The Tyre Stewardship Research Fund (‘the fund’) provides funds through a competitive process to support the development of markets for Australian tyre-derived products (TDPs).
Put simply, the primary objective of the fund is to invest in initiatives that lead to higher sales of TDP being made by Australian tyre recyclers and sold to manufacturers and end users as an input for new products and processes.
There are a range of Fund options available from more early stage research and development projects to later stage demonstration and infrastructure-oriented initiatives. PhD Scholarships are also available for research that meets the objectives of the Scheme.
To get a better idea of the type of projects TSA is seeking to support through the Fund, please see the previously supported projects here and through detailed information provided below.
Reason for TSA funding
To minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end-of-life tyres, Australia needs diverse and sustainable markets for tyre-derived product (TDP). Stronger markets for TDP will mean more tyres get recycled rather than mishandled and stockpiled creating risk for the community. Stronger markets act to reduce this risk by creating more value for waste tyres and driving more competition for material. This supports a more robust recycling market that feeds a stronger and more diverse 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 initiatives that bring 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 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.
The Australian tyre recycling industry produces a number of tyre-derived products (TDP) such as crumb rubber, rubber granules and tyre derived aggregates 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 the approximate 56 million equivalent passenger units (EPU) of waste tyres generated annually in Australia.
TSA has therefore established the Fund as a means of increasing demand for locally processed tyres to develop new markets for local recyclers and manufacturers.
In order to support TSA fund objectives, funding is being delivered in two streams; the Project Stream and Scholarship Stream. A brief description of each including links to relevant guidelines and application forms are provided below.
The Project Stream provides funding support across a broad range of project development phases. Support is offered across two options:
Research and Development
Demonstration and Infrastructure
The Research and Development funding option, that was introduced at the inception of the TSA fund program in September 2015, will continue to support new and emerging markets by resourcing early stage research and development of products and processes that will lead to an increased consumption of Australian TDP. The newly developed Demonstration and Infrastructure option provides support for projects further along the commercialisation path to drive more direct and immediate uptake of TDP.
TSA ‘Research and Development’ and ‘Demonstration and Infrastructure’ Streams can be summarised per the descriptions below.
Research and Development Projects:
Support early stage research and development to validate the performance benefits of products and processes that consume TDP to underpin investment in the creation and expansion of markets to increase demand for Australian generated end of life tyres.
demonstrate projects that have been proven via research and development and now require larger scale trialling, monitoring and real-world demonstration to validate viability.
to ‘standardise’ and ‘normalise’ existing equipment and infrastructure that will ensure consistent, ongoing consumption of Australian tyre derived product.
Example Demonstration and Infrastructure grants may include:
Once an initiative has been validated by research and development in a lab, a demonstration project may look to test a TDP consuming product or process in situ. This may involve monitoring and evaluation equipment to confirm the proposed performance advantage of the product. This may involve the demonstration of a test footpath, road or car park to test binders or aggregates that contain novel TDP applications. It may also involve the ‘commercialisation’ or upscaling of production equipment to produce an innovative compound that contains TDP.
For example, in the roads sector, a road authority may want to trial the application of ‘generic’ specifications to a given State specific context to support the incorporation of the newly released AAPA specifications.
Please note: Funding for infrastructure does not include funding for proponents seeking to develop recycling and processing infrastructure. This includes both conventional recycling equipment as well as thermal processing infrastructure such as pyrolysis and gasification equipment. However, funding may apply to the development of markets for TDP made from such processes.
The following statement provides guidance on the types of applications that TSA will look upon favourably in the assessment of applications for the Fund:
The priority outcome to be achieved from the Project Stream of the Fund is a direct increase in the consumption of Australian TDP through new and expanded markets.
Applications will be assessed most favourably if they are BOTH innovative in nature and have the potential to consume high volumes of Australian TDP.
Projects will also be strongly considered if they can demonstrate innovativenew approaches to consuming TDP and are likely to consume large volumes of Australian generated TDP.
Projects must have collaborative partnerships between industry, research bodies and “end users” to demonstrate a realistic market application and likely potential of being utilised by the market at the completion of the project.
All projects must be rated highly in relation to the assessment criteria (see relevant project stream 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 capitalise on the characteristics of TDP to create new and improved products or processes
strong project partners with appropriate resources and a track history of delivering successful projects
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 TSA Guidelines for more information). Therefore, if you have a potential project proposal or idea, please feel free contact TSA to discuss.
All TSA funded activities require the use of Australian TDP for the duration of the project.
All TSA funded infrastructure and demonstration projects require Australian generated TDP to be utilised for the lifetime of the project and associated infrastructure.
For more information, including eligibility criteria, desired project models, funding levels and assessment criteria please see the Fund guidelines which can be downloaded from here.
PhD Scholarship Stream
The PhD Scholarship stream seeks exciting new research ideas and technologies that will benefit the end-of-life tyre and associated manufacturing industries. The Scholarship stream is focused more on 'early stage' mechanisms to develop future technology, applications and solutions that will develop exclusive intellectual property and assist in the transformation of markets for tyre recycling and tyre-derived products. It is, however, crucial that the research is aligned with the realities of the end of life tyre market as well as the ‘end user’ markets associated with the nature of the research project itself.
While TSA endeavours to support two Scholarship projects annually, TSA funding is provided on a competitive basis. A key selection criterion for TSA funded initiatives is a correlation between the funded project and a likely increase in uptake of Australian TDP. Given these requirements, TSA cannot guarantee Scholarship support should all funds be allocated to Project Stream applications that are likely to create a more immediate and direct increase in Australian TDP consumption.
The Scholarship Stream guidelines and expression of interest application form can be downloaded here.
Current Funding Round
Applications for funding are open until Friday November 30. Therefore, if you have read the guidelines, completed the application form and believe you have an initiative that may align with TSA funding objectives, please engage with us as soon as possible.
If you have read the guidelines and have further questions or require more information, feel free to contact Liam O’Keefe - Market Development Manager or Jan van de Graaff - Business Relationship Manager on the following details: