Digital Media Initiative

The Digital Media Initiative is one of a number of government grants that make up the NSW Government’s Digital Economy Strategy managed by the Investment Attraction Division of Industry & Investment NSW. The fund has $1.5 million a year to distribute for three years, commencing in 2010/11.


  • Develop digital media industry capability in NSW
  • Develop digital media skills
  • Encourage adoption of state of the art technology and methodologies
  • Support a diverse range of creative digital content projects
  • Encourage innovation
  • Encourage greater collaboration between traditional and digital media mproducers, and between the media sector and other sectors such as mhealth and education
  • Develop investment in intellectual property by NSW digital businesses

Participant Eligibility

Digital Media Initiative applicants must be NSW registered businesses. Applicants may include:

  • businesses involved in digital media production, including games studios and mobile or online content developers
  • multi-disciplinary teams that involve convergence of traditional and digital media (e.g. filmmakers and games developers)
  • digital content creators seeking to collaborate with sectors such as health, education and climate change

Digital Media Initiative applicant businesses or project teams must include at least one person with a significant credit in the digital media area.

Project Eligibility

The Digital Media Initiative is intended for commercially oriented digital content projects that are destined for distribution on internet, wireless, mobile, other emerging platforms or devices. Interactivity is generally required. Eligible Digital Media Initiative projects include, but are not limited to:

  • games including serious games
  • webisodes, mobisodes, interactive websites
  • transmedia projects
  • virtual worlds
  • projects intended as entertainment or to inform/educate (but excluding curriculum material)
  • standalone digital content
  • applications, where they are an intrinsic part of a creative digital project

The Digital Media Initiative does not cover:

  • advertising and marketing, corporate communications, business to business communications, e-commerce, marketing websites
  • arcade games
  • online services such as banking websites
  • educational product for school or tertiary

Funding Categories

Categories for funding under the Digital Media Initiative include:

1. Early stage development – scoping technical requirements, potential commercial partners, creative and market potential, pitch materials. This is the riskiest stage and hence involves a larger number of projects receiving smaller amounts. Prototypes, playable demos, preproduction, development, business planning activities. Up to $50,000

2. Advanced development / production finance – prototyping of larger scale projects to attract further investment, complete a functioning prototype or take a project into production, production finance for a market ready project. Up to $250,000. Amounts above $250,000 will only be considered where an exceptional opportunity is presented, backed by a well-developed business plan and strong market interest. Projects that have received early stage financing are eligible to apply for this stage.

3. Enterprise development – Digital Media Initiative applications will be considered from ambitious businesses with a well developed business strategy and a slate of digital projects wishing to accelerate their growth to the next stage and enhance their capital base. Support could be focused on hiring specialised staff or engaging specialised expertise. Up to $100,000

4. Marketing / financing – support for digital media producers and content creators to attend approved international markets and trade fairs to seek finance/partners or to market existing projects. Up to $5,000

Assessment Criteria

The potential of the project to contribute to a more robust NSW economy.

  • Contribution to immediate and long term job creation and retention including likelihood of project being further developed and completed in NSW and employing NSW personnel.
  • Development of the NSW digital media industry.
  • Skills retention, exploitation and development (e.g. retention of skilled graduates, exploitation of transferable skills from film, digital animation and vfx, transfer of skills from interstate or overseas).

Viability of the project

  • Project viability and potential for commercial exploitation in long term. Feasibility of project in terms of budget, financing and production schedule as well as potential for critical and commercial success and revenue generation.
  • Quality of business case or business development strategy and plans for use of the funding at this stage of the project.
  • The degree to which the proposal would not proceed without government assistance.
  • Commercial potential of project evidenced by cash or in-kind contributions from marketplace, i.e. telcos, distributors, games publishers, portal managers, private investors or letters of interest.

The project or proposal’s innovation, quality, originality and interactivity

Track record of applicant company and key creatives/key personnel

Grant Application dates: Ongoing

The full  guidelines for funding under the Digital Media Initiative, including application forms, are available for download below. For further information contact or phone (02) 9338 6780.

  • Download the Digital Media Initiative guidelines document
  • Download the application form

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