Projects Fund

What is the AustCyber Project Fund?

The Projects Fund has been established to provide matching funding to industry-led projects which address one or more of the knowledge priorities identified in Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, published by AustCyber in April 2017 (available at austcyber.com). These priorities are outlined in Table 1 below. Project applications are assessed by AustCyber against the knowledge priorities together with ecosystem demand and national outcome.

Projects can be consortia or a single entities. Funds disbursed per successful project will be dependent upon:

  • the project’s alignment to AustCyber SCP Industry Knowledge priorities
  • applicability of the project outcomes would be to the ecosystem
  • the amount of funding sought and the funds available from the Commonwealth made available to AustCyber through a bilateral Funding Agreement.

Consortium

The key requirements for a ‘Consortium’ are:

  1. Involvement of no less than two independent businesses; drawn from any combination of small to large service providers, business partners for the solution, education and research entities.
  2. All consortium members must operate business in Australia, or principally in Australia, with a valid Australian Business Number (ABN).
  3. The consortium can describe, in detail, what each member anticipates the measurable outcome of their contribution to the project be together with a statement of anticipated overall project outcome and how this would be measured.
  4. The consortium can describe, in detail, what each member anticipates the measurable outcome of their contribution to the project be together with a statement of anticipated overall project outcome and how this would be measured.
  5. A consortium lead is identified and is willing to sign a funding contract with AustCyber and separately with their consortium members.

Single entity

The key requirements for a ‘Single Entity’ are:

  • the entity must operate business in Australia, or principally in Australia.
  • the entity can describe, in detail, what the anticipated outcome of the project is and how this would be measured.
  • the entity is willing to make outcomes of the project accessible to the wider cyber security sector.
  • the entity is willing to sign a funding contract with AustCyber.

Criteria

Eligibility criteria

Proposed projects must be linked to one or more of the knowledge priorities outlined in Table 1. Projects must demonstrate innovative approaches, clear commercialisation applications, pathways and implementation timeframes. The Projects Fund is not intended to support discovery or fundamental research.

Proposed project duration must be no more than 12 months.

The consortium or single entity must have access to, or ownership of, the intellectual property (IP) necessary to conduct the project, should it be required.

The project must demonstrate a national benefit for Australia, with the results available to the whole cyber security sector as far as possible.

Project funding criteria

Overall Project value can be between A$200,000 and A$3 million in any financial year. The Projects Fund does not provide funding for any project with a total budget below A$200,000.

AustCyber is always on the lookout to connect and multiply cyber security capabilities in the ecosystem. We will look for opportunities for collaboration between project ideas, and where possible we will propose new and existing partnerships for larger projects.

Consortiums or single entities must contribute cash at least equal to the funding provided by AustCyber, either individually or collectively. For example, if AustCyber provides a financial contribution of A$100,000, the consortium members or single entity collectively must provide financial contributions of at least A$100,000. In-kind contributions can be made by participants but will not be included in determining the cash contribution of participants.

Contributions from Australian government agencies, at any level, do not count towards the matched funding contribution and must also be matched with at least equal cash contributions. For example, if AustCyber provides project funds of A$100,000 and government agency contributions to that project are A$50,000, the minimum cash contribution required from the consortium is A$150,000.

Project funding may be used for activities directly related to the project, for example recruitment of skilled Australian labour, equipment testing, software, laboratory disposables, equipment directly related to the activities in the project, materials, travel and accommodation for field activities in Australia. Project funding can be used for capital works where the works are directly related to the project, as approved by AustCyber.

Project funding cannot be used to reimburse parties for in-kind contributions or to pay indirect costs of the project. Project funding cannot be used for international travel, salaries for international personnel or students or any overseas activities, unless the parties can demonstrate to AustCyber’s satisfaction the activities are directly related to the project and provide an outcome to Australia.

Reporting on the use of project funding and the cash contribution of participants will be required by AustCyber from successful applicants.

Funding will be payable by instalments to successful applicants (in the case of a consortium – the project lead), as agreed with AustCyber and will be linked to agreed project milestones. The terms and conditions of the funding and timing of instalments will be set out in a contract (Project Funding Agreement) between the project participants and AustCyber. AustCyber reserves the right to terminate Project Funding to the project if agreed milestones are not met.

Selection process

AustCyber is currently reviewing its selection process for the Projects Fund. The previous EOI process is now closed. We will provide details of the new process in early 2019.

However, applications will still be evaluated by AustCyber, who may seek specialist expertise if required. The AustCyber Board has the final approval on whether a project will be funded with evaluation based on available funds, eligibility and alignment with AustCyber’s areas of priority.

Projects will be reported as per the Industry Growth Centre Initiative reporting requirements and any other requirements to be determined by AustCyber. This may include, on agreement with the project lead, media reporting.

Submission of EOIs

Submission of EOIs is currently closed.

AustCyber will publish details on the new Projects Fund selection process in early 2019.