Smart Cities and Suburbs Program

At a glance

Closed

Provides organisations with funding to support projects that apply innovative technology-based solutions to urban challenges to improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of Australian cities, suburbs and towns.

Who can apply:

At a minimum, you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST
  • be one of the following:
    • a local government agency or body
    • an entity incorporated in Australia
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • a not for profit organisation
    • a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO).

Other eligibility requirements may apply.

Deadline to apply:

The granting component has closed to applications.

Local governments that are new to smart cities and smart technology can register for the Future Ready incubation package.

Contact information:

13 28 46

business.gov.au/contact

Overview

The $50 million competitive Smart Cities and Suburbs Program was announced as part of the 2016 election campaign. The program will support projects that apply innovative technology-based solutions to urban challenges. The program encourages eligible organisations – local governments, private companies, research organisations and not for profit bodies – to deliver collaborative smart city projects that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of Australian cities, suburbs and towns.

The program involves two components:

  • A granting component which opened for applications on 17 March 2017 and closed on the 30th of June 2017. Grants of $100,000 to $5 million were available to cover up to 50% of eligible project costs. 
  • An incubation package which is open for registrations at the link below.

Register your interest

Future Ready incubation package

Local governments that are new to smart cities and smart technology can register for the Future Ready incubation package. This package is not directly linked to the grants application process but supports capability building in local government. The package will provide participating local governments with the opportunity to collaborate with industry, build organisational capability, establish partnerships and develop innovative smart city plans and projects.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply you must have an Australian Business Number (ABN), be registered for GST, and be one of the following:

  • a local government agency or body
  • an entity incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • a not for profit organisation
  • a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO).

Your project must:

  • have at least $200,000 of eligible expenditure
  • provide evidence that you can fund your minimum 50% share of eligible project costs from non- Commonwealth sources
  • involve at least:
    • one local government agency or body, and
    • one private sector organisation during the life of the project
  • have in-principle support from a local government agency or body at the time of application
  • be able to start within two months of executing a grant agreement.

For more information on eligibility please refer to the Program Guidelines.

Merit criteria

To be competitive, you must score highly against all of the criteria.

  • Merit Criterion 1 - The extent to which your project is innovative and uses smart technology and open data.
  • Merit Criterion 2 - The scope of social, environmental and economic benefits your project will deliver.
  • Merit Criterion 3 - The extent of the project’s community focus and impact on the liveability of the cities, suburbs and towns.
  • Merit Criterion 4 - Your capacity, capability and resources to carry out the project.

How to apply

The granting component of the program is currently closed to applications.

Local governments may register for the Future Ready incubation package:

Register your interest

How we assess applications

We first assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the merit criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the merit assessment stage.

We refer your application to an assessment committee of Commonwealth officers with subject matter expertise who will make recommendations on which grants to approve.

The Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation decides which grants to approve taking into account the recommendations of the committee and the availability of grant funds. There were more applications received than anticipated. As such, the assessment and approval process is taking longer than initially expected. An announcement on successful applications will be made in due course.

For more information on how we assess your application please refer to section 7 of the Program Guidelines.

If your application is successful

If you are successful, you will receive a written offer. To accept the offer, you must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

The grant agreement will state the:

  • maximum grant amount we will pay
  • proportion of eligible costs covered by the grant (up to 50% of eligible project costs).

We make an initial payment on execution of the grant agreement covering up to 6 months of eligible expenditure. We will make subsequent payments in arrears based on your achievement of activities and your eligible expenditure.

You must submit progress and financial reports in line with the grant agreement. We will provide sample templates for these reports as appendices in the grant agreement.

Key documents

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