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Call for Proposals

SA Industry 4.0 Intelligent Manufacturing Initiative

Industry 4.0 is a suite of disruptive digital technologies that are fundamentally changing the way businesses create and capture value. In modern economies, Industry 4.0 drives innovation, highly skilled jobs, business R&D, productivity, and competitiveness.

International evidence from the World Economic Forum shows that businesses adopting Industry 4.0 technologies generate higher revenues (200 per cent), productivity (160 per cent), labour productivity (70 per cent) and reduced business costs (90 per cent).

Designed in consultation with industry, the SA Industry 4.0 Intelligent Manufacturing Initiative (Initiative) is a key element of South Australia’s Modern Manufacturing Action Plan to uplift the state’s manufacturing capability and make local manufacturers more competitive, resilient to digital disruption, and better equipped to capitalise on opportunities to scale into global markets.

The Department for Innovation and Skills (DIS) invites proposals that will significantly benefit South Australian manufacturers and value-add through increased awareness, assessment and adoption of Industry 4.0.

Delivery Model

Focussing on the principles of peer-to-peer learning, demonstration of what ‘good’ looks like, digital transformation pathways, and inspiring the next generation of manufacturing leaders.

Proposals should demonstrate the ability to engage around 20 high-growth potential SME manufacturers through a four-step process of awareness, assessment, adoption and validation over approximately six months from January 2022.


Objectives and Outcomes

The objectives of the Initiative are to:
  • Reduce barriers to information about Industry 4.0
  • Increase demand for Industry 4.0 solutions
  • Increase access to digital talent
  • Build the Industry 4.0 ecosystem in South Australia.
The outcomes of the Initiative will focus on increasing:
  • Awareness and digital literacy of South Australian manufacturers
  • Business uptake of disruptive digital technologies
  • Highly skilled jobs in manufacturing
  • Business expenditure on research and development
  • Manufacturing revenue, productivity and competitiveness 
  • Manufacturing contribution to South Australia’s economy.

Proposals, applicants and assessment


Proposals must include the following information to demonstrate how the Initiative will be delivered:

  1. Main activities
  2. Timelines
  3. Delivery partners
  4. Budget

Proposals must be submitted to by 5pm (ACDT) Friday 29 October 2021.


Applicants must be able to enter into a funding agreement with the South Australian Government, be financially viable, and registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Consortia applications with a lead applicant are welcome.


DIS will establish an assessment panel to assess proposals and make recommendations to the Minister for Innovation and Skills. The final decision to approve funding will be made by the Minister. There is no obligation for the Minister to approve any proposals.

Proposals will be assessed on the following:

  • Identification of Program lead and governance
  • Experience delivering similar initiatives
  • Access to relevant expertise, tools, and technologies
  • Financial viability
  • How SMEs will be selected to participate
  • Access to relevant local and international networks
  • Level of co-investment, cash and in-kind, from the applicant/consortia
  • Budget and how funding will be used.

Funding and Contract Management

Funding and expenditure

With $400,000 committed from the South Australian Government to deliver the Initiative, proposals that include co-investment, cash and in-kind will be favourably received.

Eligible expenditure includes salaries and activities directly attributed to delivering the Program, including (but not limited to) specialist professional services and knowledge, research and development, market research, business case development, workshops, mentoring, and meeting costs.

Ineligible expenditure includes any other activities as determined by the South Australian Government that are the usual requirement of business, such as buildings and utilities, recruitment, and costs incurred before funding agreement execution.

Contract Management and Public Disclosure

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the South Australian Government. No approval of a proposal, nor any notification to an applicant that their proposal is successful, nor any invitation to negotiate will be effective to constitute a funding agreement or to create any legitimate expectation unless the agreement is executed by both parties.

Funds must not be applied for or used for any matter other than the original purpose set out in accordance with the funding agreement. Successful applicants will be required to report on the progress and performance of the Initiative as agreed with the South Australian Government.

Information received in connection with a proposal may be used and communicated outside the South Australian Government for due diligence, monitoring, reporting and evaluation purposes.

Program details and amount of funding will be made public subject to the Government’s consideration of any commercial and public interest factors.


For further information, please contact:
David Rush
Deputy Director, Hi-Tech Industries
Department for Innovation and Skills
Claire Woods
Senior Adviser, Manufacturing
Department for Innovation and Skills