City of Casey Innovation Fund

The City of Casey Innovation Fund offers local businesses interest-free loans of up to $20,000 to encourage innovation, creativity, business vitality and diversity for sustainable business growth and the creation of more local jobs.

The fund will support truly innovative projects that demonstrate solid market potential and a sound business model, including long-term financial viability; they are the perfect opportunity for a new or experienced entrepreneur  wishing to create and deliver new concepts and ideas to the market.

Successful applicants will repay the loan over a period of three years in monthly direct debits, which are set in place prior to the beginning of the program.

Objectives of the Innovation Fund

  • encouraging the establishment, growth and retention of sustainable businesses, that will enhance the City of Casey’s reputation as a destination for innovation, creativity, business vitality, diversity, and a place to grow and further invest in business

  • creating employment opportunities and increasing the level of business investment in the municipality

  • supporting innovative businesses that demonstrate solid market potential and a sound business model, including long-term financial viability

  • fostering new partnerships and collaboration between businesses and business support groups

  • encouraging and support new, creative and diverse business activities that will contribute to a thriving and competitive business environment within the City of Casey

  • supporting new entrepreneurs in creating and delivering new concepts and ideas

Truly innovative projects 

Eligible projects will demonstrate true innovation. Innovation is not invention, nor is it doing things slightly differently to the way others are doing them already or bundling together existing products and services. Innovation means doing something in a new, creative or novel way. It may involve improving on an existing service or product in an original way that increases it’s utility or opens up new markets. It may mean that an idea is radically different, but equally it may mean that an idea addresses an everyday process in a revolutionary or original way. It is not simply using new technologies or digitalising processes, it using technology in a more creative way and creating a point of difference with the competition.

In assessing whether your proposal is innovative, you might consider the following questions. Does your businesses or organisation:

  • Satisfy a compelling and potentially global need?

  • Target a well-defined niche market?

  • Demonstrate a significant competitive advantage over the medium term?

  • Achieve high gross margins?

  • Scale up to a significant degree?

  • Articulate the problem it is trying to solve and how it will do it?

  • the development of innovative business proposals which helps grow the business and creates new local employment

  • research and development into new products which will enhance the growth of the business, develop new markets and generate the need to employ more people

  • the development of new and creative methods of production or new working practices that enhance the sustainability of a business and ensures long term viability

  • activation of vacant land and buildings and spaces for creative purposes utilising innovative practices including digital technologies

  • building online and digital capacities for innovative and creative business purposes in Casey’s small business sector

  • be located or committed to locate within the City of Casey

Examples of projects that Innovation Fund grants may be applied and utilised for include:

  • The development of innovative business proposals which helps grow the business and creates new local employment

  • Research and development into new products which will enhance the growth of the business, develop new markets and generate the need to employ more people

  • The development of new and creative methods of production or new working practices that enhance the sustainability of a business and ensures long term viability

  • Activation of vacant land and buildings and spaces for creative purposes utilising innovative practices including digital technologies

  • Building online and digital capacities for innovative and creative business purposes in Casey’s small business sector

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • be located or be committed to locating in, the City of Casey

  • have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN)

  • have an appropriate legal structure, such as a sole trader, an Australian registered company, business cooperative or partnership and have documentary evidence of an appropriate legal structure

  • NOT be a franchisee, subsidiaries of larger companies, unincorporated associations and government departments or agencies are not eligible to apply

  • NOT be branches of foreign companies that are not registered as an Australian company are also not eligible to apply

Applications are strongly encouraged from target industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food manufacturing, technology based industries, finance and business services, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, ICT, retail and tourism.

Eligible projects must:

  • be a truly innovative*

  • make a measurable contribution to the fund’s objectives 

Applications and assessment

Applications will be considered by an Advisory and Assessment Panel and are anticipated to follow a two stage process.A broad outline of the project or program and the expected outcomes/benefits must be made via the below questionnaire

  1. A review process will review proposals and provide feedback, which may involve requesting further development/information, or declining to take the proposal to the next stage. In this latter instance, the Panel may provide suggestions as to ways in which the proposal could be modified or recast to meet the aims of the Innovation Fund.

  2. Second stage submissions may be requested to include a basic business or project plan and a financial assessment which demonstrates financial viability. Supporting information should demonstrate the applicant’s resources, experience and capability to achieve the proposed outcome(s) to a high standard, and within the period of the funding. Additional information submitted initially with the application form must be no more than four pages (pages beyond four will be excluded from consideration).

Applications will close on 24 October 2017.

Given the limit on funds available for distribution, the City of Casey reserves the right to close off consideration of further applications during a financial year when the Fund budget has already been committed, or at its discretion.

Applications not able to be considered in any particular year may be suggested for resubmission in the following financial year.

Businesses receiving a grant in a particular financial year will not be eligible to apply for a grant in the next two financial years after receipt.

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