Image Credit: University of Salford Press Office

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury has announced today two new grant initiatives to support emerging renewable energy firms working in the National Capital. Each of the grants is intended to provide support for early stage start-ups to build their business and will continue the ACT Government’s work of attracting clean energy and technology companies to Canberra.

The grants provided under the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF), created by the ACT Government in 2015 with a funding commitment of $12 million, will enable firms to apply for two categories of grants to support early-stage clean tech businesses.

“I am very pleased to announce two new grant programs today which will support the exciting work that the renewable energy sector is carrying out right across the Territory,” Mr Rattenbury said in a statement.

“Funding for the new Direct Grants scheme and the Innovation Connect Grants ‘Renewables Stream’ will come from the $12 million industry-funded Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) and will help grow the renewable energy industry here in the ACT.”

Grants of between $5,000 and $30,000 will be offered under the Innovation Connect Grants ‘Renewables Stream’ program, to be used to support for small business establishing themselves in the renewable energy sector to progress businesses and technologies towards commercialisation.

The Renewables Stream of the Innovation Connect program also provides successful grant recipients access to workspace in Canberra’s Renewables Innovation Hub co-working space. The co-working space, supported by the ACT Government provides dedicated desks, offices and meeting rooms for small to medium businesses working within the renewable energy sector, in a shared co-located environment.

Larger grants are available under the REIF’s Direct Grants program offers larger amounts of funding, allowing emerging enterprises to seek grants of more than $30,000.

The Direct Grants program will likewise target companies seeking early-stage funding and has an aim of building the ability for the ACT to become an exporter of clean energy technologies and investment.

In each case, matched funding will be sought from potential grant recipients, ensuring that private or other sources of public funding and investment are leveraged.

In recent years, the ACT has been able to seize opportunities been created as a result of policy uncertainty at a Federal level, with a multitude of reviews and the winding back of funding by Abbott and Turnbull lead Governments significantly slowing investment in the clean energy sector.

In contrast, as part of ambitious investments in its emerging renewable energy sector, the ACT Government has been successful at attracting businesses to establish new offices or relocate headquarters to the national capital.

Wind farm developers and operators, including Windlab, CWP and Neoen have all located regional headquarters in Canberra. They have joined local businesses that include IT Power and Reposit Power.

Applications for the Direct Grants Scheme and the ‘Renewables Stream’ of the Innovation Connect program are open until 27 February.

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