Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to apply for FTA-ME grant funding?

If you are an Australian member-based business organisation (such as a chamber of commerce, industry association, business council / business chamber or peak body), or a University or TAFE College, and have been incorporated for twelve months or more prior to 1 October 2018, you may meet eligibility requirements. Interested parties should refer to section 2.1 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines to determine eligibility.

Individual companies (including those that are registered training organisations) are not eligible.

Franchises, wine clubs and sporting associations are not eligible for this grant.

What sort of projects will be eligible for funding?

New projects (which would not happen without grant funding) directly related to developing and delivering market entry strategies to SMEs seeking to export and/or grow their businesses in target FTA markets. For eligible FTA markets refer to section 1.2 (footnote 2) of the FTA-ME Guidelines. Projects may include market visits to the target FTA markets.

What sort of projects will be deemed ineligible?

Devolved grants, that is, grants requested by the applicant for the purpose of distributing funds to other parties who are not contractors to the project and who have not been clearly identified in the grant application.

Projects that are already receiving funding from another Commonwealth Government agency.

Projects submitted by non-member-based applicants or those that are not universities or TAFE colleges.

Applicants should refer to the goals and objectives in section 1.2 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines for further information on project relevance.

How much funding can I apply for?

2018-19: $20,000 - $80,000 (excluding GST)

2019-20: $20,000 - $80,000 (excluding GST)

Grant projects in 2018-19 must be completed in one year from project commencement.

The FTA-ME Grant will fund up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost of a project, with the remaining 50% funded by the applicant.

How many funding rounds will be provided?

One funding round will be conducted in 2018-19 with a second round being conducted in 2019-20.

How will the applications be assessed?

The FTA-ME is a merit-based competitive grants program with eligible applications assessed against the merit criteria outlined in section 2.2 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines.

How would you fund the grants if there were too many to be funded under the present scheme?

The FTA-ME Grant provides a total of $1.5 million in funding for the life of the grant program

$750,000 will be available in each grant round. The number of projects selected will be within the scope of this funding with projects ranked on a merit basis.

Will there be a standard application form?

There is a standard online form at www.austrade.gov.au/fta-me with applications open on 19 November 2018 and closing on 16 January 2019.

Will it be focused on one market?

The FTA-ME Grant focuses on a number of FTA markets as listed in Section 1.2 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines.

Can Austrade recommend service providers or suggest partnerships?

No.It would not be appropriate for Austrade to recommend service providers or suggest partnerships.

Can Universities and TAFE colleges apply for funding?

Yes.Universities and TAFE colleges, and their relevant peak member-based education bodies, are eligible to apply for funding.

If an organisation applied for state or territory government funding to support its project would this make them ineligible?

Funding support from other sources including state/territory and local governments is allowed. However, funding from another Commonwealth Government agency, which you intend to divert to support an FTA-ME grant, is not.

Is grant funding based on financial year?

Yes. Funding for 2018-19 is now available and second round funding will be available in the 2019-20 financial year.

Is there any flexibility around the FTA markets listed in the guidelines?

No. Section 1.2 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines outlines the markets covered by the FTA-ME Grant. However, if additional FTA agreements are signed during the life of the grant these markets will be added to the program.

Can an Australian member-based business organisation or education institution partner with another organisation?

There is no restriction on applicant organisations forming partnerships with other organisations based in Australia – providing the applicant, and any partners, meet the ‘best interests of Australian trade’ requirements in Section 2.1.1 of the FTA-ME Grant Guidelines.

The organisation submitting the application is the lead Applicant and all partners must work through the lead Applicant. Austrade will not enter into communications with partners.

Austrade will only contract with the lead Applicant (one party).

What is the reporting framework for successful applicants?

The FTA-ME reporting framework is outlined in the FTA-ME Funding Agreement available at www.austrade.gov.au/fta-me and www.business.gov.au/Assistance

Can successful applicants move expenditure agreed in their Funding Agreement between budget line items if they identify a need for this once their project is underway?

Applicants must seek approval from the Grant Secretariat to move agreed budget between line items. Approval will be provided if the Secretariat determines the changes are appropriate and do not undermine the project.

For successful applicants, how will the money be distributed?

Distribution of funding will be negotiated with each successful applicant as part of the Funding Agreement. A copy of the Funding Agreement applicable to this program is available at www.austrade.gov.au/fta-me and www.business.gov.au/Assistance

Is there a preference for projects that cover all target FTA markets?

Providing applications meet the requirements regarding eligible markets in the Guidelines, there is no preference for either single market projects or those that cover multiple markets. However, unless extremely well resourced, applicants that attempt to cover all target markets risk diluting their capacity to achieve strong outcomes.

Elaborate on what you mean by ‘in-kind’ applicants?

Applicants must provide 50% of the project funding, which may be derived from a number of sources including cash and non-cash contributions (e.g. the value of salaries to dedicate a staff member to manager the project) attributed directly to the delivery of projects under the FTA-ME Grant. Project proposals must be clearly budgeted with specific inputs such as salaries, contractors, travel etc.