Digital Futures Fund

Up to $500,000 for collaborative projects that assist businesses to use ICT to improve their productivity.

      Digital Futures Fund

100% Success rate with the Collaborative Internet Innovation Fund (cIIF)

 

Overview

Round 2 of the Digital Futures Fund supports collaborative projects involving the development of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions that transform current business practices and deliver productivity benefits to Victorian small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

 

Background

Adoption of ICT has been demonstrated to drive productivity, innovation and improve the competitiveness of businesses. The Digital Futures Fund supports SMEs to overcome business challenges through the use of ICT by reducing barriers to specialist ICT resources, knowledge and technical expertise.

 

Round 1 Recipients

The three successful projects will partner with relevant organisations to solve a business challenge faced by Victorian small to medium sized enterprises. Project partners include a range of universities, industry associations, manufacturing councils, ICT research and development clusters and large enterprises.

  • Shiny –  Victorian corporate, work and school wear importer and wholesaler Shiny Pty Ltd has been awarded funding to work with Federation Logistics, RMIT University, CSIRO and the Australian Production and Inventory Control Society to develop an application for smartphones and tablet devices that displays real-time maps of stock location in the warehouse.
  • Industry Power – Industry Power will collaborate with Phil Munday’s Panel Works, Fleetwood Banner Pty Ltd and Suncorp Insurance to deliver a new software tool that will provide information to up to 50 small to medium sized vehicle repair businesses to assist them improve efficiency, sustainability and viability of their businesses.
  • Air Radiators – This project will involve the development of a mobile software platform that will provide manufacturing SMEs with an improved and accurate real time understanding of their production processes and assist them implement changes to deliver productivity gains to enhance their competitiveness. Air Radiators will work with Backwell IXL Pty Ltd, Deakin University, Geelong Quality Council, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and ICT Geelong to implement the project and share the benefits with other manufacturers.

 

Eligible Projects

Applications for the Digital Futures Fund are sought for projects to be undertaken in Victoria for a maximum of two years. To be successful, projects will:

  • assist Victorian SMEs to solve business challenges, such as limitations or constraints to productivity, growth or profitability, through the development and implementation of ICT-led solutions;
  • deliver significant improvements to products, services, business models and productivity;
  • demonstrate collaboration between Victorian businesses and relevant ICT companies, researchers and industry groups to develop solutions; and >> commit to share project learnings with other businesses.

 

Eligible Applicants

Digital Futures Fund projects must involve a minimum of three partner organisations, two of which must be Victorian non-ICT SMEs facing a shared business challenge.

Project partnerships may comprise a mix of private and public sector organisations including industry bodies and associations, community organisations, universities, TAFEs and public research and development organisations. All Digital Futures Fund partners will have an interest and role in solving the identified business challenges and will be in a position to demonstrate the benefits to other Victorian SMEs. A lead organisation is required to submit the application on behalf of all project partners.

 

Funding

Digital Futures Fund applicants can apply for funding between $50,000–$500,000 (excluding GST) to support their projects. Applicants must contribute a minimum of 25 per cent of the total project value in cash (i.e. $25,000 cash co-contribution for a project costing $100,000). In-kind project contributions are also encouraged.  If shortlisted to proceed to Stage 2, applicants will be eligible for a grant of up to $20,000 (excluding GST) to develop a business plan.

 

Process

The Digital Futures Fund involves a two-stage competitive selection process:

Stage 1: Expression of Interest

Applicants submit an Expression of Interest outlining essential parameters of their proposed project. Applicants also indicate their interest in applying for a grant to assist with developing a business plan.

Stage 2: Business Plan development

Shortlisted Stage 1 Digital Futures Fund applicants are invited to submit a business plan for review that expands on project information provided at Stage 1 including project management details, partner roles, budget details, key project deliverables, milestones and proposed outputs.

Applicants successful at Stages 1 and 2 of the Digital Futures Fund application process will be invited by the Department of Business and Innovation to enter into a funding agreement for delivery of the project.

 

Expert Assistance

In 2011, we were successful with assisting a client obtain over $250,000 through the previous program called the Collaborative Internet Innovation Fund (cIIF).

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.

The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation.

Call us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.

Areas that we focus on in the business plan include:

  • Need and Purpose – demonstrating that the project addresses a clearly identified shared business need, problem or challenge?
  • Collaboration – demonstrating that the project involves a diverse range of collaborative partners?
  • Innovation – demonstrating that the project involves innovative ICT or use of  ICT to address / solve the identified need / challenge.
  • Capability Development and Replicability – demonstrating that the project will lead to the development and availability of new ICT-enabled capabilities in Victoria
  • Quantifiable Benefits – demonstrating that the project deliver quantifiable benefits to partner organisations (productivity gains, new revenues or skills) and how will they be measured
  • Dissemination and Diffusion – demonstrating how the project show its transformative value / benefits to others and which economic sectors will benefit from wider diffusion of this knowledge
  • Sustainability – demonstrating that the project will operate / deliver benefits after the program funding
  • Resources and Delivery – demonstrating that the partner organisations have the appropriate mix of skills, experience, infrastructure and resources to successfully deliver the project and achieve quantifiable outcomes

 

Timing

The majority of applicants have been notified whether there application has been successful to progress through to stage 2.

 

More Information

2017-02-09T17:12:47+00:00October 1st, 2013|