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Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund

We administer the Australian Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund, which supports public interest journalism.

2020 Round

The 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund will provide up to $5 million in grants to regional and metropolitan publishers and content service providers of public interest journalism.

Publishers and content service providers can apply for a grant of up to $400,000 to help stabilise their financial position and increase their revenue, so that they can operate on a sustainable basis in the medium term.

The 2020 Round is separate to the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program recently announced by the government.

Time frames

Applications opened on 24 April and will close on 22 May 2020. The 2020 Round has been brought forward to support the production of public interest journalism, given the additional pressures caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objectives

We are seeking proposals that achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • 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)
  • support business improvement activities that sustain or strengthen the financial position of publishers and content service providers by:
    • increasing readership or distribution; and/ or
    • reducing operating costs through more efficient business practices
  • encourage innovation and experimentation in digital journalism.

Who is eligible?

The 2020 Round will be open to regional and metropolitan publishers and content service providers that:

  • are an incorporated company
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and are registered for GST
  • are a publisher/ content service provider
  • for metropolitan applicants only: have annual turnover of less than $30 million.

Eligible and successful applicants from previous rounds will satisfy the eligibility criteria for the 2020 Round, provided the circumstances relating to the eligibility criteria have not changed.

How to apply

All the information needed to apply, including the application form and the Grant Opportunity Guidelines, is published on the Government Grant Portal, GrantConnect (search GO ID: GO3940).

All applications must be made through SmartyGrants.

The final decision about successful grants will be made by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Stay informed—sign up for updates

Stay informed by subscribing to the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund e-bulletin.

About the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund

We administer the Australian Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund, which began in 2018.

The fund is part of the Australian Government's $60.4 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package.

The fund provides up to $16 million in grants over 3 years.

Past grants

Since the Innovation fund began in 2018, we’ve run two separate rounds: Round 1 in 2018 and the Regional Grant Opportunity Round in 2019.

Round 1 (2018 Round)

The first round closed in August 2018. Under this round, we awarded around $3.6 million to 25 grant applicants for 29 projects.

Read more about the process, successful applicants and their projects for the 2018 Round.

The Regional Grant Opportunity

The Regional Grant Opportunity (RGO) closed June 2019. Under this round, we awarded around to $9 million to 62 grant applicants.

Read more about the process, successful applicants and their projects.

Get in touch

We’re here to answer your questions, email us at innovationfund@acma.gov.au.

Get the latest news straight to your inbox. Subscribe to the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund e-bulletin.

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