New $3m fund for NSW creative digital projects

The NSW Government has announced a new $3 million fund to support creative digital content, including electronic games and transmedia projects, offering recipients up to $250,000 each.


The Interactive Media Fund was launched this week by NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, who also announced the winners of the 2011 NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.


“In May, I announced funding for 20 creative digital content projects under the Digital Media Initiative,” Stoner said in a statement.


“We are refining the Digital Media Initiative to reflect its alignment with industry priorities and have invested $3 million in the new Interactive Media Fund.”


Stoner said the fund represents a renewed focus on interactive content, which has the ability to benefit other sectors such as health, finance and education.


The Government is also increasing the amount of funding available, from $100,000 to $250,000, to “better help expanding companies bring in specialist skills to work across complex projects”.


A government spokesperson says applications must include a detailed marketing plan and budget, highlighting which items the funding would be allocated towards.


Applications undergo an initial assessment by an Interactive Media Fund client manager before being assessed by an external industry assessor.


“The final panel – consisting of the external industry assessor, the Interactive Media Fund team and a representative from [film and television agency] Screen NSW will convene to make the final funding decision,” the spokesperson says.


“Since there are no [funding] rounds, the final panel is convened as needed, ie. when there are a sufficient number of applications… Applicants can generally expect to receive a decision within four to eight weeks.”


In other news, the Federal Government has announced the winners of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, awarding recipients up to $300,000.


This year’s Prize for Science was awarded to Professors Ezio Rizzardo and David Solomon from the CSIRO and the University of Melbourne.


The $300,000 prize recognises their work in reinventing polymer science by devising a means of custom-building plastics and other polymers for plastic solar cells, paints, adhesives, lubricants and drug delivery.


Their techniques are employed in the laboratories and factories of more than 60 companies including L’Oréal, IBM, 3M and Dulux.


Meanwhile, the Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year was awarded to Associate Professor Min Chen of the University of Sydney.


Chen has discovered a new form of chlorophyll, which humans depend on for food, shelter and oxygen. Her discovery has implications for solar energy and agriculture.


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