What is the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund?
The Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund is a program, established by the Government that will support regional and small publishers to transition to and compete more successfully in the evolving media environment. Noting this, applications will be assessed with regard to the size and location of applicants.
These are the things you will need to focus on in order to get this grant
- Strategy – how the proposed project aligns with, and supports, your own strategies for business growth and the sustainable production of public interest journalism
- Go or No Go – whether the project will proceed, in whole or part, without support from the Innovation Fund.
- Adapt – how you could or will adapt your business to take on the improvements and innovations from the proposed project
- Skills – your current and proposed access to appropriately skilled and experienced project personnel
- Resources – your current and proposed access to the infrastructure, capital equipment and technology necessary to deliver on the proposed project
- Intellectual Property – how you have or will secure beneficial use of any IP necessary to complete the proposed project
- Competitiveness – how the proposed project will improve the competitiveness of you.
- Costs – that the project is a cost-effective way to deliver the intended outcomes of the Innovation Fund
- Risks – the risks associated with the proposed project and how these risks will be managed
- Finances – how you will monitor the performance of the proposed project and manage the financial aspects of the grant funding
- Governance – how you will provide suitable and effective governance arrangements to successfully deliver the proposed project.
- Revenue – how the proposed project will improve the capacity of you to generate revenue from the production of civic and public interest journalism
- Innovation – how the proposed project will encourage innovation and experimentation in digital journalism
- Financial Position – how the proposed project will support business improvement activities that will strengthen the financial position of you within the level of grant funding being sought
- Sustainability – your capacity to maintain and extend the benefits of the project beyond the grant funding period
- Measurement – how you will measure the effectiveness of the proposed project, including audience reach and impact.
- Justification – how the grant amount sought for the proposed project represents a proportionate and appropriate allocation of resources relative to the scale of the proposed project
- Detail – how your budget for the proposed project contains an adequate level of detail and is appropriate to achieve the proposed project activities.
Contact me if you need more assistance with the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund [email protected]
I walk through the key aspects of the application here
When launching the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 Round, the ACMA has noted that regional and small publishers are facing additional financial pressures caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACMA notes that these pressures are exacerbating the effect of the structural challenges that the Innovation Fund has been established to address.
The timing of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 Round will therefore be shorter than previous rounds so that grant funding can be awarded and distributed to provide immediate assistance. However, applicants should be aware that the objective of the 2020 Round as set out above is to support the production of public interest journalism. It is not specifically aimed at addressing the loss of advertising revenue due to the current crisis.
The Regional Grant Opportunity
The Regional Grant Opportunity is an additional program under the Innovation Fund designed to make residual funding from round one of the Fund (up to $12.4 million) available to regional publishers and online content providers.
The Regional Grant Opportunity is targeted at regional news publishers who can demonstrate a solid business case to increase the sustainability of their publishing activities, including news gathering, production and distribution. Its objective is to provide these businesses with financial security in the medium term to allow them to take calculated risks to reorient their business models to adapt to the digital age.
The objective of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 Round is to support the production of public interest journalism by assisting publishers (which includes content service providers) to stabilise their financial position and increase their revenue so that they are able to operate on a sustainable basis in the medium term. The grants are designed to assist publishers and content service providers:
- to increase the sustainability of their news publishing activities (including news gathering, production and distribution) in the short to medium term; or
- to develop and trial transformational or innovative models for the sustainable provision of public interest journalism and reposition their businesses to adapt to the new media environment in the longer term.
The Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 Round will meet its objective by funding proposals that achieve one or more of the following outcomes for each successful applicant in relation to its production of public interest journalism:
- improve the capacity of publishers and content service providers to generate revenue from the production of civic and public interest journalism (for example, advertising or subscription revenue); or
- support business improvement activities that sustain or strengthen the financial position