How frequent are the application rounds?

  • The AGMARDT board meets approximately ten times a year
  • Applications are reviewed at board meetings
  • You can find key dates here

When will I know when my application has been approved or declined?

  • We do our best to contact all applicants within 5-7 working days following a board meeting, often we’ll be in touch sooner
  • If you haven’t heard from us within 7 working days feel free to get in touch

Is funding GST exclusive or inclusive?

All AGMARDT funding requests are GST INCLUSIVE so please ensure you have factored this into your costs.

What is in / out of scope for AGMARDT funding?

AGMARDT operates a relatively small fund meaning the Trust focuses on areas where it can have the greatest impact. We acknowledge there may be needs or gaps across the food and fibres sector that AGMARDT is unable support. We are happy to recommend partners or other funding organisations who may be able to help.

In scope:

  • Land based food and fibres sectors as per AGMARDT’s trust deed e.g. Dairy, meat, wool, horticulture, viticulture, bees, forestry, and arable
  • Agritech solutions that help to address to New Zealand agri food and fibres challenges
  • Food tech, a substantially grown New Zealand product
  • Environmental impacts of / on food and fibres industries
  • People development

Out of scope:

  • Aquaculture/Seafood
  • Policy development
  • Market access
  • Extension (see Extension FAQ below for exceptions)

What type of people or organisations does AGMARDT support?

  • AGMARDT supports individuals, groups and organisations of all sizes i.e. funding is not tied to a specific enterprise lifecycle stage e.g. pre-start up, start-up, growth, established / expansion etc
  • Applications most often come from individuals, groups or organisations who have limited R&D resources, budgets and programmes

What are the trustees looking for, what should I focus my application on?

  • In short, high quality, high impact ideas
  • Focus on demonstrating impact potential aligned to one or more of AGMARDT’s priorities:
    • Regional resilience / growth
    • Regional or placed based leadership
    • Improved environmental performance
    • Growing economic value for New Zealand (at farm, community, regional or national level)
    • Collaboration / partnership
  • Trustees are also looking for:
    • Evidence of the need / demand
      • e.g. The problem to be solved, the market opportunity, capability / leadership needs
    • An innovative approach
      • e.g. Transformational, diverse thinking, new and future focussed (beyond the here and now)
    • Benefits and influence can be sustained over time
      • e.g. Future aspirations, scalability, broad longer term impact and influence, key learnings
    • Evidence of ability to deliver and the right mindset
      • e.g. A clear, well thought out plan, sound success measures, capable people / teams, entrepreneurial spirit, growth mindset, willingness to learn and adapt
  • AGMARDT also looks favourably on applications where industry financially contributes (whether commercial companies or industry good organisations)
    • This signals strong support for projects and is a good demonstration of collaboration and industry commitment

Where can I learn more about the grants AGMARDT have granted in the past to avoid duplication or learn about others’ journeys?

  • You can access AGMARDT’s grants awarded here
  • Grantee impact stories can be found here and in our annual reports here

AGRIBUSINESS INNOVATION GRANTS

What’s the maximum I can apply for under the Agribusiness Innovation Grant (AIG)?

  • Up to $200,000

When should I apply for a <$30k Agribusiness Innovation Grant (AIG)?

  • When a project is at early concept stage particularly if there’s a question mark over whether an idea will work
  • Where a project might be stuck in one part of the process and funding might help to unlock it
  • No co-funding requirement
  • Apply for this grant if the TOTAL project cost is less than $30k (GST inclusive)

When should I apply for a $30k+ Agribusiness Innovation Grant (AIG)?

  • If there’s confidence / evidence a concept will work
  • If there’s a known, clearly developed programme of work
  • If the TOTAL project cost is more than $30k (GST inclusive). Even if you’re applying for less than $30k from AGMARDT you must still apply for a $30k+ grant
  • The applicant / group can provide a minimum cash or co-funded contribution of at least 40% of the TOTAL project cost

What level of co-funding is required?

  • <$30k – no co-funding
  • $30k+ – at least 40% of TOTAL project costs

Can I apply for <$30k AIG even if my total project is more than $30k?

  • AGMARDT wants to understand the TOTAL size of the project (how big it is) and the structure to ensure it will be successful (e.g. governance, co-funding checks for audit)
  • You can request less than $30k from AGMARDT, but if your TOTAL project cost is more than $30k you must apply for $30k+ AIG and follow the guidelines
    • Example 1: Your total project cost is $35k, you are only seeking $20k from AGMARDT. You must apply for $30k+ AIG.
    • Example 2: Your total project cost is $100k, you are asking AGMARDT for $30k – you must apply for a $30k+ AIG. You would also need to provide co-funding of $70k. The maximum amount that AGMARDT would consider funding your project for is $60k (of $100k).

Does applying for the <$30k grant preclude someone from applying for a larger grant later on?

  • No, in fact we would encourage this as a next step if early-stage work supported developing the idea further

If my application has been declined, is there a cool down period? How soon can I reapply?

  • There is a 12 month cool down period and applicants may resubmit after 12 months provided the project has changed significantly (modified/updated)
  • If you wish to reapply earlier than 12 months, please contact AGMARDT’s GM to discuss your specific circumstances to understand if a new application would be accepted by the trustees

Who is the “duly authorised person”?

  • The person filling in the application that AGMARDT will correspond with for the duration of the project

Does AGMARDT fund NPD pipeline research or changes to existing designs / products?

  • Early R&D is supported provided it’s in a new / novel area

Does AGMARDT support extension and delivery (knowledge transfer)?

Generally speaking, AGMARDT does not provide funding for this type of work. However, there are instances where this request may be successful:

  • Does it ignite the future (i.e. does it go beyond the here and now)?
  • Is it cross-sector (i.e. is not specific to one industry)?
  • Is it a new area (e.g. establishing a new system or taking a radical new approach)?

What should I avoid in my application / what doesn’t AGMARDT fund?

  • Capital expenditure (CAPEX) funding e.g. buildings, equipment, web-based products and services, etc
  • Operational funding unless someone is being paid to develop curriculum or commissioned to do specialised work
  • Retrospective funding (costs incurred before the project is approved by the board of trustees)
  • Focus on the here / now (incremental gains) with no link to the long-term future
  • Marketing / branding / comms unless it’s part of a larger innovation programme
  • Anything that can be perceived as ‘business as usual’ (BAU)
  • Projects outside the agribusiness sector
  • Duplicating existing work / reinventing the wheel
  • Duplication of funding assistance (note: applicants must disclose all third-party funding)

Do I need to undertake a market /economic evaluation? How should I answer this in my application?

  • Some applicant groups won’t have completed this work, particularly if they are conducting early concept tests. They would answer this application question in the negative
  • For others, particularly those applying for $30k+ grants some market work has usually been done e.g. identifying the size and scale of the opportunity and potential returns / impact for NZ’s food and fibres sector
  • As a rule of thumb, AGMARDT will expect a better understanding of the market from applicants in “stage 2” $30k+ grant applications vs “stage 1” <$30k grants applications

How should I respond to “evidence of market uptake of materials, industry input and benefit to the food and fibres industry”?

  • AGMARDT is looking to determine whether an idea has support by way of understanding what conversations have taken place and with who
  • The more specific you can be and the stronger the endorsement from others, particularly those within the targeted industry, the better

Who should I include as industry referees?

  • Reputable independents (i.e. people who are not part of your project team or AGMARDT trustees)
  • AGMARDT will be looking to understand referees’ perspectives regarding the level of support for your idea, you and your team
  • Your industry referees must be aware their names have been put forward

Why am I not able to include attachments with my application? Am I able to share supporting documents?

  • The GM and trustees read every application and as such all questions they are looking to have answered should be contained within that document
  • We encourage applicants to write clear, concise and focussed applications
  • If you still would like to provide supporting documentation, this can be sent to AGMARDT but there is no guarantee this information will be reviewed

Can I apply for AGMARDT funding to put towards a co-funding requirement for a larger application elsewhere?

  • The short answer is yes, sometimes we receive applications that request funding for a part of a project connected to a larger programme of work / application e.g. MPI’s Sustainable Food and Futures Fibres Fund
  • Please note, there should be no duplication of funding assistance – applicants must disclose all third-party funding

CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

Who is AGMARDT targeting with the Leadership Scholarship Programme, who should apply?

  • SMEs, farmers / growers (i.e. those with small or non-existent professional development budgets)
  • Those wanting to develop their leadership and governance skills for impact
  • Those working in and committed to the food and fibres sector
  • Those who can demonstrate potential for broader sector impact
  • Those looking to support their development over 1-3 years by way of a well-thought-out professional development plan

How often are Leadership Scholarships awarded?

  • Once a year, usually during the second half of the year
  • Please refer to AGMARDT’s website for the most up to date information

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

  • It varies year to year but generally around 5

How much funding can be applied for?

  • Up to $15,000

What do you need to provide alongside your application?

  • A CV
  • A professional development plan that goes beyond completing one specific course
  • Financial commitment to your development (either personal and / or your from employer). Alternatively, a demonstration of financial need if personal or employer contribution are not options

When should I apply for an Advanced Leadership Scholarship?

  • When you can demonstrate strong skill, expertise and experience
  • When you can clearly articulate the impact you’ll make as a leader (i.e. you can show you are doing something differently)
  • When you looking to pursue an overseas exec management programme
  • When you have a well-developed professional development plan that highlights the gap you are looking to fill with the programme you are applying for

Who can apply for the Industry Wide Capability Development grant?

  • Industry groups looking to develop capability to deliver transformational change for the sector

When should I apply for an Individual Capability Development grant?

  • When you are seeking funding for a single programme or defined area of skills development
  • Individuals can apply at any time throughout the year. You can find key dates here
  • Please note, AGMARDT does not often award individual Capability Grants and encourages people to apply under the annual Leadership Scholarships programme (which encompasses a broader professional development plan)

Can I apply for funding to do a Nuffield, Kellogg, Escalator or other similar programme?

  • AGMARDT provides significant direct funding to organisations as a ‘strategic partner’, to assist with providing leadership and governance training initiatives
    • Examples include, Rural Leaders (Nuffield / Kellogg) and the Agri Women’s Development Trust (AWDT)
  • Where AGMARDT is a strategic partner to an organisation, grants will not normally be provided to individual applicants to attend specific training provided by that organisation
  • We encourage individuals to discuss any financial barriers with programme providers to identify what options may be available

MARKET INSIGHTS INVESTMENT

AGMARDT has recently updated the market insights grant criteria which is noted below

When should I apply for a market insights grant?

  • When you are looking to better understand and inform target and consumer markets, understand needs, test concepts, develop go-to-market strategies, etc
  • When you have a project that can generate shared learnings for wider food and fibres sector benefit
  • AND you can demonstrate you are pursuing this project in collaboration with others (i.e. there is more than one group or sector involved in the project)
  • If a single group / organisation or company is seeking funding for market insight, we recommend contacting NZTE about their International Growth Fund (IGF)

What level of funding is available?

  • From $50,000 up to $400,000 (incl. of GST)

 What level of co-funding is required?

  • Successful applicants are required to provide matching cash funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis (i.e. 50%)

CONFERENCE SUPPORT

What are trustees seeking in a conference application?

  • Clear articulation of the outcomes of the conference
  • Clear articulation of how the conference aligns with AGMARDT’s objectives
  • Demonstrate clearly how the conferences aligns with the future direction for an industry and / or the strategic plan for an industry
  • Ability to demonstrate a future focus, highlighting how this conference will move people towards the future (i.e. is not focussed on the issues of the day)
  • Goes beyond an annual conference, is doing something different (for example, topics or speakers may come from other sectors to drive cross pollination of ideas)
  • If it is to provide for a speaker, there must be opportunity for networking, related workshops or a number of presentations to as broad an audience as possible
  • Provision of at least 2+ complimentary tickets (for AGMARDT personnel or an AGMARDT nominated people who would benefit from attending)

What funding support does AGMARDT provide for conferences?

  • AGMARDT is open to funding conferences beyond international speakers and e-conference capabilities (to enable international speakers) provided it meets the criteria above

ACCELERATOR LOANS

Who applies for accelerator loans?

  • Applications usually come from start-ups or enterprises that can play a significant role in the food and fibres sector

What are the trustees seeking in an accelerator loan application?

  • If an individual company is applying, they will need to demonstrate they are filling a critical gap

Where does AGMARDT invest via loans?

Where others won’t (i.e. there isn’t capital floating around in other spaces)

Are these loans popular?

  • AGMARDT receives few loan applications, and these are often only granted under exceptional circumstances

FOOD & FIBRES AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND CHALLENGE (THE CHALLENGE)

AGMARDT will call for proposals in specific subject areas

What is The Challenge?

  • The Challenge was established in 2021 to provide an opportunity for the ‘on edge’, creative thinkers of New Zealand to solve challenging issues faced by the food and fibres sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

What are the priority areas?

  • To date, The Challenge has focussed on solving for environmental challenges. The first challenge was broad, encompassing five different areas while the second was specifically targeted at achieving zero-carbon outcomes
  • In future, the challenge may focus on any number of areas deemed important to the sector by the Trust

What funding is available?

  • The Food and Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand Challenge is a contestable fund open to applications for AGMARDT funding from $50,000 up to $500,000 (inclusive of GST*).

Who can apply?

  • The Challenge is open to any project led by New Zealand businesses, communities of interest or sector groups connected with the food and fibres sector.
  • Applications submitted by New Zealand individuals or research teams may be considered provided they are partnering with businesses, communities of interest or sector groups connected with the food and fibres sector that will directly benefit from outcomes of the initiative.

What impact timeframe is AGMARDT seeking?

  • Projects must demonstrate impact within two years of completion, and it must be measurable and tangible

When will the next Challenge be?

  • Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter) for future dates