Businesses are being encouraged to apply for the Tasmanian Innovation and Investment Fund, which will provide minimum grants of $50,000 in an attempt to generate jobs across the state’s economy.
Unveiled by the Federal Government, the TIIF is a new merit-based grants program designed to recognise the impact of changes in Tasmania’s forestry sector, namely job losses.
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The TIIF will provide support for new investments that create high quality, skilled jobs across the state, particularly in areas formerly reliant on forestry.
The program will distribute up to $8 million in grant funding over the next three financial years, with a minimum grant amount of $50,000 for each successful applicant.
According to Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings the funding complements the state’s Economic Development Plan, which provides a strategy for “diversifying the economy further”.
“The Tasmanian Government is working hard to help traditional industries like forestry transition to a sustainable footing while helping other emerging industries … to grow,” Giddings said.
Applicants must be incorporated and trading or financial activities must be a substantial part of the activities of the corporation.
While the program is not aimed at new companies specifically, a government spokesperson says there is a focus on innovation, presenting an ideal opportunity for start-ups.
“Eligible projects will involve activities that generate new investment and create sustainable job opportunities in Tasmania,” a spokesperson says.
“The company doesn’t have to be based in Tasmania but the project does … projects which demonstrate the introduction of innovations or new technology will be favoured.”
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have committed funding to the project – exclusive of in-kind contributions and free of other government funding – that is at least equal to the amount of grant funding sought.
Grant funding will not be provided for “retrospective activities”.
“Applicants should provide documentary evidence with the application of their ability to fund half of the project costs,” the spokesperson says.
“Documentary evidence may include financial statements, cash flow forecasts and evidence of existing sales contracts, letters confirming external funding sources such as bank statements, loan approvals and an accountant’s written opinion that the applicant can meet this condition.
“Eligible applications will be assessed on a comparative basis relative to the merit of other applications received in a particular funding round against the following three equally weighted criteria.”
Project funding must be expended by June 30, 2014. Where projects continue after that date the applicant must demonstrate that the final stages can be carried out without further grant funding.