Research Fund Guidelines Round 2 Project Stream
The application, including attachments, must be submitted via email, with ‘Projects Stream’ in the subject line, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. About TSA
Australia generates a significant quantity of waste tyres every year, many of which are not managed in an environmentally sound manner. Poor practice by some operators has led to incidents of illegal dumping and dangerous stockpiling which poses a very real risk to environment and human health.
Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) is a not-for-profit company established to administer the national Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme (‘the scheme’), the objectives of which are to:
increase resource recovery and recycling and minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end-of-life tyres generated in Australia, and
develop Australia’s tyre recycling industry and markets for tyre-derived products.
The scheme provides an industry led and government supported framework to effectively reduce the environmental, health and safety impacts of the 52 million equivalent passenger units (EPU), which reach the end of their life in Australia each year.
TSA is supported by a 25 cent per EPU levy on new tyres coming into Australia and uses these funds to deliver a robust audit and compliance scheme and support research and development projects.
The Tyre Stewardship Research Fund (‘the fund’) is the primary mechanism for TSA to facilitate investment and support to develop Australia’s tyre recycling industry and markets for tyre derived products.
This document contains the guidelines and expression of interest form for Round 2 of the fund. Interested applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines in detail prior to lodging any application for funding.
If you’d like to talk to someone about Round 2 of the Tyre Stewardship Research Fund, contact:
Liam O’Keefe - Market Development Manager - E-mail: email@example.com
2. Tyre Stewardship Research Fund objectives
The Australian tyre recycling industry produces a number of tyre-derived products (TDP) such as crumb rubber and rubber granules that can be used in applications from road construction and playground surfacing to adhesives and binders, and even as an additive into explosives. However, at this point the market for these products is not large enough to absorb all of the waste tyres being created in Australia.
The TSA Board has therefore established the fund as a means of stimulating development of new products and new markets for TDP.
Put simply, the primary objective of the fund is to invest in projects that lead to higher sales of tyre derived product being made by Australian tyre recyclers and manufacturers.
The TSA Guidelines support this by noting the broad objectives of funding to be:
advance innovative technologies in Australia by supporting focused, collaborative research in high priority technologies;
retain local expertise in, and attract international expertise to, Australia in technologies related to end-of-life tyres;
support the growth of skills and capacity in Australia in technologies related to end of life tyres for the domestic and international markets; and
share the results of that research with the wider industry as appropriate whilst respecting intellectual property rights.
The fund is being delivered in two streams:
Project Stream – Funding to support research and development projects that will lead to increased uptake of tyre derived products (this document pertains to the Project Stream)
PhD Scholarship Stream – Specific PhD scholarships for students looking to investigate future technology and solutions that may transform markets for tyre recycling and tyre-derived products (guidelines and an application form for the PhD Scholarship Stream can be found here).
3. Why does TSA provide market development funding?
In order to minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end-of-life tyres, Australia needs diverse and sustainable markets for TDP. Stronger markets for TDP will mean more tyres get recycled rather than mishandled and stockpiled creating risk for the community. Stronger markets will reduce this risk by creating more value for waste tyres, driving more competition for material thereby supporting a more robust recycling market that feeds a more diverse and voracious TDP consuming manufacturing sector.
The intent of the fund is to enhance local market development and product development initiatives that demonstrate the value of new and enhanced applications for TDP. Our aim is to support research and development that brings together strong partnerships across industry, universities and governments to demonstrate both the technical and financial viability of new products and new applications.
Therefore, a significant portion of revenue collected from the TSA levy is directed to research and development and associated market development activities. This will act to support development of this evidence base and promote greater investment in new products and applications via the fund.
4.1 What will be funded?
It is the intention of the TSA Board that the fund evolve over time to ensure that we are targeting the most relevant and outcomes focused research. As such, the fund will be released in annual rounds, which may differ significantly in focus, priorities and process.
Round 2 of the fund will support projects that will lead to a direct increase in the local consumption of tyre-derived products that are currently on the market, such as crumb rubber, rubber granule and shredder tyre products.
Round 2 Priority Areas
The priority outcome to be achieved from Project Stream applications is a direct increase in the local consumption of Australian tyre-derived product through new and expanded markets.
Applications will be assessed most favorably if they are BOTH innovative in nature and have the potential to consume high volumes of Australian tyre derived product.
Projects will also be strongly considered if they can demonstrate EITHER innovative new approaches to consuming TDP or are likely to consume large volumes of TDP.
Projects where collaborative partnerships between industry, research bodies and “end users” can be demonstrated will be prioritized by TSA.
All projects must be rated highly in relation to the assessment criteria (see guidelines), with a particular emphasis on:
a clear business case that articulates the potential increase in consumption of TDP the project will achieve
a clear statement of how the project will capitalize on the characteristics of TDP to create new and improved products or processes
Examples of priority markets and applications TSA will support in the Project Stream include (but is not limited to) road, rail, polymer based products, building/infrastructure initiatives and explosives.
Please note, TSA will consider other models, partnerships, project areas and proposals, as long as they can demonstrably contribute to reaching TSAs desired outcomes and objectives (see the Guidelines for more information). Therefore, if you have a potential project proposal or idea, please feel free contact TSA to discuss.
We are most interested in projects that can bring together multiple parties in partnership including industry, government and research organisations. TSA believes that having organisations that make products and buy products working closely with research bodies who can test and advance new products offers the best chance of long term success.
For example, a strong project proposal will most likely involve partnerships between:
an organisation that can evidence the beneficial applications for TDP such as a university or other research and development oriented organisations and;
a partner organisation that can realise the market potential of the identified application such as a manufacturer or customer that may purchase or sell the tyre-derived product.
Ideally, TSA is looking to work with organisations and partnerships that:
have a proven record of research and development related to tyre-derived products
have the capacity and capability to deliver outcomes to the industry by creating a positive market impact from the funded research
can demonstrate linkages with “end users” (i.e. those customers who may consume increased amounts of tyre derived products)
directly support industry in reaching the objective of improved markets for tyre-derived products
Within the project priorities and partnerships described above, TSA will fund:
Personnel (i.e. staff engaged in the project, but only for the time they are engaged with the project. Note that any time spent on the project by existing personnel will be considered as in-kind funding only)
Research / laboratory / testing costs
Use of equipment required for the project (TSA will consider purchase of specific new equipment for testing where there is likely to be a broader industry benefit)
Field testing to validate laboratory trials
Materials consumed (must use Australian TDP for any funded activities)
External consultants where required for specialist work, such as economic or feasibility analysis or market analysis for new products directly related to the project (these costs must not exceed more than 20% of the total project cost)
Other project costs where documented and justified
Whilst infrastructure development is not the focus of this fund (see following sections), TSA may consider the purchase and/or retrofit of infrastructure that has a direct impact on the uptake of tyre-derived products in Australia.
PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines are intended to assist potential applicants in developing strong proposals, however they should not be seen as “rules”. TSA will consider other models, partnerships and proposals, as long as they can demonstrably contribute to reaching TSAs desired outcomes and objectives. Therefore, if you have a project proposal, please contact TSA to discuss.
4.2 What will not be funded?
The priority for Round 2 of the fund is to find new or expanded markets for TDP currently being manufactured in Australia (for example crumb rubber or rubber granule).
Funding for alternative markets, applications and technologies may be more actively explored in future years.
Therefore, Round 2 of the fund will not support:
Projects related to the clean-up of tyre stockpiles;
Recycling infrastructure or infrastructure related to energy from waste facilities;
easibility studies or business cases for recycling or energy from waste facilities;
Start up or seed funding for new businesses;
Projects outside of Australia;
Projects related to the treatment or management of mining tyres;
Activities that are being undertaken in order to comply with regulations / compliance;
Projects without matched funding from other parties (TSA aims to ensure all projects generate at least 1:1 funding with government, industry and other organisations);
Sunk costs of background technology, background intellectual property or retrospective research;
The construction of buildings and/or cost of purchasing or improving land unless specifically devoted to and required for the proposed project;
Management studies or efficiency surveys;
The making of donations;
Any activity that a local, State, Territory or Commonwealth government or agency thereof has the responsibility to undertake
1 Energy from waste projects are not a key focus of this round of funding, however TSA recognises a number of projects of this nature are currently in development. We would therefore be happy to discuss project concepts where alignment with the fund objectives may still be met (for example projects that are still focused on end markets rather than development of infrastructure)
2 There are currently no mining companies contributing directly to the TSA levy and as such projects related to mining or OTR tyres may be the focus of future funding
5. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS
To be an eligible applicant for the fund, applicants must:
• be a registered Australian business, research institution or university that has the capability and capacity to undertake the project that is being proposed;
• meet the requirements for co-contributions and be able to fund all costs of the project that are not met by TSA’s contribution to the total cost of the project;
• have ownership of, access to or the beneficial use of any background intellectual property necessary to carry out the project; and
• be accredited by TSA or be willing to seek accreditation if a tyre industry fund applicant (for example tyre recyclers, collectors, manufacturers etc.).
6. PROJECT FUNDING
TSA seeks to maximise the value of its funding through co-contributions and by setting funding levels. Round 2 funding levels are designed to ensure TSA can support a variety of relevant projects whilst at the same time managing any administrative burden.
6.1 Funding Levels
Ideally, TSA seeks projects where our cash contributions are between:
- the minimum funding level $50,000 excluding GST
- the maximum will be $200,000 excluding GST
Please note, whilst TSA considers this to be reasonable project support TSA will consider a larger project cash contribution on a dollar for dollar cash basis if the case can be clearly made for the achievement of greater outcomes as defined by the Fund. Feel free to contact TSA to discuss.
TSA will use project milestones or gateways to ensure projects are delivering on expectations. We reserve the right to discontinue funding where outcomes and outputs are not being delivered.
VALUE FOR MONEY
TSA is seeking projects that offer high value for contributions to the total cost of the project.
Notwithstanding this, a minimum 1:1 funding criterion is required for all projects, noting that value for money is an assessment criterion.
Participants’ contribution to the total cost of a project can comprise cash and/or in-kind components. The total contribution of the participant’s contribution cannot be in kind. That is, there must be some cash contribution from the applicant.
Those projects that have a higher component of cash to in kind ratio will be looked upon more favourably in the value for money section of the assessment process and therefore have more of a likelihood of success.
TSA also values cash contributions from industry.
6.2 Project Total Cost
The total costing of the project must identify all reasonable expenses associated with the project, including but not limited to:
Personnel: The cost for the time they are engaged in the project of staff engaged or to be engaged on the project.
Equipment: The cost of plant and equipment to be used on the project. For new plant and/or equipment that will be utilised on this project details are required on the cost to be charged to this project of that new plant and equipment.
Materials: The materials that will be consumed on this project and their cost (must use Australian TDP for all funded activities).
Subcontract: The costs of the engagement of subcontractors.
Travel: The costs for travel (please stipulate domestic and/or overseas) by project personnel that is directly associated with the project.
Other: Any other costs for the project which are not covered above. Of particular importance are technology adoption costs, i.e. any expected costs (including intellectual property protection costs) related to transferring the project results to, or to the next innovation stage towards, commercialisation.
As is common practice, TSA seeks to maximise the value of its investment via co-contributions from other project partners. Ideally, TSA will look to support projects with a 1:2 ratio whereby $1 of TSA funding is matched by $2 from other project partners.
Whilst this is our desired outcome, TSA recognises that this will not be possible with all projects. At a minimum, TSA requires at least 1:1 funding whereby $1 of TSA funding is matched by $1 from other project partners. TSA will prioritise projects that offer a greater percentage of cash contributions versus in-kind support.
The Fund values cash contributions from industry very highly as this is indicative of the market viability of a project proposal. Therefore, a cash contribution from industry or an end user is expected in all applications unless a strong case otherwise can be made. For example, a project that has a cash contribution solely from a university to undertake research will not be rated as highly as others that have industry funding attached.
CASH AND INKIND SUPPORT
TSA will make a cash contribution, within the project funding limits set out above, to meeting the total costs of the project. Participants conducting the project may make cash and/or in-kind contributions to finance the balance of the total cost of the project.
A non‐monetary contribution will be an in‐kind contribution for the purposes of contributions to the funding of the total cost of the project if it meets the following criteria:
- The contribution can be given a cash value (e.g. salaries and associated overheads of persons working on the project, access to and use of capital equipment made available for the project);
- Imputed rent on buildings made available for use by the project, non‐salary project‐specific direct costs such as the cost of providing consumables, and other auditable costs necessary to enable project completion;
- The contribution is an expense, for the direct and primary benefit of the project;
- The contribution is directly attributable to the provider of the in‐kind support; and
- The contribution could be reasonably verified by an independent auditor as an input to the total cost of the project (including overhead levels and/or formulae).
PLEASE NOTE: In line with the common practice of funding organisations similar to TSA, the salaries and associated full overheads of existing staff (adjusted for their proportionate time contribution to the project) must be considered as in‐kind contributions to the funding of the total cost of the project.
However, the gross salary + direct salary related on costs of new staff hires made by project participants specifically for the project (adjusted for their proportionate time contribution to the project) and contributed to the project may be considered as a cash contribution.
7. ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
This document relates to a competitive funding round and as such is a merit based application process.
Applications will be assessed on the ability to deliver tangible outcomes for the development or enhancement of tyre-derived products in Australia based upon assessment of the following project elements:
What – Project Intent (15%). Describe the project and the activities involved. How strong is the methodology?
Who – About the organisations involved (25%). TSA encourages applications from partnerships that include research bodies, industry, government and potential end users. Describe the organisations involved, have you worked together in the past, what is your relationship? What is your organisations’ capacity to deliver the project?
Why – The need for the project (25%). Why do you need to conduct this project? How will the project deliver outcomes for TSA and the industry? What new or improved tyre-derived products will be developed and how might these be applied? What is the size of the potential market?
How – How viable is your project (25%). How commercially viable is your proposal? Does it have a good business case? Is the product or process you are creating competitive price wise to conventional products? How strong is the target market and how will the TDP characteristics are you capitalising upon to create value with your project?
When (10%) – How long for the outcomes to be realised and reach the market (an approximation of project completion and outcome delivery)
Projects are also assessed on ‘value for money’. That is, projects that have a higher contribution ratio from the applicant relative to funds requested from TSA will be rated highly.
8. APPLICATION PROCESS
The market for research into applications for tyre-derived products has not been fully scoped. Therefore, round 2 of the fund is being undertaken as a two stages process:
- First a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) are made
- This will be followed by an invitation to a shortlist of EOI applicants to submit full funding applications.
This approach is designed to give TSA the information it needs to shortlist potential projects whilst minimising the administrative burden of applicants who may not make it past the EOI stage.
9. ASSESSMENT PROCESS
In line with the TSA Guidelines, the TSA Board will engage a Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to assess project proposals at both stages of the process and make recommendations for prioritised funding.
The Research Advisory Committee is an advisory body specifically convened to provide additional support, impartial assessment input and technical expertise to the TSA Board on matters of research and development funding. It should be noted that whilst the RAC will provide recommendations and advice, it is the sole responsibility of the TSA Board to make final decisions regarding project funding.
All assessments by the RAC will be made using a weighted scoring system, with additional commentary for clarity and/or feedback. The RAC reserves the right to ask for supplementary information from any applicant.
EOIs will undergo a review by the RAC, who will then provide advice to the TSA Board. Shortlisted proponents are then invited to submit full proposals.
Full proposals will undergo a detailed review by the RAC, with advice then provided to the TSA Board on the decision for funding. Each full proposal will be assessed against the merit criteria provided in the proforma assessment sheet for Full Proposals.
MANAGING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Any conflict of interest that arises in respect of TSA’s RAC or Board members will be managed carefully and appropriately to ensure that the relevant member(s) is not included in an application’s assessment or selection process.
Information on RAC members is available on the TSA website. Proponents will be given the opportunity to request that individual RAC members not assess their applications on the grounds of potential conflict of interest, if such a conflict can be reasonably justified.
THE EOI AND FULL SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS
This funding round is being undertaken in two stages – a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) followed by an invitation to shortlisted EOI applicants to submit full funding proposals.
EOIs are submitted using an EOI template. Full proposals are to be submitted by following the full proposal template, which is provided separately to shortlisted EOI applicants.
EOIs and Full Proposals must address ALL questions in the templates and all requested information must be supplied. A failure to do so will result in the proposal not being considered for TSA funding.
When necessary, additional expert advice may be sought as part of TSA’s assessment process. Any external assessor will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement before information about an application is released.
SELECTION OF SUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS
The TSA Board will consider proposals and, based on the merit criteria assessments and advice provided to it by the Research Advisory Committee, it will select those of highest merit that contribute to TSA’s research investment objectives and Round 2 priorities.
The Board reserves the right to not select any proposals for funding if the standard is not considered high enough.
POST SELECTION FEEDBACK
Unsuccessful applicants for funding may seek feedback from TSA management – but detailed scoring information will NOT be provided.
TSA management will provide qualitative feedback on why a proposal was not successful using the assessment criteria described earlier. Unsuccessful applicants may re-submit their proposals in subsequent funding rounds.
TSA treats all Fund applications and related information confidentially.
10. APPLICATION CLOSE
Potential applicants are able to contact TSA to discuss project ideas at any stage throughout the year. The TSA Research Advisory Committee will then assess applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
The Fund management currently expects the next cut-off date for applications to be:
11. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
TSA recognises that this is a new fund with new objectives and it is our intent to work closely with potential applicants to provide adequate guidance. TSA is available to answer questions from applicants over the phone and by email during the preparation of EOIs and full proposals.
Where appropriate, TSA may be able to assist potential applicants in linking up with relevant industry partners and/or tyre recyclers.
If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact TSA:
Disclaimer: Information in this document is current as of August 2016. While all professional care has been taken in preparing this document, Tyre Stewardship Australia accepts no liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon its content.