SparkPlug - frequently asked questions


What is meant by startup and small-to-medium enterprise?

To be considered eligible for this program, a business employs less than 200 people. This includes full-time and part-time employees, as well as contractors. This is consistent with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) Participation Scheme. Startups are defined as new high-growth potential businesses, developing innovative products and services, with a globally scalable market. 

What is meant by a market-validated solution?

SparkPlug is targeting commercially available solutions which have been validated by the market. Ideally, this will be in the form of at least one customer.

I have a concept for an innovative solution, but I haven’t developed it yet – am I eligible?

SparkPlug does not provide funding for research, development or commercialisation. As such, only commercially available solutions will be considered. The Queensland Government Grants Finder can help you identify other grant and assistance programs that may help you develop or commercialise your idea.

I’m a Queensland Government employee, am I eligible to apply?

Queensland Government employees may apply provided they have obtained appropriate ‘secondary employment’ approval from their department.

Application and assessment 

How are applications submitted?

Applications are submitted online through the SmartyGrants platform. 

Can I submit more than one application? 

Although you can submit multiple applications, you are encouraged to consider a broad audience for your solution. For example, it may be possible to bundle your multiple solutions together to make a cohesive offering applicable to multiple government agencies. 

How are applications being assessed?

The following will be taken into consideration for assessment: 

  1. potential outcomes for Queenslanders 
  2. commercial sustainability 
  3. capability to deliver 
  4. contribution to other Queensland Government priorities. 

The assessment panel may include external assessors with commercial or technical expertise as well as Queensland Government representatives. 

Why should I apply to SparkPlug?

Successful applicants to SparkPlug will be invited to present directly to an audience of key stakeholders with a specific interest in a relevant technology area or solution. This is your opportunity to be heard by government decision makers who may wish to trial or purchase your solution, and raise your profile in the Queensland Government.

Additionally, all successful applicants will be provided with information on how to present to government. As well as supporting you in your SparkPlug presentation, this information will help you when doing business with Queensland Government now and into the future. 

Event day

Who will I be presenting to if I’m successful?

This will vary from event to event. In general, you will be presenting to an audience of key stakeholders including decision makers and subject matter experts from Queensland Government. Some events may also be open to the public. If so, this will be clearly identified as part of the event details as per the Terms of Participation. Should other stakeholders be identified for a target audience, such as local councils or industry, the finalists will be notified.   

What funding is available to trial my solution?

SparkPlug aims to connect the right startups and SMEs with the right government contacts, but does not guarantee any funding for further trials or testing following the SparkPlug event. Any further engagement outside of SparkPlug will be at the discretion of participating agencies. 

More Information

If you have a question not answered by the FAQs, email the Innovation in Government team.


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