Advancing Regional Innovation Program

Up to $500,000 is available to encourage  innovation across Queensland and supports local economies to create jobs for regional Queenslanders.

Advancing Regional Innovation Program

Advancing Regional Innovation Program

Advance Queensland’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program aims to turn our regions into hubs for innovation and enterprise. It will enable local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate closely and with government to harness innovation and unlock business potential, strengthen existing industries and prepare regional Queenslanders for jobs of the future.

The program enables a tailored approach to connecting local efforts, harnessing existing strengths and building regional capability. The intention is to build networks of innovative communities across the state that reflect the diversity of Queensland’s regions, draw people together and boost grassroots activities



The Advancing Regional Innovation Program aims to  support the development and increased maturity of regional innovation initiatives. The objectives are to promote:

  • Collaboration—encouraging stakeholders to collaborate to build innovation capabilities across their region
  • Leverage—ensuring activities have broad support and contributions from multiple partners
  • Sustainability—seeding activities, relationships and structures that will extend beyond the funding commitment for this program
  • Impact—supporting activities that make a demonstrable difference to innovation-driven opportunities and jobs in regional Queensland.



Up to $500,000 (excluding GST) is available for each of the twelve regions:

  • Darling Downs and Maranoa
  • Far North Queensland
  • North Queensland
  • Gold Coast
  • Fitzroy
  • Wide Bay Burnett
  • Ipswich and West Moreton
  • Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday
  • Moreton Bay
  • Outback Queensland
  • Redland and Logan
  • Sunshine Coast

Funded projects may span up to three years ending in the 2018–2019 financial year.


Eligible Projects

The Advancing Regional Innovation Program will cover costs for activities, which must address the Advancing Regional Innovation Program objectives.

At least 20 per cent of the total value of project activities must be dedicated to two or more nominated outreach locations (in addition to the main regional location) where activities will be delivered.

Funding may be used for the following eligible costs to build a package of activities:

  • Places and spaces—refurbishing and/or equipping innovation facilities including acquisition of new technologies.
  • Connectivity—entrepreneurial and innovation capability and skills programs delivered to startups, business and industry and researchers. Networks and connectivity established within the region, throughout Queensland, Australia and the world, including reasonable travel and accommodation costs
  • Collaboration—tools and platforms to manage and enable collaboration, including video conferencing equipment and installation costs
  • Leadership—salary (including salary related on-costs) up to $50,000 per annum for a Regional Innovation Coordinator acting as a connector for people, places and programs. Governance arrangements—innovation audits, collaborative action plan development and reporting support
  • Communities of practice—increased access to innovation mentors and experts (including third party delivery fees) for the total regional innovation ecosystem including start-ups, SMEs, industry, researchers, investors etc.

This is not an exhaustive list of eligible activities and the panel of assessors will make the final decision on whether an activity is eligible.


Eligible Applicants

  • The lead applicant is the main driver of the collaborative proposal and must at the time of application:
    • have an Australian Business Number
    • be GST registered
    • be based within the Queensland region where the project is proposed.
  • The following types of organisations would be considered eligible as a lead applicant:
    • incubators, co-working spaces, or other innovation service providers
    • councils and regional economic development organisations
    • consortiums of private and public organisations
    • not-for-profit entities established to deliver the regional innovation project
    • publicly funded research organisations.
  • The lead applicant must collaborate with at least five partner organisations, the majority of which are based in the region, and are separate entities representing a diverse cross section of the innovation ecosystem.
  • Demonstrate they and their partners have management and technical capability and professional networks to deliver activities outlined in the collaborative proposal.
  • Provide evidence of conditional support from the principal officer of all of the partner organisations.
  • Provide a statement of viability from the external accountant or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or most recent two years of accountant prepared financial statements for the lead applicant organisation (including profit and loss statement and balance sheet).
  • Have evidence of a total cash and in-kind contribution (from the lead applicant and partner organisations) that is equal to, or greater than, the funding sought from the Advancing Regional Innovation Program over the term of the project (up to three years).

State or federal government departments or agencies, government-owned corporations are not eligible to apply for funding from the Advancing Regional Innovation Program as the lead applicant.



Applications close 28 April 2017.


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