The Federal Government has allocated the first round of funding for the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Capability Program, which offers grants starting at $250,000 for start-ups.
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The first of 10 grants has been handed to the makers of a military uniform that can track the wearer’s location and detect viral outbreak exposure.
Other successful recipients will oversee other innovative projects including the development of new technical filter fabrics for minerals refining and the creation of enviro turf.
The program commenced in June this year and will run until June 2015, with $35 million available for grants within that five-year period.
Innovation Minister Kim Carr says supporting and encouraging creativity in these industries is essential to help them grow and succeed.
“Under the TCF Strategic Capability Program, we turn creative ideas into reality, boosting productivity and creating new jobs,” Carr says.
“The [first round] grants I am announcing… range from $400,000 to create new market opportunities for smaller manufacturers in the carpet industry, to $6.2 million to make better use of hi-tech production capabilities in the footwear sector.”
“All 10 projects have great potential and highlight just how strategic our Australian manufacturing companies and organisations are — they embrace innovative opportunities and seek global challenges.”
A spokesperson for the minister says the program is a competitive, merit-based program for which all eligible businesses can apply.
“Consortium applications are also available which can include any non-TCF business provided that the consortium includes an eligible TCF business,” he says.
The minimum grant size must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by the successful grant recipient to support projects of a minimum of $500,000 in eligible expenditure.
To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must meet certain criteria including:
- Being an entity undertaking an eligible TCF activity or being a prescribed entity under the guidelines.
- Able to demonstrate they can pay their share of the proposed projects costs.
- Able to demonstrate that the application is for eligible project expenditure.
- Able to demonstrate that it has access to, or the beneficial use of, any intellectual property required to carry out and commercialise the project.
Proposed projects must be in the form of one or more of the following activities:
- Innovation, research and design capability. Collaboration, networks and supply chain participation. Cultivating networks and partnership activity among firms, including with research and educational institutions, and developing their role in local and global supply chains.
- Accessing market opportunities. Supporting firms and organisations to access markets because of their unique design, innovation and knowledge-driven competitive advantage.
- New business models and strategic repositioning. Enabling firms and organisations to reposition themselves in response to changing market conditions and opportunities with innovative business models.
- High-performance work and management systems. Developing an inclusive partnership approach to productivity-enhancing organisational change and improvement in the workplace.
- Education and skills. Funding educational and skills-development initiatives within firms, including in partnership with external education and training providers.
Environmentally-sustainable and ethical practices. Helping firms to pursue environmentally-sustainable practices and ensuring ethical supply chains.