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Judging Criteria

  1. Customer Experience - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?

  2. Commercial Sustainability - is the solution likely to be commercially sustainable in the long term? Does it address a target market that is likely to take up the product?

  3. Innovation - Is the product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?

  4. Technical Feasibility - Can the team deliver the solution? Can they demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to solution development and ensure ongoing technical stability?

  5. Value for Money - Does the solution provide NSW Government value for money?

Q&A from the Information Session

Are we still able to enter if our solution will be delivered earlier than the April 2022 launch time frame? 

If funding isn’t granted, will you still look to promote successful projects that continue outside of the challenge?
If your solution does not require funding, you are still welcome to apply. We are not able to endorse any solutions that do not come through the innovation challenge process, so if you are looking for endorsement, please ensure you apply for the challenge.

Is there any structure, template or process you would suggest or have for the pitch? 
Pitches will be held via video conference to a panel, and consist of 5 minutes pitch time followed by 5 minutes Q&A with the judges. You may pre-record your pitch, but must be present for the Q&A. Pitches must address the criteria and comprehensively present the proposed solution. There is no template, however pitchers generally deliver a verbal presentation alongside a slide deck. You can also read our blog post on how to deliver a good pitch

How do you envisage ongoing monetisation of an app?
That’s up to you. There are many resources available on the internet in regards to business model options and industry best practice such as advertising, payment up front, freemium and subscription models. 

How long does the entry form take to complete? Can we submit slides or only text?
We need enough information to be confident that you’re able to answer the criteria and deliver the product - how long that takes will vary, but it’s better to be concise. There is an option to provide a link to supporting materials, such as slides and videos if desired.

Will you support existing apps with increased functionality to address challenge statements?
Yes. If you have an existing product and you can enhance the functionality, that’s a great place to start. We do want to see something new being built to answer the challenge statements. 

Can we offer services to each other? Is there a venue for that?
You can use the Open Data Forum for collaborations. 

Does the app need to be at the final stages by launch date or will an MVP be sufficient with a plan to continue to develop the product?
Our focus is getting a fully formed product out into the market by the launch date, April 2022. If you need a little more time, and we are provided with a comprehensive delivery plan, we may be able to consider a longer incubation period in certain instances.

Does Transport for NSW have access to a driving simulation lab that could help quantify levels of distractibility? Is this type of evaluation going to be conducted through the incubation process?
No - HMI guidelines are clear and products should be developed in line with these. Please refer to the information provided by Apple and Google

At a high level, what sort of information is available through the various APIs?
Please refer to the links on the challenge homepage

Are you open to solutions that help facilitate the planning and logistics of road trips?
Absolutely. We are open to all ideas that improve that customer experience. The first point in getting people out to these areas is giving them the correct information. 

Will you allow deep linking into ServiceNSW services that are available at other venues, such as access to permits?
We do not have any arrangement with ServiceNSW in regards to accessing these. They do have an API gateway, so you may be able to arrange access directly through ServiceNSW. The API.nsw website may provide a useful resource.

Taking the grant into consideration, are there any restrictions on ‘where’ in the world the final product would be designed or developed?
There are no restrictions on where you can enter the challenge from. Funding can be paid globally. TfNSW does have rules around the storage of customer data, which is something to be aware of if you plan to host customer data through your solution. For TfNSW to endorse a product customer data would have to be stored on Australia based servers.

Can TfNSW employees enter this challenge?
Unfortunately current employees are not able to enter this challenge. Previous employees are welcome to apply. 

What kind of solution do you expect, like a prediction model or traffic control strategy? Is there any sample solution from previous challenges?
Examples of successful solutions can be viewed on our endorsed apps page and innovation challenges page. We want the solutions to answer the challenge statements in the form of digital products or datasets - what goes in behind that is up to you to innovate. We are looking for a solution that solves a customer problem, not a TfNSW problem. 

I presume you are looking for a service that is free to the public. Will a solution that comes with an ongoing support cost to the NSW Government be acceptable?
We don’t necessarily need a solution that is free to the public. One of the reasons we provide seed funding is to provide some capability to develop the product. It is expected to be commercially viable and solutions are judged on this. We do not want TfNSW to be the key customer - solutions that rely on TfNSW being the customer are very unlikely to progress. 

What are ‘Grey Nomads’?
A person, usually of retirement age, who has sold or left their home and now resides in a caravan, camper van or RV.

How many teams will progress to incubation?
There is no limit, but we generally take between 2 and 3 submissions through per innovation challenge. 

How does TfNSW measure success, what are the goals?
A list of judging criteria are available on the website - things like customer experience, innovation, technical feasibility, commercial sustainability and value for money. 

Are national applications welcome?
They are welcome as long as the product services the NSW population. Great outcomes for NSW is our priority. 

How are teams formed?
You can form a team however you might like. Usually existing businesses come forward, or form partnerships to create products. It’s up to you - we have no restrictions or limitations. You may reach out to other interested parties via the Open Data Forum

Is the focus only digital or is wayfinding signage an important component of the initiative/program?
This initiative is solely around digital products and data. 

Please tell more about the $25K seed funding.
Transport takes no ownership of your IP or company whatsoever. It’s essentially money you can use to develop the product and take it forward. One caveat is that the funding is tied to development milestones - you will need to prove the product is coming along, in development, has been launched etc. in order to receive each tranche. We will work with you to create appropriate milestones. 

Should this product focus on getting more Australians on tourist drives to specific locations? Or should it focus on enhancing the driving experience?
We’re definitely looking to get people using these tourist drives. We’re trying to get people off main interstate roads and onto tourist drives, exploring the many beautiful areas of NSW, and visiting local businesses. If you can improve the driving experience as well, please feel free to include that but keep in mind this is essentially about growing the visitor economy through an important period, informing our customers on great places to go on trips, and getting them to do so. 

Who will own the IP (Intellectual Property) of the products developed?
You do - it is only endorsed by Transport for NSW. 

What sort of help with co-design is provided during the incubation period?
We provide access to SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) within our team and within Transport for NSW. The incubation process is about getting your product up to speed with what our customers want, and can include assistance with testing, data integration and technical support. 

Could this also include Tourist Rides as a subset (including motorcycles & bicycles)?
We’re focusing on road users and road trips that cover a lot of distance with a car or motorcycle. That being said, a solution that incorporates cycling would not be excluded. 

Could we concentrate our solution to just one of the categories, for example, just for fishing spots?
Yes - if you can understand your customer well and understand their needs, that’s a great place to start. You’re welcome to go niche and show you have a great understanding of that customer. 

Can you submit a solution which solves both Challenge Statements? 
You may submit for both statements but they must be in separate submissions. Two different ideas for the same challenge statement must also be entered separately. 

Where can we get more information on the data held within the ATDW data warehouse?
Please head over to the ATDW website

Are we required to demonstrate a prototype or MVP (Minimal Viable Product) on pitch day?
No. If you provide an MVP on pitch day that’s fantastic, but pitch day is more about us understanding the concept, what you’re looking to build, and seeing that you have the technical ability to deliver that within the provided time frame. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is being offered as part of the challenge? 
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is offering the public an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders and industry partners to provide customer solutions for NSW. 

Benefits for successful Innovation Challenge teams include options for seed funding, product endorsement from TfNSW, access to subject matter experts, data, APIs and significant commercial opportunities that stem from solving a real transport problem. 

Further details about the benefits of the Innovation Challenge were be provided at the Information Session. You can watch a video of the information on the challenge homepage

How will the Innovation Challenge work?
A virtual information session was held on Wednesday 8 September, 2021. This session is designed for interested parties to ask questions and get information before applications are due.

Applications open on 8 September July, 2021 at 5:00PM and close on Wednesday 22 September, 2021 at 11:59PM AEST.

Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet key subject matter experts at the information session to help develop their submission. Once applications close, they are assessed and ranked by a screening panel. 

Teams will be selected to progress to the next stage of the challenge where they will be invited to pitch their ideas to the judging panel as part of the Pitch Day. Successful teams will be invited to incubation. 

Incubated teams may receive funding and access to subject matter experts. Teams who successfully complete the incubation stage will then be assessed for endorsement.

Who can participate in the Innovation Challenge?
We welcome all submissions that meet the challenge statement. It is expected that teams are incorporated and are able to engage in legal and/or commercial terms with Transport for NSW.

Employees and the immediate families of employees of the Transport for NSW cluster - including Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains - are not eligible to enter the innovation challenge competition.

When does the product have to be launched?
The incubation period will be up to 12 weeks. The product will need to be delivered at incubation conclusion. 

When do applications open?
Applications open on Wednesday 8 September, 2021 at 5:00PM AEST.

When do applications close?
Applications close on Wednesday 22 September, 2021 at 11:59PM AEST.

Where do I apply? 
Applications are open on the official Innovation Challenge website.  

What format are submissions expected to be in?
The submission form is a handful of free text fields. You will also have a chance to provide a link to extra content - videos, a pitch deck, anything you’d like to provide as part of your submission.

Will any TfNSW data be available to help develop ideas?
Feel free to use all the data currently available on the Open Data Hub. We have a vast array of data for public transport across roads and maritime, static and real time data. Nothing further is set to be released specifically for this challenge.

What seed funding is available for the Innovation Challenge?
If seed funding is required, applicants must indicate an amount up to $25,000 excluding GST. Solutions will be evaluated against the selection criteria and must provide value for money.

What criteria will the judging be based on? 
More information about the judging criteria and format of the challenge will be provided at the information session. Generally, Transport for NSW endorsed products are required to meet Endorsement Criteria, including factors such as:

  1. Customer Experience and Usability - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?

  2. Innovation - Is the product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?

  3. Commercial Sustainability - Is the solution appealing to the target market? Can it sustain its commercial momentum? Is it likely to be profitable in the long term?

  4. Technical Feasibility - Can the team deliver the solution? Can they demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to solution development and ensure ongoing technical stability?

  5. Value for Money - Does the solution provide the NSW Government good value for money?

Do we have to cover all of NSW or a particular area?
Your solution would ideally cover the whole of NSW but does not have to. Products will be evaluated on merit and on the customer experience.

Are there any restrictions on who can enter?
International participants are welcome to apply. Pitch Day will be via video conference so you can participate if you are not able to be in NSW physically. If you are a TfNSW or NSW local government employee you cannot participate. Please reach out to our team if you wish to discuss your eligibility (

Is there a process for approaching partners that might complement our skills? 
We do encourage you to partner with others if you wish, but we do not have the ability to facilitate in-person networking gathering at this time, due to physical distancing restrictions. We recommend using the Open Data Forum to connect with potential partners for this challenge. 

What happens to the IP which has been developed during the innovation challenge?
With all third party products developed through our Innovation Challenges, they are the IP of the original proponents. We will provide guidance and co-design feedback, but the IP is owned and run by you.

How many solutions will be accepted? 
We are open to supporting more than one team and do not put a specific restriction on the number of teams accepted.

How many applicants will be shortlisted to the pitch day?
There is no limit. We usually have up to 10, however if we have many great ideas we will listen to all of them.

Can multiple submissions be made by the same person/company/group? 
Absolutely. The same person or group can submit multiple ideas, however please ensure they are made as separate submissions. Please note, it is very unlikely that we would select two submissions from the same organisation to progress to pitch day.

Is there a guarantee of a contract with TfNSW for successful organisations/solutions?
No. As part of your submission, there is a question about how the solution will be made commercially sustainable. If we are to be the customer, you need to make that very clear and that will be taken into account. With all our products, we’d prefer not to be the customer, because we don’t want your reliance on NSW Government funding to be sustainable. We want an innovative product that will support you commercially, as well as our needs and our customers’ needs, so it’s a win-win-win.

Are there TfNSW digital guidelines available for UX/UI usability?
Proponents are expected to demonstrate adherence to best practice design and accessibility principles. Digital NSW does provide guidelines, however. TfNSW does not have specific guidelines around this. Accessibility should be a consideration.

Which NSW Government laws and regulations should we consider when building our solutions? 
When developing technology for transport customers it is important to ensure the solution is safe, legal and complies with relevant regulations. Read more on the official NSW Gov Road Rules legislation and more on safety and road rules on NSW roads.

What other opportunities are there to engage with Transport for NSW?
Transport for NSW regularly runs Hackathons and Innovation Challenges. For information about when these might be occurring please visit the innovation section of the Open Data Hub. 

I have questions about the challenge. Who can I contact to ask more questions?
Come to the Information Session and ask any questions to the Open Data Team and subject matter experts (SMEs). You can also ask on the Open Data Forum - there is a thread dedicated to the Active Transport Bike Riding Innovation Challenge. or email us at

What is the best way to connect and stay up to date with future challenges?
Announcements via Twitter: @DataTfNSW
Add your email to our mailing list:
Join the developer forum:
Technical issues: