GroundSwell Program

What is the GroundSwell Program?

The Regional New Industries Fund – GroundSwell Program enables the Department to identify and invest in organisations that deliver programs to assist entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to establish and grow their businesses in regional Western Australia. The Program’s funding recipients provide entrepreneurial training and development, and education in technology adoption.



The Western Australian Government is committed to supporting emerging regional entrepreneurs and start-ups, helping small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) transform their business model and realise the benefits of technology. To support regions to create jobs and build globally competitive and diverse industries, there is a recognised need for:

  • improved education, networks and opportunities for entrepreneurs; and
  • support to assist regional businesses to take up new and emerging technologies and business models.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is calling for expression of interest (EOI) under the new GroundSwell Program, from organisations to run entrepreneurial and technology programs in one or more of the State’s nine regions.

The Program’s funding recipients will be determined via Expressions of Interest (EOI) sought from organisations that run programs under each of the following two themes:

  1. Entrepreneurship programs that deliver regional education, training, mentoring, and resources to students and business founders to test business ideas launch start-ups and grow businesses.
  2. Technology programs that support regional SMEs to adopt technologies to streamline internal processes, cut costs and enhance their profitability and competitiveness. Technologies may include additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, data and analytics and software as a service.



The State Government will invite EOI’s from organisations, with a proven track record of success. Within the context of the above two themes, responses that also focus on the following will be viewed favourably:

  • help businesses to start-up or recover from the impacts of COVID-19;
  • equity and increasing diversity and inclusion (e.g. build the capability of Aboriginal and/or female entrepreneurs); and
  • contribute towards the growth of regional innovation community capabilities and networks (eg. programs run in partnership with regional incubators or regional university campus).



Grants of up to $200,000 are available under this co-investment program.


Eligible Projects

The types of programs initiatives that could be supported under the GroundSwell Program include (but not limited to):

  • Incubators and accelerators
  • Entrepreneurial education, mentoring and training
  • Business innovation and transformation
  • Data and analysis
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Coding and web-services training
  • STEM and research and development programs


Eligible Applicants

Applications must meet the following Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and/or Australian Company Number (ACN);
  • Be made by a valid legal entity that can enter into a funding agreement with the Western Australian Government (see Section 6);
  • Aim to achieve a 1:1 ratio of matched funding that may include in-kind services;
  • Include financial statements for the past two financial years that have been certified by the organisation’s accountant; and
  • Provide a project plan that includes a timeline, deliverables, a clear budget, resources, risks, IP management, stakeholder  engagement/communications and how impact/success will be measured.

An organisation must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • demonstrate collaboration with other organisations in the region/s where the project will be delivered;
  • be able to provide programs and services to multiple locations;
  • demonstrate they have the management, financial and technical capability and professional networks to deliver activities outlined in the regional proposal



Applications close 10 August 2020.


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