Backing business to solve key environmental challenges

The Federal Government recently announced two funding initiatives designed to help Australia’s small and medium-sized businesses develop solutions to solve environmental and waste challenges.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews committed $12 million to the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) across five environmental challenges.

This round of BRII aims to find more effective ways of dealing with challenges that affect our oceans, water and soil quality as well as recycling technologies. Not only does this initiative help government agencies with tailored solutions that mean better value for taxpayers, it also gives start-ups and businesses the chance to develop new products and technologies for the global market,” said Minister Andrews.

In addition, the Federal Government has committed $190 million to a new Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) that will generate $600 million of recycling investment and drive a billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling capacity.

The RMF is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs and divert over 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill, and is part of a national strategy to change the way Australia looks at waste, grow our economy, protect our environment and reach a national resource recovery target of 80% by 2030.

Business Research and Innovation Initiative

Under the BRII, Australian start-ups and small and medium businesses are encouraged to submit proposals that address the five nominated challenges for this round of funding:

If successful, then businesses will be awarded funding of up to $100,000 to develop a feasibility study over a period of three months. If the feasibility study proves successful, the business may then be eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept over 18 months. At the conclusion of the proof of concept phase, relevant government agencies will then be given the option to purchase these solutions.


To be eligible, all you need is an ABN and a turnover of less than $20 million for each of the last three years.

How to Apply

To apply for the BRII, you will need to submit an application through the Department of Business online portal.

Before you start your application, be sure to read the grant opportunity guidelines and sample grant agreement.

Applications must be submitted by Thursday 10 September 2020 at 5:00pm (AEST)

Further Information

For further information:

Recycling Modernisation Fund

Australia must recycle approximately 650,000 additional tonnes of waste onshore each year by mid-2024, which is when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) waste export ban comes into effect.

As such, the objective of the RMF is to support innovative investment in infrastructure that will help sort, process, and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass.

The Federal Government’s funding under the RMF is contingent on co-funding from industry, states, and territories.

How it Will Work

The Federal Government will provide funding to the states and territories through National Partnership Agreements.

The allocation of funding to specific projects is then the responsibility of State and Territory Governments and will be based on local needs.

Further Information

For further information about how the RMF will be rolled out in your state, contact your local state authority: