Sport Science Challenge guidelines

Sport Science Challenge guidelines

About the program

The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative focuses on growing the economy and creating jobs. This includes support to attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurial and research talent, build Queensland’s reputation and capacity to conduct applied research and development, support the start-up and growth of businesses to deliver new products and services into global markets, and establish new industries that will provide the jobs of the future.

The Advance Queensland Sport Science Challenge supports collaborative science-based projects that will deliver tangible outcomes for the state’s sporting community and the broader Queensland population.

Queensland has a proud reputation of sporting achievement, and is home to many world class athletes. Our elite athletes are in continuous pursuit of athletic excellence, constantly striving for more speed, strength, accuracy and teamwork. In elite sports, every millisecond and millimetre counts.

Queensland Health’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2015 to 2020 identified the following statistics:

  • two in three adults are overweight or obese
  • there is significantly increasing risk of disability and early death by age 65, as many adults will have then carried excess weight for 35-40 years
  • 39% of adults are sedentary at least 7 hours a day on weekdays
  • 40% of adults are not sufficiently active for health benefit1.

Many health problems are preventable through a healthy and active lifestyle. In particular, regular physical activity reduces cardiovascular risk in its own right and also improves levels of cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes2.

The Queensland Government has established a dedicated fund of $300,000 to encourage innovation in sport. The Sport Science Challenge will provide grant funding up to $100,000 per project.

Successful projects will be up to 12 months in duration.

Aims and objectives

The objectives of the Sport Science Challenge are to:

  • enhance the competitiveness of our elite athletes and teams, including those preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games or for the 2020 Olympic Games
  • promote healthy and active lifestyles through greater participation in sport and exercise.

Successful applications will be able to demonstrate a feasible plan to commercialise a new product, process, or service innovation that addresses a clearly identified market need. The innovation must be at a commercial ready stage at the time of application, meaning that it has sufficient functionality to be ready for sale or to be used by early adopters. The project may include limited improvements to the innovation if market testing with early adopters results in feedback that deems it necessary.

It is not intended that the Sport Science Challenge will fund projects which consist largely of research.

Successful applications will involve a Queensland-based innovator in the business/research sectors partnering with an end-user organisation to undertake a mission-driven, collaborative sport science-based project.

Projects might include the:

  • use of novel software or hardware technology, products, or processes to address the challenge objectives
  • application and combination of insights or technologies from a number of disciplines such as software, engineering, biomedical, sports psychology and behavioural insights.


The Sport Science Challenge is open to businesses and research organisations that are:

  • Queensland based
  • registered for GST
  • partnering with a Queensland-based end-user organisation that will benefit from the project outcomes.

Note that more than one partner is allowed, however, at least one must be a Queensland-based end-user.

Your project application will be ineligible if the:

  • proposed project is not a distinct activity/set of activities with specified start and end points, with aims and outcomes that are achievable within these specified points
  • applicant or partner organisation(s) are currently receiving Queensland Government funding for the proposed project.

Note that if you are successful your project must commence within 60 days after the Queensland Government signs the application approval.

Using the Sport Science Challenge funds

Sport Science Challenge funding may be used for the following eligible project costs:

  • direct salary costs for staff and contractors working on activities for the funded project. Note: organisations with 20 or more FTEs cannot claim for existing staff, but only for new staff and contractors employed to work on the funded project. Organisations with less than 20 FTEs can claim for new or existing staff
  • services provided by unrelated, external parties (including testing, design, research and other professional services)
  • legal and intellectual property costs (capped at $10,000 excluding GST)
  • consumables used directly for the project
  • travel-related costs necessary to undertake project activity (capped at $5,000 excluding GST).

If successful, only eligible project costs incurred on or after the announcement of successful applications can be claimed.

Items not eligible for funding include:

  • general operational overheads undertaken by either the business, a related entity or any partner entity, including administrative, general business training, operational, production and marketing costs
  • salary on-costs added to cover organisational running costs e.g. rent, electricity
  • costs of financial advice
  • costs to build your first prototype or minimum viable product
  • entertainment costs
  • the cost of other business activities
  • compliance fees
  • infrastructure and inventory costs not directly related to the project
  • research/development activities not directly related to the advancement of the project.

Payment of grants will be made based on agreed project milestones.

A final milestone payment will be made upon the provision of documentary evidence that all project requirements have been satisfied, including evidence that total project expenditure has been incurred and pledged project contributions have been made by all relevant parties.

Assessment criteria

1. Innovation and impact potential

You must be able to demonstrate that:

  • the technology, product or process is innovative and addresses a clearly identified market need
  • early stage research has been undertaken and the innovation is at a commercial ready stage and has sufficient functionality to be ready for sale or be used by early adopters
  • there is a feasible plan to commercialise the product, process, or service innovation that will potentially impact on sporting performance, participation in sport and/or encourage active lifestyles.

2. Project planning, feasibility, budget and timeframes

You must demonstrate that:

  • the risk is feasible
  • risks have been identified and addressed
  • the end user partner organisation has been fully engaged in the project design and will be integral to the implementation of the project outcomes
  • the proposed work can be completed within the stated budget and timeframe.

Note that a letter of support from the Queensland-based end-user partner must be provided and will be considered as part of the assessment. The letter should at a minimum outline why they support the project, any involvement by the end user in the project, the expected benefits to the end user.

3. Technical and management capability

You must demonstrate that the applicant and partner organisations have the capability to successfully deliver the project (e.g. through evidence of prior projects conducted).

4. Project outcomes

You must demonstrate how the project:

  • will contribute to meeting the objectives of the Sport Science Challenge
  • is likely to result in significant benefits for the participating organisation/s
  • will provide economic and/or social benefits for Queensland, including for example increased employment, such as the creation of knowledge-based jobs through commercialisation.

Application assessment

Applications will be assessed in a competitive, merit-based process against the program’s assessment criteria by panels comprised of members with commercial, scientific and sport related backgrounds.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a pitch session/interview and present on their proposed project and its benefits.

Submitting your application

The closing time and date for submitting applications is 1pm Monday, 18 December 2017.

Applications should be completed and submitted electronically via the Advance Queensland website. The online lodgement process is hosted via a secure site and application documentation will remain strictly confidential.

Your application will consist of:

  • a completed online application form
  • a letter of support from the Queensland-based end-user partner organisationus
  • acknowledgement of reading and accepting the terms and conditions.

Applicants may be contacted during the assessment process to clarify any information provided in the application and/or to request further information to enable a due diligence and probity assessment.

There is no implicit guarantee of approval at any stage in the process, and you will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application.

Funding agreements

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a legally binding agreement with the Queensland Government.

Ensure you have read and accept the terms and conditions of the financial incentive agreement prior to submitting an application for funding, as the terms and conditions will not be negotiable when or at any time after a funding offer is made.

Promotion of supported projects

Funding recipients will be expected to actively promote their research, and to provide information and attend media/promotion events if requested.

The Queensland Government funding should be acknowledged by recipients in all relevant published material, media releases and public appearances.


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers, approved grant assessors and the Advanced Queensland expert panel will have access to this information.

Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects in the future.

Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of the Information Privacy Act 2009.

1. Queensland Health 2016, Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2015 to 2020

2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2008, Australia's health 2008, Cat No. AUS99

Last updated 19 Jun, 2018
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( )

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