How to apply for funding

There are two funding paths for projects.

Seed Funding

If you are looking for funding to conduct more research for problem definition or to validate an hypothesis, then seed funding is for you. This funding is to be used to complete discovery with customers, build working prototypes and, where possible, release beta services for testing by customers.

To learn about pre-discovery, discovery, alpha and beta phases that could be funded through the Digital Restart Fund, check out the delivery manual.

I am

  • seeking funding under $5 million

  • delivering the product or service using an agile delivery approach


Complete a Lean Business Case

If you think you meet the eligibility criteria and will spend less than $5 million, you will need to complete a Lean Business Case.

Download Lean Business Case template


While we can’t predict the future, we still need to share our plans. The Lean Business Case is a way for you to clearly explain the value of your project, how you plan to approach your project and your compliance with government policies. There is also space for you to talk about any risks that you’ve thought about and how you plan to spend the money that you’re asking for. 

Lean Business Cases need to: 

  1. Distinguish fact from hypotheses 
  2. Commit to many small, incremental achievements  
  3. Provide outcomes over outputs 
  4. Demonstrate how the project might adapt based on evidence 

When filling out the Lean Business Case, remember that you need to:  

  • Be clear about the project’s case for change from the perspective of the customer. What is the current problem that you need to solve and why (it’s always good to include specific details like number of customers, areas, cost etc.). There will also be a case for change from the perspective of your organisation and this will need to align with broader government strategy.
    This is covered in the scope section of the Lean Business Case
  • You will need to break down the specific benefits of your project to your customers, your organisation and the government. 
    This is covered in the value section of the Lean Business Case
  • Make sure you chunk the proposed work into manageable parts. Again, refer to the NSW Design Standards delivery manual to help you understand what you need to do when. Please also consider how any technology that you build could be either used by another agency or is interoperable with existing systems
    This is covered in the project delivery section of the Lean Business Case
  • You will need to identify any potential risks to your project succeeding, throughout the course of the project. Think about what you will do to minimise those risks. We can help you down the track prepare a delivery plan to work out what dependencies or constraints exist within your project.
    This is covered in the risk section of the Lean Business Case

We recommend looking at the Delivery and Performance Architecture (DAPA) checklist. Even though you will not need to complete this as part of your application, there is some useful information that explains what we’re looking to see in Lean Business Cases. 

Scale Funding

This is funding for existing, stand-alone projects that are scaling to a full or broader customer base. These projects may have received funding for their seed projects and are ready to take the next step. These programs could extend to multiple years and will be more than $5 million.

I am

  • seeking funding more than $5 million

  • scaling an existing or seed funded project


Business Case and DAPA checklist

If you think you will spend more than $5 million, you need to fill out a detailed Business Case and the Delivery and Performance Architecture (DAPA) checklist.

Download Business Case template Download DAPA checklist

Business Case

The detailed business case template can be downloaded from the Department of Treasury website [].  

In your business case you will need to be clear that your project meets the aims of the Digital Restart Fund. In particular: 

  1. How your project will deliver early value to customers  
  2. A breakdown of the phases of your project – ensuring that you are delivering customer value at every phase. 

You will also need to show the following:  

Desirability: how well your project delivers NSW Government priorities. What is the potential for economic stimulus in this project? What is the social impact of this investment in NSW? 

Feasibility: will this project be successful? Can the challenges in delivering this project be overcome? Is the organisation ready and prepared to take on this work successfully?  

Viability: what will the return on investment of this project be? Are the projected cashflows accurate? Are the non-financial benefits realistic and supported by evidence? 

You will also need to prepare the following to accompany your business case: 

Delivery and Performance Architecture (DAPA) checklist 

Download a copy of the DAPA checklist.  

This checklist summarises the ways in which your project meet the aims of the Digital Restart Fund and the Minister of Customer Services’ priorities.  

When you are filling in your checklist, avoid some of these common mistakes: 

  • Poor description of how your project aligns to the aims of the Digital Restart Fund (for example, not using evidence to demonstrate how your project will benefit customers)  
  • Re-labelling waterfall delivery plans with high dependency between stages. Please genuinely approach your project using contemporary human-centred design and agile methodology
  • Poor description and/or planning for early value delivery. Value needs to focus on tangible results and be quantified. Projects that deliver results only at the end and lack phased approaches fail to meet these requirements. 
  • Unclear efforts to break the project down into smaller interoperable components.  

Here is some helpful advice on how to fill in your DAPA checklist.


Application tip

The Digital Restart Fund is committed to changing the way that we deliver products and services. Successful applications will follow the principles outlined in the NSW Design Standards. If you are unsure of anything, please contact [email protected]

Last updated