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Competitive Innovation Fund

In 2014–15 the AIS will allocate $1.5 million for the Competitive Innovation Fund.

The fund has been established to encourage innovation in high performance sport, including a greater commitment to investment in coaching-related activities, sport-specific projects and technology initiatives.

Innovation is the application of new solutions that meet new requirements or existing needs. Innovation differs from improvement — innovation does something differently while improvement does the same thing better. Additionally, research generates new knowledge and this will be supported through the soon-to-be-announced High Performance Sport Research Fund.

The Competitive Innovation Fund aims to transform existing knowledge and/or expertise into new and applied outcomes that support Australia’s Winning Edge targets.

Funding will support competitive bids from foundation, prospective and emerging national sporting organisations (NSOs). All NSOs are encouraged to collaborate and partner with the AIS, state institutes and academies of sport, and research and development organisations.

Project proposals must provide evidence of an innovative project or initiative will have a positive impact on sport performance aligned with Australia’s Winning Edge.

The Competitive Innovation Fund is positioned to consider investments in the following categories, aligned to Winning Edge outcomes:

  • coaching-related initiatives
  • sport-specific projects
  • technology innovation.

Scope of funding

As a guide, projects up to $250,000 will be considered. Only in exceptional circumstances will projects exceeding this amount be considered. Recurring investment over multiple years will be considered.

Where more than one proposal is submitted by a NSO, it should prioritise proposals in order of importance.

Areas of investment


Coaching projects that may be supported under the fund include those which:

  • facilitate greater integration between groups of high performance personnel
  • expose developing coaches to best practice, develop their use and integration of support teams in science and technology, and support professional growth in their sport in Australia and internationally
  • enable cross-sport coaching and high performance collaboration.

Sport-specific projects

Sport-specific projects that may be supported under the fund include those which:

  • are innovative in nature and typically new to the sport. These projects must have clear alignment with Winning Edge outcomes and regarded as being outside the investment allocation
  • are seen as cutting-edge in terms of approach, but may have had limited or no previous opportunity to be pursued for implementation and/or trial
  • introduce innovative processes and systems for high performance outcomes.

Technology innovation

Technology innovation projects that may be supported under the fund include those which:

  • are innovative, able to demonstrate a positive performance impact and potentially ‘outside’ the scope of existing resources (technology related)
  • have a multi-sport and/or multi-medal application (system impacting technology related)
  • demonstrate a clear impact on enhancing the quality of the coaching and/or athlete experience, creating competitive advantages in on-field performance.

Assessment criteria

  • The project has the potential to contribute to the performance of coaches and athletes.
  • The project will provide a clear Winning Edge performance-related return on investment.
  • The project has the potential to enhance collaboration within the NSO and across sporting bodies, corporate sector, researchers, and key support industries.
  • The innovation project will benchmark and integrate global best practice both in sport and related fields.
  • The project has clearly defined deliverables, including names and roles of the project team.
  • A quality project plan that provides evidence the project will be delivered to standard and on time.
  • A well-documented and clearly justified budget.

In addition:

  • Partner cash co-investment will be expected as part of the application process.
  • Projects that can demonstrate an impact across two or more sports will be highly regarded.
  • The project will produce something new for Australian sport that will significantly impact on the achievement of Winning Edge targets.

Note — proposals will not be assessed unless all required reports and updates for previous Competitive Innovation Funds have been submitted to the AIS. Progress against previous fund project plans will be considered with this proposal.

Selection panel

Project proposals will be considered by a selection panel convened by the AIS.

How to apply

Applications are due by 5pm (AEST) on Monday 18 August 2014.


High performance directors or equivalent from foundation, prospective and emerging NSOs identified under Australia’s Winning Edge are eligible to apply.

For more information or to apply email

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