Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program

As part of the Digital Economy Strategy announced on 6 May 2021, the Government committed $32.6 million over two years to establish the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program (the program). The program will support strategic partnerships with industry, using emerging aviation technology to address community needs, particularly in regional Australia.

Forecast Opportunity

While we work to further develop the program, a Forecast Opportunity has been released on GrantConnect to provide further detail on key elements of the program.

We welcome input to help shape the program and will consider any feedback on objectives and potential selection criteria while we continue through the design phase.

Please contact for further information.


The objective of the program is to encourage and enable the development and deployment, of emerging aviation technologies to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and reliability of Australian aviation, including by expanding employment in the aviation sector; improving supply chain and market efficiency and improving connections with regional and remote, including Indigenous, communities. The program will also contribute to the digital transformation of Australian businesses, increased business efficiency, and reduced carbon emissions through new technology.

Under the program, the Department will partner with industry to test emerging aviation technology through pilot projects across five focus areas:

  • Digital farming
  • Connecting regional communities
  • Boosting regional supply chains
  • Improving health outcomes for remote indigenous communities
  • Manufacturing in emerging aviation technology

The scope of the program is broader than administration of grants funding. The Department will work with industry partners to deliver pilot projects, including through:

  • Coordination and consultation with Commonwealth, state and local government agencies
  • Advice and assistance with navigation of regulatory processes
  • Development/testing of new policies/regulations where required to support the project
  • Provision of funding to support project implementation (operational and capital expenditure).

Funding under the program will be used flexibly to support a range of activities that contribute to project delivery including direct payments to industry partners and, where agreed between the government and industry partners, provision of a range of other funding for procurement related activities to support the delivery of projects.

Funding will be administered in accordance with the Commonwealth resource management framework, including the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 (CGRGs), the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and the Department’s Accountable Authority Instructions.

Program design and administration will be consistent with the following key principles for grants administration (as per the 6.2 of the CGRGs):

  • robust planning and design;
  • collaboration and partnership;
  • proportionality;
  • an outcomes orientation;
  • achieving value with relevant money;
  • governance and accountability; and
  • probity and transparency.

We anticipate releasing the Grant Opportunity with Program Guidelines and a call for applications in Q4 2021.

Applications will be assessed on a competitive basis against a number of selection criteria and the comparative merits of other applications.

Please contact for further information