Innovation Fund: latest news | ACMA

Innovation Fund: latest news


14 June 2019

Applications for the Regional Grant Opportunity are now closed

Announcement of the grant outcomes will be released in due course, once the complete assessment of all applications received for this round has been finalised.

For more information about future rounds, please subscribe to the Innovation Fund e-bulletin.

5 April 2019

Funding available for regional publishers

The Minister for Communications and the Arts has announced a new round of funding grants targeted at regional publishers of public interest journalism.

The ACMA will be administering the Regional Grant Opportunity, which will make grants of up to $400,000 available to print and online news publishers in regional areas. The grants are designed to assist in increasing the sustainability of regional news publishing activities, including news gathering, production and distribution.

The application period for grants under the Regional Grant Opportunity opens on 5 April 2019.

Once the application period opens, applicants can access the application form and guidelines by registering at GrantConnect.

Additional information is also available on the ACMA website.

21 December 2018 

Round one results announced

The ACMA has awarded up to $3.6 million in grants to regional and small publishers under the first round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.

Round one of the Innovation Fund will support 29 projects by 25 successful applicants nationwide, with a mix of regional and metropolitan proposals funded. Grants will support innovation and digitalisation across a wide range of activities, including market research, trials of new business models, podcasts, and video capability.

A list of successful applicants and their projects is here.

The ACMA made the funding decisions for round one in a two-stage process against eligibility and merit criteria, as set out in the Grant opportunity guidelines published on GrantConnect. When undertaking the merit assessment of proposals from eligible applicants, the ACMA considered the expert advice of the independent Advisory Committee established by the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield.

The Advisory Committee members for round one were: Chair, Megan Brownlow (Pricewaterhouse Coopers), Louisa Graham (Walkley Foundation), Anna Reynolds (Australian Press Council), John Angilley (expert nominee of Country Press Australia), Professor Peter Fray (University of Technology Sydney), and Michael Malone (Superloop; NBN Co, Seven West Media).

Details about successful recipients will be made available on GrantConnect once the grant deeds have been executed.

The ACMA will provide feedback to all applicants who submit a written request by email to:

It is anticipated that applications for round two will open in the first quarter of 2019.

Information about round two of the Innovation Fund will be available on the ACMA website. You can subscribe to receive updates via the ACMA’s Innovation Fund e-bulletins.

3 September 2018

Round One of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund (the Fund) closed on 10 August 2018.

An Advisory Committee has also been constituted by the Minister for Communications to provide advice to the ACMA. We welcome the Advisory Committee and acknowledge its broad range of publishing, journalism and business experience. The Committee members are:

  • Chair - Megan Brownlow (PWC)
  • Louisa Graham (Walkley Foundation)
  • Anna Reynolds (Australian Press Council)
  • John Angilley (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW; expert nominee of Country Press Australia)
  • Professor Peter Fray (UTS)
  • Michael Malone (Superloop; NBN Co)

The ACMA has received 186 applications for Round One, as follows:

Size of grant sought Number of applications % of applications

Small (<$20K)



Medium ($20,001-$250K)



Large ($250,001-$1M)






The ACMA has evaluated each of these applications and will be making an announcement shortly.

There will be two more annual rounds of funding grants. Information on Round Two of the Fund is expected from February 2019.

If you are interested in the Fund, you can also subscribe for updates and find more information on the Fund at


Administered by the ACMA, the Fund is a three-year competitive grants program that is open to eligible regional publishers, small publishers and content providers for initiatives that support the continuation, development, growth and innovation of Australian civic and public interest journalism. 

Grants from the Fund are capped at a maximum of $1 million per year for any applicant, and fund will issue up to $16 million for each grant round. 

The objective of the Innovation Fund is to encourage publishers to develop and trial sustainable models for public interest journalism, and is open to any small, medium and large innovative projects from publishers right across Australia.

In combination, the Fund, the Regional Journalism Scholarships and the Regional and Small Publishers Cadetship Program make up the Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation package announced by the government in October 2017.

Last updated: 21 December 2018