The Future Drought Fund’s Drought Resilience Innovation Grants are designed to achieve Australian Government objectives to build long-term drought resilience and preparedness
Expressions of Interest are open for grants at three levels. Ideas Grants (up to $50,000) to further develop a concept; Proof-of-Concept Grants (up to $120,000 for one year only) or Innovation Grants of between $300,000 – $1.1 million per year over three years.
Future Drought Fund programs will support farm businesses to be better informed, more productive, profitable, and adaptable, and to adopt more resilient land and natural resource management practices. The programs will also build capacity in agricultural-dependent communities and businesses to be less vulnerable to the socio-economic impacts of drought. The Fund supports a range of initiatives including research and adoption of new and existing knowledge and technology; improved farm business planning and decision making; improved environmental and natural resource management; and a range of community resilience initiatives.
The Drought Resilience Funding Plan 2020 to 2024 has three inter-connected strategic priorities:
- economic resilience for an innovative and profitable agricultural sector – more farmers adopt strategies and technologies to reduce financial exposure to drought as well as risk management practices that improve sustainability and resilience
- environmental resilience for sustainable and improved functioning of farming landscapes – more primary producers preserve natural capital while also improving productivity and profitability
- social resilience for resourceful and adaptable communities – communities implement activities that improve resilience to drought
The grants are available for projects that focus on development, extension, adoption and some commercialisation6 activities. Fundamental research (also referred to as ‘basic’ or ‘pure’ research) will not be funded. Applied research done in the context of development, extension, adoption and commercialisation activities is permissible.
The grant process will be run in 2 stages: an initial EOI, followed by a targeted competitive round for shortlisted EOI applications. Ideas Grants are awarded based on the initial EOI.
Expressions of Interest close 8 September. Competitive grants open 28 October and close 24 November.
Check out the guidelines and criteria at the Australian Government’s Community Grants Hub.
The Future Drought Fund team is hosting a webinar to answer questions about their program. The webinar takes place Monday 9 August from 10.00am – 11.00am. Register here. A short video is also available online.