Round 4 – Key information for applications

Application for Round 4 funding of the Innovation Partnership Grants are now open.

Grants between A$250,000 and A$700,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to Australian and Vietnamese entities with existing partnerships. Grantees will have up to 24 months to implement their proposed activities.

Under the theme “High Tech Innovation to Address Challenges in Agriculture for Sustainable Development”, this round welcomes ideas that utilise technology to address challenges such as:

  • improving productivity in production and processing,  
  • enhancing the use of resources in agriculture  
  • developing domestic and export markets for agricultural products,  
  • contributing to climate change adaptation/mitigation and resilience,  
  • or ensuring benefits for disadvantaged groups.  

Guidelines for Applicants

Additional information for applicants is available in the guideline document, available here:

Download Guide to Applicants(PDF, 1.6 MB)

Application Platform

Submission and assessment of applications will be made through the Aus4Innovation SmartyGrants portal. 

Key Dates

Applications for EOI Open 24 August – 25 September 2023 (23:00 AEST)
Shortlisting Early Nov 2023
Detailed proposal development and submission (including technical workshops from A4I office) Early Dec 2023
Technical clarification, Due diligence, grant agreement negotiation Early Feb 2024
Final selection announcement grant agreement signed Mar 2024
Implementation Mar 2024 – Mar 2026

(Planned timelines are indicative, depending on the actual number of applications received. The A4I office is responsible for providing updated information /timeline to applicants)

Application Languages

English will be used as the main language throughout the application process. However, it is requested that the Expression of Interest (EOI) and the Detailed Proposals (if the applications are shortlisted) will be proposed in dual languages, i.e. both English and Vietnamese.


Applicants are requested to submit any questions by email to Answers provided to prospective applicants will be updated in the table below.

001 What is the Aus4Innovation Program? Aus4Innovation is a ten year, AUD 33,5 million flagship development program invested in realising the Australia and Vietnam formal Innovation Partnership. The program is designed to help strengthen Vietnam’s innovation system, so that the system is capable of adapting to the regions future needs and supports inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development. Aus4Innovation is funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), co-funded and managed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and delivered in strategic partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).Launched in 2018, the program has successfully completed its first five years, and after going through a ‘design refresh’, the program will have a stronger focus on resilient agriculture and food across the next five years.More information about key activities and achievements of the program to date can be found here.
002 What is the Innovation Partnership Grant (Grant)? The Grant is to provide targeted funds to scale already tested activities to address emerging challenges or opportunities across Vietnam’s Innovation System. Tested activities implies those with an existing proof of value and articulated market segment, or pathway to impact, and to be executed by an existing partnership between an Australian and a Vietnamese entity. The Grant is not intended to support the creation of new partnerships or the testing of entirely new activities/ideas. Grants will be provided on a competitive basis. So far, the Aus4Innovation program has supported 12 grant projects across three rounds in 2019, 2020, and 2021. These projects have delivered excellent results, introducing innovative solutions from Australia to address socio-economic challenges in Vietnam. More information about the grant projects can be found here.For this Grant round (Round 4), Aus4Innovation is calling for innovative solutions, based on the application and / or transfer of high-technologies to address challenges in the agriculture sector, with the ultimate goal of contributing to sustainable development.
003 How much money can I apply for? Aus4Innovation program will provide between A$250,000 and A$700,000 per one Individual grant. In addition to financial support, this Grant will also be an opportunity for you to gain:
• Practical experience of how an innovative solution can be scaled and applied in a different context;
• Knowledge of the business, political and regulatory environments in Vietnam;
• Awareness and understanding on social inclusion, social issues (such as climate change, gender etc.), and partnership skills;
• A better network through interaction with other CSIRO, DFAT, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology, and other partners, grantees.
004 What kind of organization is eligible for the Grant? Do I have to be an NGO? A Private Company? Or a Research Institute? All forms of entities – be it private, public sector, civil society organisations, social enterprise, university, research institute – from both countries are welcome to participate. To be eligible for the grant, there must be an existing partnership that includes at least one Vietnamese and one Australian organisation.    
005 Must I be in a partnership with a Vietnamese (if I’m an Australian entity) or vice versa in order to be eligible to apply for the grant? Yes, having an existing partnership between at least a Vietnamese and Australian entity is one of the conditions to be eligible for this grant mechanism.  Do note that the existing partnership must predate the application – though it may previously have been created around a different activity.
006 Can I submit more than one grant application through participating in more than one partnership. Yes, that is possible.
007 How can I apply? As the first step, please submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) online here. Once your application is successfully submitted, an automated email will be sent to you to acknowledge the receipt of your application. If your EOI is shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a detailed proposal for evaluation.Applications, proposals, as well as all communications submitted during the process must be in English.You can email should you have any questions or need clarification during the application process. Responses will be available within seven (7) working days. Questions and responses will be shared publicly under Grant Round 4, FAQ for common knowledge among potential applicants.
008 What do you mean by innovation? By general definition, innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations (OECD, 2005). In this Grant Round, the Aus4Innovation program is looking for innovations that are high-tech based, and to help address challenges in Vietnam’s agriculture sector.The innovation, to the minimum extent, should be able to present:
• its novelty in Vietnam’s context
• the complexity of technology it introduces
• the compatibility to relevant systems in Vietnam (infrastructure, human resources, policy support etc.)
009 What do you mean by “High-Tech”? Under this Grant Round, Aus4Innovation is looking for innovations, based on the application and / or transfer of high-technologies. The program adopts the definition of High Technology and related terms, such as High Technology Activities, High Technology products etc. from the Law on High Technologies.Some citations are as follows for quick reference:High Technology means:
• technology with a high content of scientific research and technological development;
• integrated from modern scientific and technological achievements;
• creates products with outstanding quality and features, high added value, friendly with the environment;
• plays an important role in the formation of a new manufacturing or service industry or the modernization of an existing manufacturing or service industry.Hi-tech activity means hi-tech research, development, seeking, transfer and application; hi-tech human resource training; hi-tech incubation or hi-tech enterprise incubation; hi-tech production and hi-tech service provision; and hi-tech industrial development activities.Hi-tech product means a product turned out with high technology, which is environmentally friendly and has superior quality and utilities and high added value.
010 What do you mean by “Challenges in Agriculture”? While agriculture plays a significant role in the Vietnamese economy, it faces a number of challenges that require breakthrough solutions. Some challenges to note – but not limit to – are:• Improving the productivity in agricultural production and processing, for example, less use of production inputs, post-harvest loss reduction, or utilisation of agricultural waste
• Enhancing the efficiency of soil, water, fertilisers, pesticides etc. in agriculture production
• Facilitating the development of domestic and export markets for agricultural products, for example, digitalised traceability or initiatives to improve the quality of products during transportation.
• Contributing to climate change adaptation / mitigation, and resilience in the agriculture sector.
• Ensuring benefits for disadvantaged groups, including women, the disabled, ethnic minorities, or communities living in areas that are under-developed, or are exposed to the severe impact of climate changes.
011 How will the application be ranked / evaluated? The application will be ranked /evaluated against six (6) core principles, including:• Maturity of the existing partnership;
• The nature of the innovation itself;
• The readiness of the innovation ideas / activities;
• The relevance to Vietnam’s high tech agriculture plans
• The engagement of the private sector; and
• The social, economic, and environmental impacts that the ideas / activities could bring to the people and society.Applicants are encouraged to, at a minimum, read the Grant Guidelines for the EOI process carefully as well as study all the links provided.
012 If I fail to apply by the closing date due to technical issue, can the deadline be extended? Should you encounter a technical issue during the application process, you are advised to contact the Aus4Innovation program team immediately at Our SmartyGrant technical team will provide you with a solution on a case by case basis. Unless decided by the Steering Committee due to specific circumstances or reasons, the closing date for submitting the EOI will not be extended.
013 Can I make changes to my application once it has been submitted? Yes, you can. This can be done by uploading new versions and re-submitting the application on the required platform. Applicants are required to email to to notify the office of the resubmission of the application.  All changes and re-submission must be done before the closing deadline.
014 What is the confidential policy applied to all the information I share in the application form? How can I guarantee the confidentiality of the provided information? Applicants should be cognisant of their own need to retain security over actual or potential intellectual property rights.Submitted application data will be kept in strict confidence by DFAT, CSIRO, and Aus4Innovation reviewers. Personnel are bound by confidentiality, or non-disclosure arrangements (NDA). Applications, however, might be reviewed by a third-party members and their personnel might have the opportunity to access data. Aus4Innovation, DFAT and CSIRO cannot take responsibility for the loss of any information outside their direct control. Applicants are reminded to consider the above, prior to disclosing potentially sensitive information, and to seek professional legal advice.
015 If I have already applied in previous round – whether I failed or succeeded – can I apply again in this round? You are welcome to submit your innovation idea in this round, no matter if you have applied in previous rounds, and your application was selected / not selected.
016 In case you encounter any technical problems when you log in to the SmartyGrant platform.  it might be due to a slow internet connection or a browser issue.

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