AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries open call - September 2019

AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program is calling for applications (EI open call) from emerging rural industries to partner with AgriFutures Australia to increase the production capacity and value of their industries by applying research, development and extension (RD&E) to overcome technical and biological constraints.

The AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries open call opens Friday, 27 September and closes 12 noon (AEDT) Friday, 25 October 2019.

Open call overview

AgriFutures Australia is the trading name for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), which was constituted under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989. It is one of 15 rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) that invest public funds and industry levies in RD&E to develop Australia’s primary industries.

AgriFutures Australia supports established rural industries that do not have their own RDC, including rice, chicken meat, honey bee and pollination, thoroughbred horses, pasture seeds, export fodder, ginger, and tea tree oil industries.

In addition, AgriFutures Australia invests in research, development and extension to accelerate the establishment of emerging rural industries. The RD&E expenditure for the AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program is primarily funded by an annual Australian Government appropriation.

AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program is dedicated to identifying and supporting the development of new and emerging rural industries that can meet changing demand and make a valuable economic, social and environmental contribution to Australia. We’ve set an ambitious goal of identifying and supporting the emergence of agricultural industries that can reach or exceed a $10M per annum threshold in the next five years.

More information about the AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program can be found at agrifutures.com.au/emerging-industries

AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program is calling for applications from emerging rural industries to partner with AgriFutures Australia to increase the production capacity and value of their industry by applying research, development and extension (RD&E) to overcome technical, market, supply chain and biological constraints.

The AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call opens Friday, 27 September 2019 and closes 12 noon (AEDT) Friday, 25 October 2019.

Background

In 2017, AgriFutures Australia commissioned ‘Coriolis Australia and New Zealand’ and ‘Euromonitor International’ to produce a short-list of high potential emerging industries. These reports, New opportunities in new and emerging agricultural industries in Australia and Scan of new and emerging agricultural industry opportunities and market scoping, identified industries for further consideration by AgriFutures Australia. Other industries which already have their own vision to $10 million turnover and beyond may also be considered.

This is the second open call conducted within the AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program portfolio since its formation in late 2018. Investments made following the first call in 2018 include Plantago, Camels, Hemp, Sesame and Essential Oils.

 

Proposals

Applicants should familarise themselves with the call for applications terms. Any proposals that do not address the stated requirements may be rejected or deferred at the discretion of AgriFutures Australia.

Where numerous proposals are received to address a single industry, AgriFutures Australia will undertake a preliminary assessment to determine which proposal(s) will progress to the Advisory Panel for review. AgriFutures Australia prefers single industry applications (“industry led”) rather than individual companies. A clear industry challenge or opportunity should be outlined as part of submission, preferably with industry letters of support. Proposals that are deemed to insufficiently address the emerging industry criteria will be rejected or deferred at the discretion of AgriFutures Australia.

Changes to the 2019-20 open call process

AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program Investment requirements – September 2019

Since the first round, in late 2018, several key improvements have been identified by AgriFutures Australia in response to previous open calls. These are described below.

Dividing investment opportunities and AgriFutures Australia support by maturity stage

Emerging Industries can largely be divided according to their industry maturity stage. This is measured using gross value of production (GVP) so it is essential that applicants estimate their present GVP industry position (to the best of their ability), including an outline of how they aim to achieve the $10 million GVP target within five years. Investment opportunities being offered to assist growth in GVP are characterised by the following attributes:

A. Building Early Stage Clusters (actual industry GVP <$2 million per annum) – early stage support to conduct viability assessments, identify areas for potential RD&E, and portfolio building or market development activities that will help guide industry formation, growth or scaling.

B. Building Industry Capability (actual industry GVP >$2 million and up to $10 million per annum) – funding of collaborative RD&E projects to resolve key technical challenges and development of RD&E programs to accelerate growth.

C. Expanding Industry Potential – (actual industry GVP >$10 million per annum) – Projects to ensure continuity of the newly emerged industry to sustain growth and development.

A summary of the investments that emerging industries can apply for are as follows:


Webinar

A webinar will be held for prospective applicants to find out more about the project and ask questions on Friday 11 October 2019 at 13:00 (AEDT) for prospective applicants to learn more about the AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call and application process. Please register your participation by emailing programs@agrifutures.com.au to receive the webinar login details.

 

Two step open call process

AgriFutures Australia uses a two step process to match research capacity and skills to emerging industries and their RD&E needs.

Step 1: Preliminary Research Proposals

Step 1: AgriFutures opens a public call for industry representative organisations or leading businesses associated with emerging industries to submit an application for investment consideration. This is in the form of a Preliminary Research Proposal (PRP) to be completed online using AgriFutures’ Clarity application process (further information follows). The PRP is an initial deep-dive into the RD&E needs and potential growth opportunities for an emerging industry. More comprehensive information is required for those applications progressed through to step two of the process.

Industry representative organisations and individual companies are eligible to apply. The aim is to identify those partnership opportunities where RD&E investment by AgriFutures Australia will have the greatest impact on the development of an emerging industry.

 

Step 2: Full Research Proposals

At the completion of Step 1, successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a Full Research Proposal (FRP). FRP applicants will be required to clearly indicate the following:

  • Detailed project benefits for the emerging industry you are responding to.
  • The objectives and outcomes of the proposed project and the link to the RD&E objectives.
  • Confirmed candidates and detailed roles and responsibilities of who will be undertaking the majority of the work.
  • The plan for extension of research outcomes from the project activity work, i.e. beyond distribution of summaries and conference presentations.
  • Where relevant, proposals should include collaboration with experts and other funding organisations in the field, which may not be located in Australia.
  • The applicants understanding of past research or research gaps in this field.
  • Detailed communication plan.

At any time during the selection process and after its completion, AgriFutures Australia may request an applicant to provide additional information in relation to their application and further due diligence may be undertaken.

Submitting a Preliminary Research Proposal

How to submit

Preliminary Research Proposals must be submitted online using the online application form on Clarity. Prospective applicants are encouraged to read the Clarity user guides carefully when completing applications. For further assistance with navigating Clarity during your project, refer to the Clarity user guides and resources in the first instance.

Users must first set up a Clarity new user account* before submitting a proposal. To set up a secure account before submitting a proposal, complete the New User and Business form contact and return to AgriFutures Australia helpdesk via helpdesk@agrifutures.com.au for a username and password. Ensure you reference ‘Emerging Industries open call’ in the subject line of your email.

* If you have previously submitted an application via Clarity please use your existing name and password.

Submitting attachments

Submit all relevant attachments at the bottom of the ‘Proposed Budget’ page in Clarity.

What to submit

In addition to completing all required fields of the Preliminary Research Proposal in Clarity, applicants must address and satisfy a number of additional Criteria. Applicants are expected to attach the following in Clarity:

  1. A completed Emerging Industries Canvas: This will allow applicants to demonstrate their understanding of the industry’s value chain, gaps and growth opportunities and how these opportunities can be resolved through research, development and extension.
  2. A response to the Additional Criteria using the Word document template available here (responses should be no more than eight pages).
  3. Industry letters of support for industry challenge and/or opportunity (preferred).

Timeline

AgriFutures Australia has mapped the open call process to the following timelines

Target date/time Action
Step 1: Selection of industry partners and RD&E challenges – Preliminary Research Proposal
27 September 2019, 10:30 AEST AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call commences
11 October 2019, 13:00 AEDT  AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call Q&A webinar
25 October 2019, 12:00 AEDT AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call closes
21 November 2019 All Step 1 applicants notified of the outcome of the first stage and successful applicants invited to submit a detailed Full Research Proposal for consideration in Step 2.
Step 2: Selection of research providers – Full Research Proposal
13 December 2019, 12:00 AEDT Step 2 – Full Research Proposals due
31 January 2020 All Step 2 applicants notified of the outcome of the round and negotiation commences with successful applicants.

AgriFutures Australia aims to accelerate this schedule as possible and appropriate. Early attention to requests for information from applicants is appreciated.

Proposal checklist

Have you:

  1. Completed all the fields with Clarity for your Preliminary Research Proposal (PRP)?
  2. Completed the Emerging Industry Canvas, and uploaded as a Word attachment in Clarity? This must include an estimate of your industry Gross Value of Production.
  3. Addressed additional selection criteria, outlined in Appendix 2a, and provided it as a word attachment in Clarity,  as a Word attachment in Clarity (maximum of eight pages)? Please ensure you have clearly outlined your industry’s challenge and/or opportunity.
  4. Provided any letters of support as attachments in Clarity?
  5. Read and understood the applications terms and conditions?
  6. Registered for the Q&A Webinar on Friday, 11 October 2019 at 13:00 AEDT

Frequently asked questions

A webinar was held on Friday 11 October for prospective applicants to find out more about the project and ask questions about the open call and application process. It provides an overview of the application process and answers frequently asked questions.

Contact

It is strongly advised that applicants contact the Program Manager prior to submitting a proposal.

Tom McCue

Senior Manager, Emerging Industries

02 6923 6902

0407 438 258

tom.mccue@agrifutures.com.au

The AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program open call closes 12 noon (AEST) Friday, 25 October 2019.

Appendix 1: Call for applications terms and conditions

The call for applications terms and conditions can be downloaded here.

Appendix 2: Additional attachments

Appendix 2a: Emerging Industries Canvas

A copy of the template canvas can be downloaded here.

Applicants are expected to attach the completed template in Clarity as part of their application. Guidance notes are provided with the template.

 

Appendix 2b: Additional criteria

A copy of the selection criteria can be downloaded here.

Please use the selection criteria template to complete your responses to the criteria (responses should be no more than eight pages).

Applicants are expected to attach the completed template in Clarity as part of their application.

Appendix 3: Descriptions of investment types

Some examples of initiatives that emerging industries may consider in their response:

Forums, networking events and industry conference sponsorship: Assistance to Industries wishing to conduct a conference in Australia to directly benefit the growth potential to their industry. May include support for an identified facilitator or adviser to conduct the conference.

Subject matter expert travel support: Support to bring to industry an expert in the identified knowledge gap or opportunity.

Economic analysis/strategic planning: Support to assist the industry prioritise its strategic RD&E needs or conduct economic analysis on a particular constraint or knowledge gap that may affect their industry growth.

RD&E gaps: technical, entrepreneurial. Support to enable experienced entrepreneurs (to be identified by industry) to work with your industry to identify knowledge and/or RD&E gaps that are preventing your industry growth.

Industry scaling RD&E funding support: RD&E projects that will enable industry diversification, expand industry to get access to specialist skills, enabling innovative approaches to accelerate growth.

Horizon scanning to identify industry opportunities: Support to enable industries to test and validate market constraints with a specific focus on the identification RD&E issues to mitigate growth challenges or opportunities.

RD&E investment to sustain investor & customer confidence and growth: Projects to validate or address key constraints to market growth.

RD&E for industry value adding (domestic, international): Identification of new growth opportunities or further enhancements to industry products and services that will growth the sector.