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Smart Places

Smart Places Acceleration Program

The NSW Government has established the Smart Places Acceleration Program, which implements Action 8 of the NSW Smart Places Strategy. The Program is facilitated by a $45 million funding envelope under the Digital Restart Fund over three years to accelerate the development of smart places across NSW.

Through the NSW Smart Places Acceleration Program, the NSW Government is helping place owners – including councils, government agencies, property owners, and regional organisations – apply innovative smart technologies and capabilities. The government’s aim is to solve problems and improve the quality of life for communities across regional and metropolitan NSW.

Message from Minister Dominello

The government’s aim is to solve problems and improve the quality of life for communities across regional and metropolitan NSW.

  • Support economic and community recovery post COVID-19
  • Encourage partnerships with and co-investment from local councils and industry to deliver smart place initiatives
  • Support advancement and implementation of the NSW Smart Places Strategy
  • Ensure NSW remains the leading state in implementing Smart Places initiatives

Program Guidelines (PDF, 1578.94 KB) have been developed and include an overview of eligibility requirements, evaluation framework and pipeline prioritisation process.

To access funding under the NSW Smart Places Acceleration Program, councils and other place-owners will need to demonstrate how they can meet and apply the foundational requirements outlined in the NSW Smart Places Strategy.

Proposals for the Smart Places Acceleration Program can be submitted via the NSW Planning Portal using the new online form. When a proposal is submitted via the Portal, the application will be sent to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for review and assessment.

Download and view the guide to Submitting an application for the Smart Places Acceleration Program (PDF, 283.2 KB).

The NSW Government has allocated $1.6 billion over 3 years to fund delivery of projects that use technology to improve its service delivery for the people of NSW. Applications for funding under the Digital Restart Fund are reviewed quarterly.

Find out more about the criteria for funding and the application process for the Digital Restart Fund.

Ideas wall

Do you have an idea for a project that would solve problems or create new opportunities for your community? Register your idea below, or like someone else’s idea. Your ideas and likes will be shared with our technology, council and other Smart Places partners.

Watch the recorded webinar

View the webinar recorded on the 17th March that provides information on the program and answers audience questions.

Express your interest

To express your interest in being involved in the program, fill out the online form.

Frequently asked questions

When does the expression of interest need to be lodged and can multiple applications be lodged?

There is currently no set deadline for expressions of interest this year. Should you be interested in applying, we encourage you to submit an expression of interest at your earliest convenience as proposed initiatives will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Yes, Multiple expressions of interest  can be lodged so long as each is for a different initiative. Where initiatives are part of an overall proposal, these should be submitted as one expression of interest.

What is the assessment process and how long will it take?

Formal program guidelines including the assessment process are currently being developed and will be published on the Smart Places website.

What is the maximum amount that can be applied for and what level of detail is required?

While there is no formal limit, in the first year of the program we are encouraging expressions of interest under $5 million.

High level information will be sufficient to register an expression of interest, however, a more detailed 'lean business case' will be requested to advance through the application process.

Are there formal application rounds? If so, what are the cut-off dates?

At this stage there are no formal application rounds. Should you be interested in applying, we encourage you to  submit an expression of interest at your earliest convenience as proposed initiatives will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Will the program require matched funding input from partners?

The Smart Places Acceleration Program follows a co-investment model. Any initiative put forward for the Smart Places Acceleration Program must support the interests and overarching goals of both the State and local council or place-owner partners, with the expected outcomes of the initiative benefitting all co-investment partners.

To ensure broad accessibility and equity of opportunity to submit proposals, contributions can be both financial e.g. acquiring equipment, services or people to deliver parts of the pilot and in-kind e.g. providing access to assets (physical or digital), access to information, data or systems or existing resource and multiple partners can be engaged. This reflects the different levels of financial, knowledge and delivery capability of potential co-investment partners.

To ensure compliance with Digital Restart Fund criteria and guidelines, a NSW government agency must always be included in a proposal and each proposal will need to be clear on what each partner is providing, the work they do and what the ownership of assets developed (including any IP) will be going forward. In line with the current Digital Restart Fund criteria and guidelines, only the digital component/s of a proposal can be funded by the Program, with any physical technology (operating technology) and connectivity infrastructure requiring funding through the co-investment partners.

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