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Innovation Partnership Grants

Innovation Partnership Grants are competitive and will be delivered in two rounds. Grants will provide targeted funds to scale already tested activities that address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam’s innovation system.

Aus4Innovation aims to fund technologies or activities with:

  • an existing proof of concept,
  • an articulated market segment or path to impact, and
  • an existing relationship between an Australian and a Vietnamese entity.

Round 1 Applications

Expressions of interest for round one can be submitted until midnight 19 April 2019 (AEST). Applicants should submit EOIs on the smartygrants platform.

Grant Guidelines

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

Download Guide to Applicants

(PDF, 655.2 KB)

Grant FAQs

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

Refernce Question Answer

What is the Aus4Innovation Program?


Aus4Innovation is a flagship four year, AUD 10 million partnership program, running from 2018 to 2022 between Vietnam and Australia. The program is funded by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the InnovationXchange (IXC), with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam to be the key partner. The program is designed to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. Key government partner in this program is Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam.

There are four key inter-related work streams under the program, including (1) Foresighting the Digital Future for Vietnam, (ii) Science Commercialisation Partnerships, (iii) Innovation Partnership Grants, and (iv) Innovation Policy Exchange. The program is guided by an appointed Steering Committee, and implemented by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). 

For reference, a one-page introduction of the program can be found here.

002 What is the Competitive Grant?

The Competitive Grant is to provide targeted funds to scale already tested activities to address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam’s innovation system. Tested activities implies technologies or activities with an existing proof of concept and articulated market segment, or path to impact, and an existing relationship between an Australian and a Vietnamese entity.

Grants will be available for existing partnerships or working relationships between Australian and Vietnamese institutions that can demonstrate an articulated pathway for scale or sustainability in Vietnam. It 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.

003 How much money is available under this Grant? How much money can I apply for?

Total value of the Competitive Grant is AUD 3 million, to be delivered in two rounds, with up to 10 grants to be awarded, ranging from AUD 100K to AUD 1 million each, depending on the funding requirement of your innovation idea / activity.

In addition to funding, this Grant will also be an opportunity for you to gain:

        Knowledge of the business, political and regulatory environments in Vietnam;

        Better network through interaction with other CSIRO, DFAT, IXC, and 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?

To be eligible for the grant, there must be an existing partnership that includes at least on Vietnamese and one Australian organization.

Preferred eligible Australian organisations include universities, research institutes, public sector agencies or civil society organisations. Australian for-profit companies may not be lead partners in Round 1.

Eligible Vietnamese organisations include any private, public sector, or civil society organisation operating in Vietnam.

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 fund?

Yes, having an existing partnership between at least a Vietnamese entity and an Australian one is a pre-condition to be eligible for this grant mechanism.

To note the existing partnership must predate the application – though it may previously have been created around a different activity.

006 Can I be in more than one partnership to apply for Grant for more than one innovation proposal?
Yes, that is possible.

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 acknowledgement of the receipt of your application will be sent to you.

If your EOI is shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a full proposal for evaluation.

Applications, proposals, as well as all communications incurred during the process must be in English.

You can email to should you have any questions or need clarification during the application process. Responses will be available within five (5) working days.



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 the specific context of this work stream of the program, innovation embraces new, innovative ideas with their derived activities and /or processes to help Vietnam enhance its innovation capacity and better prepare to take on opportunities, and respond to emerging challenges of the Industry 4.0.



Is there a limitation of areas or industries that the proposed innovation must link up to?


For the first round of this grant mechanism, there is no limitation to areas or industries that your innovation must link up. Nevertheless, topics that are aligned with the outcomes of other Aus4Innovation work streams will be favourably considered. For example,

·        Adoption of digital technology into small enterprise

·        High value goods: quality, individualisation, equality, humanity and provenance

·        Increasing labour productivity

·        Agriculture 4.0: productivity, export market access, and food provenance

·        Manufacturing 4.0: data, cyber-physical-biological systems, AI, and additive manufacturing

·        Smarter cities

·        Cyber security and privacy in the 4th Industrial Revolution



How will the innovation idea be ranked / evaluated?


The innovation idea will be ranked /evaluated against five (5) core principles, including:

         Maturity of the existing partnership;

         The nature of the innovation itself;

         The readiness of the innovation ideas / activities;

         The relevance of the idea to Vietnam development context; and

         The social impacts that the ideas / activities could bring to the people.

Applicants are encouraged to read the Grant Guideline for the EOI process carefully as well as study all the links provided as a minimum request.



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. 



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. 



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?


Submitted application data will be kept in strict confidence by DFAT, CSIRO, and Aus4Innovation reviewers. Personnel are bound by confidentiality, or non-disclosure arrangements. Applications, however, will be reviewed at the Steering Committee, giving third party members and their personnel 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 their own professional legal advice.

Applicants should be cognisant of their own need to retain security over actual or potential intellectual property rights.



If I fail to apply for the Grant under this round, will there be any chances in the future? If yes, when?


The Grant will be implemented in two rounds, with the first one to be launched in Mar 2019, and the second (last) one in late 2019, or early 2020. In case you fail to apply for a grant under the first round, there is still an opportunity to apply under the second one.

Will our organization still be eligible to this grant scheme if we have received funding from the Australian Government in the past?

Yes, you will if activities that seek funding are new or considered as extension to those already funded. The fact that your organization had received funding from the Australian Government (or other sources) does not exclude you from this grant scheme.
016 Can an Australian for-profit organization apply for this grant? For-profit companies can be part of the grant scheme, but cannot be the lead partners. To participate, these companies would need to bring along a research institution, not-for-profit, community service organization, or similar as the lead entity. 
017 Can our organization submit more than one EOI? Yes, you can, should your partnerships, which in this case must be between an Australian entity and a Vietnamese one pursue different innovation initiatives.
018 Do we need to have an MoU (between an Australian entity and a Vietnamese one) in place to prove the existing partnership? Having a signed MoU is one way to prove the existing partnership. At the same time, other forms of evidence of an existing partnership will also be taken into account, e.g. proofs showing your working relations in certain researches, activities, collaborations etc.
019 Our innovative idea will take more than 12 months to complete – Can we still apply? Will the duration of the grant be extended? The Grant Guideline specifically suggests an up to twelve-month period for the implementation of the grant, and applicants need to stick with this principle when they decide to submit. Exceptional cases to request extension are those where the extension needs are unforeseen due to unexpected circumstances, and those requests will need final decisions from the Steering Committee of the Program in order to go ahead.