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Judging Criteria

Applicants will be given access to data and optionally existing source code to develop their product. TfNSW Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will be made available during development to provide advice and support. Products will then be tested and assessed for endorsement before being released to the market.

Please note when entering the challenge that should you win through to incubation, you must be able to produce a market-ready product that incorporates data and functionality by June 2018.

The applicant/s who wins through to incubation in the challenge will have the opportunity to be endorsed by TfNSW. TfNSW endorses products that are of high quality, innovative and solve customer problems.

TfNSW endorses products that are of high quality, innovative and solve customer problems. Endorsed products are required to meet the following Judging Criteria:

  1. Customer Experience -Usability is a factor - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?
  2. Market Feasibility -Does your solution demonstrate knowledge of Transport’s customer base and will it be available to most people?
  3. Innovation -Is your product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?
  4. Commercial Sustainability -Can your idea sustain its commercial momentum? Is it profitable in the long term?
  5. Technical Feasibility -Can your idea receive insights and statistics, demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to app development and ensure technical stability?

FAQs

The priority is the navigable waters of NSW which includes harbours, estuaries, rivers, creeks and dams, and extending offshore to 3 nautical miles. Coverage in cross border areas especially into Victoria and Queensland is encouraged. The opportunity for this challenge is at a national level with support from Australia and New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group and other national and interstate boating organisations.
Along with boats - big and small on our waterways there are many other waterways uses. Including:
- Water-skiing, wakeboarding and towing
- Canoes and kayaks
- Sailboarding and kiteboarding
- Personal watercraft - which means anything with a fully enclosed hull that may be driven standing up, lying down, sitting astride or kneeling, and includes jet powered surfboards and jetskis.
If your idea and submission is selected for the innovation challenge and incubated by Transport for NSW, the app will need to be built for a June 2018 timeframe. The ownership and rights to the app belong to you and your team. However Transport for NSW provides endorsement and provides avenues for promotion and marketing through our footprint across NSW. Also included is our ability to promote across Australia through our industry contacts. The Boating Companion innovation challenge is a great opportunity for new and existing app developers to provide a state and ideally a nationally recognised app to recreational boaters. This particular innovation challenge also is incentivised by seed funding to any team who enter for incubation and produce a market ready app.
The innovation will be open longer than usual innovation challenges due to Christmas and New Year's holiday period.
We reserve the right to award more than one team to incubation.
Boatwise was initiated by Tasmania through Marine and Safety Tasmania in a joint project with Surf Life Saving Tasmania. NSW joined the project to extend the trial into NSW. Unfortunately, the app developer experienced some of its own corporate issues and the trial remained just that - a trial that was not completed or progressed or marketed. This is despite significant interest in supporting extension nationally by the safety regulators across Australia. These regulators, and supporting boating safety NGO stakeholders, remain extremely keen to see a national app to support safe trip preparation and planning for the boating community. Boatwise source code is being made available to interested applicants under a MIT Licence arrangement.
The code for Boatwise has been released by the owner Surf Life Saving Tasmania for ‘rights free’ use in this Innovation Challenge. For access to the code, please register via this form and the Open Data Program team will provide access to the code.
You may submit multiple applications. A separate application must be submitted for each Idea.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) want you to let us know what you can do to develop as a boating companion app to provide recreational boat users with information and tools for a safe and enjoyable journey.
Below are the insights gained from recent research completed regarding recreational boaters:
- The top three causes of incidents: speed, poor navigation, and people’s behaviours.
- People are complacent about safety.
- Especially inexperienced waterway users underestimate the gravity of situations.
- Other inconsiderate waterway users who don’t follow the rules add to the risk for inexperienced users.
Features to be included in the app:
- Weather alerts and conditions, showing swell, tides and wind.
- Safety Alerts
- Maps showing facilities for boat-ramps, restricted speed zones, navigational aids, fishing zones and marinas.
- Safety Checklists including information such as lifejacket requirements, for your vessel and planned trip
- Geographical coverage of the navigable waters of NSW which includes harbours, estuaries, rivers, creeks and dams, and extending offshore to 3 nautical miles. Coverage in cross border areas especially into Victoria and Queensland is desirable.
- Safety alerts and other notifications to be provided by Transport for NSW and RMS as a feed to be communicated via in app notifications. Note the feed is in development and will be published and available via the Open Data hub. Any app pitched would be expected to be developed and available on both iOS and Android platforms by June 2018.
Approved Applicants will be given access to data and optionally existing source code to develop their product. TfNSW Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will be made available during development to provide advice and support. Products will then be tested and assessed for endorsement before being released to the market.
Please note when entering the challenge that should you win through to incubation, you must be able to produce a market-ready product that incorporates data and functionality by June 2018.
The applicant/s who wins through to incubation in the challenge will have the opportunity to be endorsed by TfNSW. TfNSW endorses products that are of high quality, innovative and solve customer problems.
Endorsed products are required to meet Endorsement Criteria, including factors such as:
- Customer Experience - Usability is a factor - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?
- Market Feasibility - Does your solution demonstrate knowledge of Transport’s customer base and will it be available to most people?
- Innovation - Is your product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?
- Commercial Sustainability - Can your idea sustain its commercial momentum? Is it profitable in the long term?
- Technical Feasibility - Can you and your team deliver your idea? Can you demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to app development and ensure technical stability?
Applications open in November. Any interested applicants will have the opportunity to meet key subject matter experts at an information session to help develop their submission. An information session will be held on Tuesday 5th December 2017 and will be recorded and published on the Boating Companion innovation challenge page. This session is designed for interested parties to ask questions and get information before applications are due for submission in January 2018.
Once applications close, they are assessed and ranked by a screening panel. Up to ten teams will be selected to progress to the next stage of the challenge.
Finalists will then pitch their ideas to the judging panel with any incubation winner selected after the pitch day.
It is anticipated that only one of the applicants will be selected to create the boating companion app from the pitch event.
Applicants will be judged on their application and pitch. The judging panel will be looking for innovative solutions that will also focus on meeting the innovation challenge’s problem definitions. Please refer to the About the challenge section for more information about the app features we expect.
Anyone who is up for the challenge. We are looking for innovative thinkers with a disruptive mindset, who are keen to not only improve, but change the way recreational boaters can stay safe. Participants can come from a variety of skill sets and backgrounds. Individuals with coding, design, innovation and/or business skills are highly encouraged to participate.
Employees and their immediate families of TfNSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are not eligible to enter the competition.
The Boating Companion Innovation Challenge opened on the 27th of November 2017.
Applications close on the 19th of January 2018.
It is anticipated the new apps will go live in mid 2018. Any applicant will need to ensure they can deliver a market ready app (for both Android and iOS platforms) by June 2018.
Endorsed products will receive support from TfNSW, as well as inclusion in media activities such as press releases, social media campaigns and Transport.info and Open Data Hub and Developer Portal websites.
Any product as part of incubation (with the intent to be endorsed by Transport for NSW) will be tested before being endorsed and launched to the market.
There is a total pool of $60,000 with the incubation winner/s each receiving financial and incubation support for the development of the app of up to $30,000.
You need to be at least 18 or have the written consent of your parent or guardian if you’d like to apply.
No. The challenge is called the “Boating Companion Innovation Challenge”. Your app can be named anything appropriate.
The following state-wide geospatial datasets are provided in shapefile format in geographic coordinates on the Geocentric Datum of Australia 94 - as shown on the RMS boating map series available online: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/maps/boating-maps.html
- AidToNavigation: channel markers and other aids to navigation (including courtesy and emergency moorings)
- BoatRamp: boat ramps with attributes as displayed on the boat-ramp locator on the RMS website (this is available currently)
- NoTowing: areas where towing of persons is prohibited as designated by signs along the waterway
- NoWash: areas of no wash as designated by signs along the waterway
- PublicWharf: public wharves/jetties
- RestrictedZone: areas of restricted waters for port security or naval purposes
- ShallowWater: areas of assumed shallow water (depth of less than approximately 2 metres in tidal waters and the shallower water in inland waters at full supply)
- Speed: areas of speed restrictions (in knots) as designated by signs along the waterway
- WebCamera: locations of bar cameras, including URLs to webpages on the RMS Internet site for viewing of the live feed
You can access the maps in pdf format by going to http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/maps/boating-maps.html. If you require the data in shapefile format, you will need to send us a request by emailing OpenDataProgram@transport.nsw.gov.au.
Boatwise is an app that already exists with some of the functionality we expect as minimum. The code for Boatwise has been released by the owner Surf Life Saving Tasmania for ‘rights free’ use in this Innovation Challenge. For access to the code, please register via this form and the Open Data Program team will provide access to the code.
We want the app to be accessible and good value to the general public. The app does not have to be a free app. Your commercial model should be sustainable and sound and should be outlined as part of your application.
The minimum requirements we have listed should be available to the user as part of the default app.
The innovation challenge is effectively a competition and we want to understand what your commercial model is and how you intend to make it sustainable. There may be partnership opportunities available outside of NSW government. During incubation and where possible, Transport for NSW and RMS may be able to assist with initial facilitation with other parties.
Yes there is an agreement in principle from other jurisdictions and regulators across Australia. However, there may be different data formats across jurisdictions.
Some of the data is available publicly via the Transport for NSW Open Data hub. Other data is available upon request (this data is still being verified before is released to the general public).
We would encourage you to look at other datasets outside the Transport for NSW Open Data (ie. Bureau of Meteorology, cellular network coverage)

Other open data networks you can access are:
https://www.data.gov.au/
https://data.nsw.gov.au/
An API will be made available (and still being built) to provide maritime safety alerts which is expected to used and a feature within the app.
You can have own branding. Your only obligation is to have the data attributed to Transport for NSW as the data is provided under a Creative Commons by Attribution licence.
Much of the information we want to convey to waterway users is available in some form. The challenge is to make the information easily accessible, user friendly or coherent. The app is expected to aggregate sources of information together and display it in a user friendly format.
Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based organisation and its app was provided State Government funding to be a Log On/Log Off app for people boating offshore. Boaters use the app to tell a coastal marine radio boat when they are heading offshore and when they return.
The vast majority of the boating public do not go boating offshore and are not required to log on/off.
Transport for NSW is the regulatory originator of most of the data sources and has the relationships to enable potential national reach for any endorsed app. Transport for NSW is looking for an app that benefits the vast majority of the boating public.