Smart Cities Funding Round 2: Download the Top 10 Tips for Writing a Smart Cities Funding Application

Alexi Lynch

Here we go again...!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years you’d be aware of the Federal Government’s “smart cities” push, which included a Smart Cities Summit in April 2016, launching Australia's very first Smart Cities Plan, and the first round of funding announced late last year. 

On 2 May 2018, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, announced the opening of a second round of the Program, with around $22 million of funding available through a competitive grant process. Round Two of the Program will be open for applications from 2 May through to 5pm AEST on 2 July 2018.

Round 2 Funding: Due 2nd July 2018

The results of the first round of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program was released by the Federal Government late last year and was very interesting reading! NSW is leading the way in terms of the number of projects and the funding secured, but there were innovative proposals from all states on the list covering transport, planning, energy, and many more areas. From our analysis of the first round winners, a key was that the Federal Government does not see ‘Smart’ as simply an alternative label for information technology, but instead views it as a forward thinking and multi-dimensional approach to urban challenges.

>> Check out our analysis of round one results
>> Download our round one winner excel tool so you can sort all of the projects by location; grant amount; co-contribution amount; total amount; type of lead applicant; grant amount percentage; contribution percentage and more!
>> Keep up to date with all of local government and sustainability news by subscribing to our newsletter (we only send about 12-15 newsletters a year and only if we have valuable information) 

Ironbark have started working on round two Smart Cities and Suburbs Program funding ideas and applications with a number of councils on a variety of projects. The 2nd July deadline is fast approaching and given it's at the end of the financial year - when councils are flat-chat and 2018-2019 budgets have been set - the timing is far from ideal. However, for those who have been around and involved in various Federal (or State for that matter) Government funding programs over the last decade or so, you’ll know that applications can be developed rapidly if you have the necessary business cases and preliminary documentation, and experience in developing applications. While no one likes working midnight shifts to get that last merit criteria absolutely perfect, it can be done. 

Over the last 5 years, we’ve worked on funding applications with hundreds of councils around Australia. This has included state and federal schemes that have come and gone from the small (for example developing the successful Smart Light Feasibility Study application for a Victorian local government network through the Collaborative Council - Sustainability Fund Partnerships (CCSFP) Program) to the big (for example, developing funding applications for buildings and lighting projects for councils the width and breadth of Australia through the Community Energy Efficiency Program or CEEP). For CEEP, this included developing successful applications for 64 council projects worth $70.31 million. This represents buildings and street lighting projects from Western Australia to Tasmania and everything in between.

How's Your Application Going? Download Ironbark's Free Report, Smart Cities and Suburbs Program: Top 10 Tips for Writing a Killer Funding Application

From these hundreds of applications we’ve kept a keen eye on the lessons, the do’s and do nots, the patterns, and everything in between.

We’ve presented on this at conferences around Australia over the last few years but in lieu of any last-minute conferences or webinars – and with an eye on the 2nd July clock – we’ve collated our hints into a report that you can download here for free.

This report is based on the combined experience from our senior staff and borrows from funding application tips from councils throughout Australia – including Greater Shepparton City Council (Vic), Cairns Regional Council (Qld), City of Brimbank (Vic), City of Boroondara (Vic), City of Moreland (Vic) and the City of Mandurah (WA).

We hope it helps you with your Smart Cities application or for other funding applications into the future.

If you want a quick informal chat about any funding applications you currently have in the pipeline please just give us a buzz. Or if you want a more formal review with input then let us know and we’ll help you out.