Up to $250,000 is available for creative digital content projects that are destined for distribution on web-enabled platforms.
The Interactive Media Fund, or IMF, focuses on the creation and exchange of digital innovation. It ensures interactive content are properly distributed as well as its ability to provide benefits to other sectors which includes finance, health, and education. Furthermore, the Interactive Media Fund will provide support to functioning prototypes from its early stages up to its completion to ensure that the prototypes are ready for production. Since March 2012, the Interactive Media Fund was transferred to Screen NSW.
Being one of the NSW Government initiatives that support digital economy, the Interactive Media Fund aims to:
- Build up the Interactive Media industry capability in NSW and help with the investment in intellectual property by NSW digital businesses
- Produce and develop media skills – both in digital and interactive media
- Encourage and support the production, innovation, and adoption of new and state of the art technology as well as methodologies on the diversity of creative digital content
- Develop greater collaboration between the traditional and digital media producers, and between sectors as well.
The funding categories of the Interactive Media Fund are as follows:
- Early Stage Development: up to $ 50,000.00. This includes scoping technical requirements of the project, potential commercial partners, creative and market potential, as well as pitch materials.
- Advanced Development/ Production Finance: up to $ 250,000.00. This is the prototyping of larger scale projects with the goal of further investment, prototype completion, production finance, or taking a project into production. However, keep in mind that amounts more than $250,000.00 will only be considered where an exceptional opportunity is presented, backed by a well-developed business plan and strong market interest.
- Enterprise Development: up to $ 250,000.00. This is for ambitious businesses backed with a well developed business strategy and a slate of interactive digital projects.
- Travel Grants: 75% of total costs up to 5,000.00 (with a maximum of $ 10,000.00 each financial year). This is to support digital media producers and content creators to travel to international markets, conferences, and trade fairs to seek finance/partners.
The Interactive Media Fund is focused on creative digital content projects which are commercially oriented. Therefore, eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- games / serious games
- virtual worlds
- transmedia projects
- mobile applications (if essential to a creative digital project)
- creative projects that aims to entertain or educate/inform (excluding curriculum material)
The projects that are granted eligibility are those that fall within the category of games and transmedia. But, if certain criteria are met and innovativeness is proven, funding may still be granted. Listed below are the assessment criteria of the Interactive Media Fund:
- The potential of the project to contribute to a more robust NSW economy. This includes the project’s capability of both immediate and long term job creation and retention as well as development of the NSW digital media industry.
- Viability of the project. This determines the project viability and long term commercial exploitation potentials.
- The project or proposal’s innovation, quality, originality and interactivity. Interactive Media Fund is about creating new and original digital content, therefore this is very important.
- Track record of applicant company and key creatives/key personnel.
Eligible applicants for the Interactive Media Fund are businesses based and operating in NSW (or have an office/branch in NSW). Applicant businesses or project teams should include at least one person with a significant credit in the interactive digital media area. Eligible applicants may consist of:
- 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
Applications to the IMF can be made at any time and will be assessed at quarterly meetings. The next round closes on 19 March 2013.
The four projects to be funded in the latest round of the Interactive Media Fund are:
- ACO3D – the internationally acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra will team up with the digital expertise of Michela Ledwidge and Mod Productions to use cutting edge projection-mapping to take a world class orchestral performance experience to audiences across Australia in innovative and interactive ways.
- The Hive – a transmedia project that combines social networks, television and on-line engagement. Multi award-winning producers Simon Nasht and Annamaria Talas are working with designer Stephane Zerbib of Wasabi Digital and world-leading mathematicians, economists and game designers to create a prototype that connects the virtual and real worlds resulting in game players solving real-world problems.
- Earthquake Buddy – an interactive app developed by The App Collective and endorsed by global ‘Recovery Tsar’ professor Ed Blakely, it uses real time seismic data and geo-tagging to let loved ones know the location of a user at the time of an earthquake. The app will be expanded across other mobile OS and form a suite of innovative life saving apps.
- Mod Productions – support for further development of a business plan for the successful startup founded by Michela Ledwidge and Mish Sparks that produces multiplatform interactive experiences.
All recipients are listed below
|24 Hour Music Track||The Feds Australia||$50,000|
|ACO3D||Australian Chamber Orchestra||$110,000|
|Dino App||Essential Media and Entertainment , Eye Candy||$15,000|
|Earthquake Buddy||The App Collective||$30,000|
|Junior Storytellers||Media Farm and Project Factory||$170,430|
|Ken’s Stunt Arena||Mememe Productions||$249,260|
|Mod Productions – Business Plan||Mod Production||$10,000|
|Pic-See||Pic-See as trustee for Pic-See Trust||$10,000|
|The Hive||Smith & Nasht||$141,000|
|Travel to E3 Conference LA||Nnooo||$3,380|
|Travel to Worldwide Developers Conference||Glasshouse Apps||$3,825|
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.