Frequently asked questions

What is the City Revitalisation Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is our call to startups and industry for innovation and technology that can help revitalise city centres across NSW.

This program is a TfNSW initiative so we are keen to support wider City Revitalisation efforts happening across different government agencies through accelerating mobility solutions that:

  • Increases the number of visitors to city centres
  • Improves the customer experience of travelling to and exploring city centres 

Why is the challenge being run?

The impact COVID-19 has had on businesses in the city has been substantial, with workers staying home and a loss of tourists and international students. Through this challenge, we’re looking to invigorate the city, encouraging people to travel to city centres to boost the economy and support businesses as they rebuild.

Which city centres are you focused on?

Our focus is to implement initiatives in City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and City of Newcastle with the expectation that all innovations will help encourage customers to safely return to city centres in general. We expect to trial a number of solutions in these areas with the intention to expand successful trials to other LGA’s.

How did you land on these problem spaces?

The Transport Digital Accelerator followed a human-centred design process to arrive at our problem spaces which included conducting qualitative research with customers to understand the behaviours and needs that affect decisions and actions when planning to travel and attend destinations in Sydney, Parramatta and Newcastle. These insights, combined with existing research, informed the problem spaces.

How do I apply?

All applications must be made via eTender. Please refer to the following link for more details:

Please ensure you view the information session or subscribe with your email address to be advised of key events and news about the challenge.

Do I need to be based in NSW to apply?

No, however your team should be able to participate in key meetings and deliver milestones. You will require a valid ABN and you may need to be in Sydney for the key dates, if you’re successful.

We are open to working with any organisation, including those based outside of NSW, providing they have great ideas and are capable of delivering their solution, irrespective to restrictions changing. 

What geographical areas does the challenge cover? 

For this city centres challenge, solutions will be implemented across City of Sydney, City of Parramatta or City of Newcastle council. Exact locations will be defined together with the shortlisted companies and local council together in a co-design session.

Can I submit multiple ideas?

Yes! You may submit multiple applications. A separate application must be submitted for each idea.

How old do I have to be to participate?

You need to be at least 18 or have the written consent of your parent or guardian if you’d like to apply.

Do businesses give up equity to participate? How much does it cost?

Applying and participating is free. Seed funding is debt and equity free.

I have an idea, but I haven’t developed it yet. Should I apply?

If you a) clearly address the problem we’ve put forward and b) you are capable of delivering your idea, you should apply.

Note that we do not provide funding for research, startup development or commercialisation of research. Other grant and assistance programs may help you develop or commercialise your ideas. Seed funding provided by the Transport Digital Accelerator is to accelerate the development of solutions.

What is the typical size of businesses that would pitch?

The size of a business is less important than their ability to demonstrate an understanding of a problem and propose a solution that they are capable of delivering. We typically receive applications from startups and large companies alike.

What’s on offer? What will the winner receive?

  • Equity-free seed funding to develop your idea. That means TfNSW will be your customer.
  • A partnership with a NSW Government agency to deliver solutions that reimagine the city experience
  • Access to TfNSW’s network of industry partners, executives, and subject matter experts
  • A potential customer beyond seed funding alone.  

The Transport Digital Accelerator intends on progressing with multiple solutions through both streams of this Innovation Challenge.

What are the judging criteria?

Both stages will be assessed according to the same criteria:

  1. Action and Alignment - Is the project aligned to the City Revitalisation program? Is action being taken? Is this approach repeatable and scalable?
  2. Understanding of Problem – Have the applicant explained how the problem is being addressed? Will it have a measurable impact on the objectives?
  3. Customer Impact - Will the solution have an impact on the customer experience? How effectively is a pain point being addressed?
  4. Technology, Team and Timeline - Is the technology new, innovative, or advanced? Can the project be implemented within the allocated timeframes?
  5. Support Required - Does the project represent good value for money? 

Who will be evaluating Innovation Challenge applications?

The Transport Digital Accelerator has established a committee of advisors and subject matter experts who may be asked to provide advice on applications we receive. The evaluation committee includes relevant Transport for NSW representatives.

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

A panel of industry leaders and decision-makers in government.

A successful trial would see your trial scale across councils in NSW, states in Australia, and beyond. So, we’ll bring along decision-makers who can provide direct, quality feedback to you.

Ahead of the event, we’ll tell you the judges, criteria, and format. We will also give you guidance and advice on how to pitch so you are prepared.

Are we able to discuss our proposal with TfNSW to determine which stage suits us better?

All communications and questions relating to this RFEOI must be in writing and submitted by email to the RFEOI Manager Man Man Un -

Note that we will make our responses public if new information is provided. You are not able to discuss the feasibility or viability or your proposal with TfNSW while the Innovation Challenge is open to market.

What type of data will be available for technology partners?

We're keen to work with tricky ideas and encourage creative solutions that looks to create impact through collaborating with government. Note your request of particular data in your application and we will give you feedback as to what is and is not possible.

As a start, look through available data on the Open Data Hub.


More on the City Revitalisation Innovation Challenge 2.0

City Revitalisation Innovation Challenge 2.0

Accelerating innovation that encourages the safe return of customers to the Sydney CBD.

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Handy, helpful links for applicants.                                                                                                           

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The Transport Digital Accelerator

The home page for the Transport Digital Accelerator.                                                                

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