This grant opportunity received a high level of interest and quality applications. The full program funding of $20 million was brought forward and 19 projects have been awarded funding. The Government is currently considering the future of the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative.

Australian 5G Innovation Initiative – Round 1

The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative provides businesses with opportunities to trial and test 5G applications that demonstrate 5G’s capability and benefits across a range of industry sectors and locations. 
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Grants up to $2 million to demonstrate the value of 5G technology to businesses in Australia.

Who is this for?

Incorporated companies, trustees, not for profit organisations and Local Government or State/Territory Government agencies where an application involves a partnership with at least one other eligible entity.


The $20 million Australian 5G Innovation Initiative supports the Australian Government’s commitment to demonstrating the value of 5G to businesses in Australia.

The grant opportunity:

  • supports 5G trials that undertake rigorous, commercial and replicable testing of 5G technology
  • offers businesses the opportunity to identify 5G applications that demonstrate 5G’s capability
  • supports various projects that demonstrate 5G’s capability and benefits across a range of industry sectors and locations.

Some examples of 5G applications that take advantage of 5G’s capabilities across a range of industry sectors are:

  • Agriculture – 5G sensor nets deployed for on-farm monitoring, providing real-time information about soil moisture or water levels. This data can support farmers make data-driven decisions in farm management. 5G can also support automated farm equipment that could spray chemicals or pick fruit more accurately and efficiently.
  • Manufacturing – Live device monitoring over 5G to predict equipment wear and schedule predictive maintenance in manufacturing and industrial locations and provide real-time feedback on the performance and operation of machinery.
  • Healthcare – 5G networks could connect diagnostic imagery to specialists in real-time. Through wearables, doctors could have real-time information about patients’ conditions.
  • Transport and logistics – 5G connected smart tags can provide real-time tracking for goods as well as providing insights on food freshness. Enhanced digital labelling could improve place of origin information.
  • Construction – 5G could provide workers with building visualisation on site through augmented reality glasses. 5G’s enhanced mobile broadband can enable the streaming of 8K video that could be paired with edge computing to scan video footage and keep track of onsite personnel, for example to make sure workers on a site have received health and safety inductions. Sensors can be placed in building components to provide real-time data on construction as well as the ongoing performance of buildings.

These examples are neither exhaustive nor limiting, and eligible activities could include projects that demonstrate 5G’s capabilities in different sectors or through different 5G applications.


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

You must be one of the following:

  • an entity, incorporated in Australia
  • a company limited by guarantee
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated not for profit organisation
  • a Local Government or State/Territory Government agency or body, where an application involves a partnership with at least one other eligible entity.

Joint applications are acceptable, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply. For further information on joint applications, refer to section 7.2 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

To be eligible your project must:

  • conduct trials that undertake rigorous, commercial and replicable testing of technologies that make use of 5G
  • identify solutions that demonstrate 5G’s capabilities.

Eligible activities must make use of at least one of the following core 5G capabilities:

  • enhanced mobile broadband
  • ultra reliable, low latency communications
  • massive machine-to-machine communications.

The definitions of the core capabilities are in the glossary at section 14 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

Are you using NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies? We’ve added some guidance to help you answer assessment criterion 1 in your application.

You are not eligible to apply as a lead applicant if you are:

  • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO)
  • a university
  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • an unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 4.1of the grant opportunity guidelines, or
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust).


How do you apply?

The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative – Round 1 is closed to applications.

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

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. You should define, quantify and provide evidence to support your answers.

The Minister will make the final decision.

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

  • Assessment criterion 1: Project alignment with program objectives and outcomes for the use of 5G (20 points)
  • Assessment criterion 2: Ability to access relevant technology and spectrum (30 points)
  • Assessment criterion 3: Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (30 points)
  • Assessment criterion 4: Benefits of your project to your business (20 points)

Answering assessment criterion 1: using Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M technologies

We anticipate that projects are likely to use a range of technologies. Developing applications that show the capabilities of 5G should be a key focus. Specifically, the capabilities of 5G as defined in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) release 15 or above.

For example, projects could use an element of the 5G New Radio Standard (NR) with a standalone or non-standalone 5G core, in a way that is distinct from the capabilities of other existing radio access technologies.

3GPP release 16 incorporated the NB-IoT and LTE-M (also known as CAT-M1) technology standards. This means they can continue to co-exist with the 5G New Radio Standard.

NB-IoT and LTE-M technology standards were not significantly adapted through release 16. As such, a project that only employs NB-IoT or LTE-M devices (based on release 13 or 14) may not perform well against assessment criterion 1. Assessment criterion 1 asks you to show the innovative way your project uses 5G technologies.

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we’ll notify you in writing.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments.

We’ll make the first payment when the grant agreement is executed. We’ll make subsequent payments after we have received and accepted the required report.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.44 MB docx · 0.15 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.43 MB docx · 0.11 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.91 MB docx · 0.15 MB

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