eligible project costs. The amount awarded will be relative to the project size and complexity, and the extent that it meets the merit criteria.

Any funds not allocated during this round may be allocated in future rounds.

Process

An overview of the sequential selection process and time frame for assessment, decision making, and disbursement of funds is included below.

AustCyber will seek Expressions of Interest (EOI) for projects. AustCyber will assess the EOIs against the merit criteria and appropriate project proposals will be shortlisted to ‘pitch’ their proposal to a panel of experts which include independent industry representatives and technical experts. Those shortlisted through the pitch process will be invited to prepare and submit a full application.

The AustCyber Projects Fund is a competitive, closed process under which applications must be submitted by due dates. Applications received after the due dates will not be considered. All EOIs submitted are assessed individually against the merit criteria. Funding decisions in relation to each application will be determined with consideration for the comparative merits of other applications.

Funding Available for:

Project funds may be used for activities directly related to the project, for example:

  • equipment development, testing and installation
  • software development, testing and deployment
  • materials, consumables and laboratory disposables
  • salaries and consulting fees directly related to the activities in the project
  • travel and accommodation for field activities in Australia
  • capital expenditure where the equipment/works are directly related to the project.

Entities that are partly government funded such as Universities and TAFEs may apply to the Projects Fund provided that they can adequately evidence that their portion of match funding has come from commercial revenue and not from other government funding sources (e.g block grant funding).

Important Dates: Expressions of interest close 12 July 2019
Contact Details: If you have any questions, please email projectsfund@austcyber.com.
Further Information and Applications:
Web: https://www.austcyber.com/grow/projects-fund