Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership: Grant Round 2


Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership: Grant Round 2

About the program

The Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership (AIIPOIP) helps shape maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to support an open, inclusive, resilient, prosperous and rules-based maritime order.

In 2020-21, the AIIPOIP generated ideas and cooperation to begin implementation of the IPOI, which is feeding into actions taken by both governments and non-government actors. In 2021-22, the AIIPOIP focuses on building areas of practical cooperation between Australia, India, and the Indo-Pacific along specific areas which the Australian and Indian governments have identified as priorities, particularly in the field of combating marine plastic waste and marine ecology.

The AIIPOIP sits under the Australia-India Joint Declaration on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific as part of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership announced during Leaders’ Virtual Summit on 4 June 2020. India and Australia are committed to work together bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally, and in minilateral arrangements, to support regional architecture in line with their shared values and interests. The AIIPOIP also aligns with other bilateral arrangements, including Australia-India Maritime and 2+2 Dialogues, and with our cooperation with ASEAN under its Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

We administer the program according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs)1.

Seed funding to implement the IPOI

Prime Minister Modi announced the IPOI at the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok in November 2019. The initiative will drive deeper engagement between India and regional partners to collaboratively safeguard the oceans; enhance maritime security; preserve marine resources; build capacity and fairly share resources; reduce disaster risk; enhance science, technology and academic cooperation; and promote free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and maritime transport. Australia has undertaken to be a lead partner on the maritime ecology pillar.

About the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative

The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 14th East Asia Summit on 4 November 2019 at Bangkok, has seven pillars:

  1. Maritime Ecology
  2. Maritime Security
  3. Marine Resources
  4. Capacity Building and Resource Sharing
  5. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
  6. Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation
  7. Trade, Connectivity and Maritime Transport

Australia is the lead partner on the maritime ecology pillar and is looking to drive scientific collaboration and share best practice across the Indo-Pacific on reducing marine pollution, with a focus on plastic waste.

The seed funding under this Partnership is available to partners to progress the IPOI initiative to a stage where more intergovernmental activities take place. This opportunity is set to catalyse ideas for the IPOI to pursue in future years by focusing on the maritime ecology pillar, on which Australia is the lead partner.

We will support proposals that bring together Australian and Indian stakeholders – across researchers, businesses and government – in a collaborative way to share expertise and resources.

We encourage proposals that nurture cooperation under the IPOI that links with existing regional mechanisms and arrangements including ASEAN, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

The Partnership grants model acknowledges the powerful role that think tanks play in India’s foreign policy development, and the potential for think tank-led initiatives to help define and accelerate India and others’ planning for the IPOI. It also creates opportunities to strengthen links between Indian and Australian think tanks and government officials through academic and research collaborations.

The IPOI has strong synergies with ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, the Australia-ASEAN Plan of Action adopted in 2019 and with the India-ASEAN Plan of Action (2021-2025) adopted in 2020.

AIIPOIP Grant Round 2 priority areas

The AIIPOIP 2021-22 grant opportunity has three overarching objectives:

  1. to strengthen Australia-India cooperation by deepening institutional linkages between Australian and Indian researchers, businesses and government on maritime issues
  2. to build partnerships, regional consensus, generate ideas and advance practical cooperation under maritime ecology pillar of the IPOI, including on:
  • Understanding marine pollution dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, including tools to better understand spatio-temporal distribution of micro-plastics, and detection of f loating marine plastic
  • Regional marine plastics management
  • Innovative approaches to building the circular economy
  •  Tools and innovations to segregate plastics based on types and improving reliability of information about recycled plastics.

  3. other practical ideas for how the IPOI can link with existing regional mechanisms and arrangements, in particular ASEAN, IORA and the PIF.

In assessing applications, the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will prioritise initiatives that:

  • use a collaborative and multi-stakeholder model that combines knowledge and resources f rom stakeholders in Australia, India and (where appropriate) a third country
  • build links with, and leverage, the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) to drive closer engagement with Southeast Asia
  • mainstream gender equality in the implementation of grant activities to support women’s empowerment
  • generate multi-platform outputs (e.g. publications, webinars, conferences and exchanges)
  • promote a rules-based maritime order underpinned by adherence to international law, including by increasing knowledge of rights and obligations under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
  • propose innovative models and strategies to mitigate marine pollution and plastic waste, including by facilitating dialogue with industry on new recycling technologies; and/or
  • promote scientific and technical cooperation on marine plastic waste.

Who can apply?

To be eligible you must:

  • be located in India and have a partner institution that is located in Australia for the purposes of the activity; or
  • be located in Australia and have a partner institution that is located in India for the purposes of the activity

and be one of the following entity types:

  • a company incorporated in Australia or India
  • a company incorporated by guarantee
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated association
  • a partnership
  • a joint (consortia) application with a lead organisation
  • a not-for-profit organisation
  • a university or think tank or research organisation
  • an Australian state or territory government body
  • an Indian sub-national government body.

Joint applications involving more than one organisation are acceptable. Multi-stakeholder involvement (including from businesses, non-government organisations, and/or government bodies) is encouraged where appropriate and eligible. Applications involving partners based in third countries in the Indo-Pacific (including but not limited to Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and other ASEAN countries) are encouraged. For further information on joint applications, refer to section 7.2.

What the grant money can be used for

Eligible grant activities

To be eligible your project must:

  • support the intended objectives of the AIIPOIP and by addressing the objectives under Section 2.2 and the assessment criteria; and
  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure.

Eligible activities must relate directly to the project and could include:

  • joint research projects which result in publications
  • industry specific user guides, advisories, standards etc
  • traditional research outputs of books, chapters, journal articles and conference publications
  • technical training, conferences, dialogues, workshops, seminars and events
  • mentoring and support in developing IPOI implementation frameworks
  • new research-related information sharing and communication initiatives
  • exchanges and secondments of personnel between Australia and India
  • collaboration mechanisms across industries or levels of government
  • other innovative solutions that promote best practice.

We may also approve other activities.

Eligible expenditure

You can only spend the grant on eligible expenditure you have incurred on eligible grant activities. Expenditure must be reasonable and proportional to the grant size and in line with the project outcome.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • Personnel - Eligible labour expenditure for the grant covers the direct labour costs of employees you directly employ on the core elements of the project. Partners will be asked to provide the name, designation, responsibility and number of hours given to the project of staff whose salary/consultancy fees are covered from project funds. DFAT will ask for these supporting documents at the time of due diligence. Partners will be asked to submit copies of payment receipts in their mid-term and/or end of year report.
  • Direct costs of the eligible grant activities.
  • Travel – Costs for domestic and/or international economy class airfares and modest accommodation and per diems that are essential for delivery of the project. Please consider carefully to what extent travel is likely to be feasible during the proposed timeframe of your project. The class of travel and per diems should be in line with DFAT’s travel policy (available here).
  • Equipment – DFAT will only fund ‘small equipment’ or software specific to the project proposal. ‘Small equipment’ is defined as equipment under a total of AUD10,000 that is used collaboratively and, where possible, is Australian made. Computing equipment or software should be specialised and required for the completion of the project. DFAT will not fund general equipment or software that would be normally provided by institutions, such as standard computers or the Microsoft software suite.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) – As a key component of the program, costs associated with MEL processes and activities to inform program reporting and learning should be identified separately within the indicative budget outline
  • Administrative support. Indian partners should comply with the latest Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules regarding the cap on spend on administrative expenses. In line with the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020, no Indian lead partner receiving funds directly from DFAT should transfer funds to the secondary/local partners or stakeholders of the project.

What the grant money cannot be used for

You cannot use the grant for the following activities:

  • any activities, equipment or supplies that are already being supported through other sources (including support from the Australian Government)
  • indirect costs of the project, including:
    • institutional overheads and administrative charges
    • membership of professional organisations and groups
    • non-project-related staff training and development costs
  • staff recruitment and relocation costs
  • debt financing
  • capital expenditure for the purchase of assets such as office furniture and equipment, motor vehicles, computers, printers or photocopiers and the construction, renovation or extension of facilities such as buildings and laboratories
  • general administrative costs including rental, insurances, government fines/ charges and utilities.

The assessment criteria

You must address the following assessment criteria in the application. We will assess your application based on the weighting given to each criterion. An application should get minimum 50 points (30 in Criterion 1 and 20 in Criterion 2) for it to qualify for the final assessment stage.

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the size, complexity and grant amount requested.

Criterion 1

Explain how your project will support the objectives and priorities of the AIIPOIP outlined in Section 2.2 (60 points).

You should demonstrate this by identifying:

  1. the specific problem or issue your project will address, why it needs to be addressed, and how your project will address it, including the rationale for your approach;
  2. the expected outcomes and benefits of your project and how they would contribute to the objectives of the AIIPOIP.

Criterion 2

Explain how your and your partner’s(s’) capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (40 points).

You should demonstrate this by identifying:

  1. your access to personnel with the right skills and experience, including management and technical staff, and to any infrastructure, capital equipment, technology and intellectual property required for the project;
  2. that you have, or your plans to develop, a sound project plan to manage and monitor the project;
  3. how the grant activity is achievable in the context of travel, social distancing and gathering restrictions that may be in relevant locations, and how people will participate and engage in the grant activity in a potentially restrictive environment; and
  4. (if any part of the project requires the participation of stakeholders in a third country) your experience, expertise and relationships in the third country).

Funding and timeframes

Available Funding

The AIIPOIP’s competitive open call grant round 1 and subsequent rounds are anticipated to allocate up to around $1.4 million from 2020-21 to 2023-24. Up to $350,00 is anticipated to be available for allocation in 2020-21.

For any single grant application for 2020-21, the maximum budget is $116,500.

Prospective grantees cannot use funding from other Commonwealth, state, territory or local government sources to fund your share of eligible expenditure. DFAT reserves the right to offer less funding than that requested by the applicant. All applications will be assessed on competitive basis.

Eligible expenditure

Grant Round 1 can support:

  • Personnel - Eligible labour expenditure for the grant covers the direct labour costs of employees you directly employ on the core elements of the project.
    • Direct costs of the eligible grant activities.
  • Travel - Costs for domestic and/or international economy class airfares and modest accommodation and per diems that are essential for delivery of the project.
  • Equipment - DFAT will only fund ‘small equipment’ or software specific to the project proposal. ‘Small equipment’ is defined as equipment under a total of $10,000 that is used collaboratively and, where possible, is Australian-made. Computing equipment or software should be specialised and required for the completion of the project.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) - As a key component of the program, costs associated with MEL processes and activities to inform program reporting and learning should be identified separately within the indicative budget outline.
  • Administrative support.

How to apply?

Before applying, you must read and understand these guidelines available at GrantConnect under ‘Grant Opportunities’. Any alterations and addenda2 will be published on GrantConnect and by registering on this website, you will be automatically notified on any changes. GrantConnect is the authoritative source for grants information.

To apply you must:

  • Complete an application in a word document, addressing the eligibility and assessment criteria to be considered for a grant. Provide all the information requested
  • include all necessary attachments (see 7.1)
  • email your application/s by 23.59 AEDT on Sunday 9 January 2022.


You cannot change your application after the closing date and time. If we find an error or information that is missing, we may ask for clarification or additional information from you that will not change the nature of your application. However, we can refuse to accept any additional information from you that would change your submission after the application closing time.

You should keep a copy of your application and any supporting documents. We will acknowledge that we have received your application.

Attachments to the application

We require the following documents with your application:

  • an indicative budget
  • a project management plan including timeline
  • if applicable (for Indian partners), your Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) certificate
  • If applicable (for joint applications), a letter of support from partner organisations (see 7.2)

Joint (consortia) applications

Organisations may join to form a group of organisations for the purposes of delivering a grant activity or project. In this circumstance, you must appoint a ‘lead organisation’. Only the lead organisation can submit the application form and enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The application must identify all other members of the proposed group and include a letter of support from each of the partners.

Each letter of support must include:

  • details of the partner organisation
  • an overview of how the partner organisation will work with the lead organisation and any other partner organisations in the group to successfully complete the grant activity or project
  • an outline of the relevant experience and/or expertise the partner organisation will bring to the group
  • the roles/responsibilities of the partner organisation and the resources they will contribute (if any
  • details of a nominated management level contact officer.

You must have a formal arrangement in place with all parties prior to execution of the agreement.

Timing of grant opportunity processes

Table 1: Expected timing for this grant opportunity



 Applications open

 Monday 29 November 2021

 Applications close

 23.59 AEDT on Sunday 9 January 2022

 Assessment of applications

 January 2022

 Approval of outcomes of selection process

 February 2022

 Award of grant agreements

 February 2022

 Notification to unsuccessful applicants

 March 2022

 Expected commencement date of grant activity

 March 2022


Questions during the application process

If you have any questions during the application period, contact [email protected] and/or [email protected]

Questions should be sent no later than close of business Wednesday 5 January 2022.

Key reference documents/links


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