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 56 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 paid voluntarily by Scheme Members, 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 the fund. Interested applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines in detail and contact the TSA Market Development Manager prior to lodging any application for funding.
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 being used in locally made products and applications.
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 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.
4.1 What will be funded?
The Fund supports projects that will lead to a direct increase in the consumption of tyre-derived products made by Australian recyclers from locally generated end-of-life tyres.
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 favourably 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 prioritised 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 capitalise 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, recyclers, end users 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 recycler, 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 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 the fund will not support:
Projects related to the clean-up of tyre stockpiles;
Recycling infrastructure that does not deliver market development outcomes;
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;
The making of donations;
Any activity that a local, State, Territory or Commonwealth government or agency thereof has the responsibility to undertake.
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 category is applicable (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. 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
Generally, TSA seeks projects where TSA cash contributions are between:
the minimum funding level $50,000 excluding GST
the maximum will be $200,000 excluding GST
However, whilst TSA considers this to be good amount of support to deliver substantial outcomes, considerations will be given for 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 to the project.
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 highly values cash contributions from industry as this evidences a market value to the application.
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 meet 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 AND ASSESSMENT PROCESS
In line with the TSA Guidelines, TSA has 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 applicants must submit an Expression of Interest for assessment by the TSA Research Advisory Committee (RAC).
Feedback will then be provided to the applicant and additional information will most likely be sought.
Once all information has been provided to the RAC and an informed decision can be made on the value of the proposal in relation to TSA objectives, the RAC may then either reject or recommend the project to Board for approval. Shortlisted proponents are then invited to submit full proposals.
The project is then put before the Board for final approval.
Upon Board approval of the project, a Project Plan is required to specify project delivery details.
The Project Plan will then constitute part of the TSA standard contract.
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.
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.
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 priorities.
The Board reserves the right to reject all proposals for funding if the application standards are 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
The Fund is always open. 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.
11. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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 November 2017. 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.