Regional Development Australia Adelaide - 18 Successes


Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an Australian Government initiative that aims to enhance growth and strengthen the regional communities of Australia and plays a pivotal role in ensuring sustainability of Australia's regions.



  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify economic opportunities and leverage private and public sector investment to the regions;

  • Connect regional businesses, councils and industry sectors with international trade partners, financial markets and potential investors;

  • Promote and disseminate information on Government policies and grant programs to state and local governments and industry, business and community sectors;

  • Support community stakeholders to develop project proposals to access funding;

  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with the local government bodies in their regions; 

  • Facilitate public and private sector decentralisation;

  • Assist in the delivery of Government programs; 

  • Engage with regional entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders to explore new opportunities to grow local jobs in their regions;

  • Provide information on their region's activities and competitive advantages to federal, state and local governments and industry, business and community sectors;

  • Provide evidence-based advice to the Government on critical regional development issues positively and negatively affecting their regions.

Video of region (Click the thumbnail to view the video)

1. Investment Attraction Service

RDA Adelaide is preparing to launch an Investment Attraction service. Besides the Online Investment Attraction Tool (now available on the RDA Adelaide website), RDA Adelaide has engaged one of Australia’s most awarded and active Angel Investment groups to mentor RDA Adelaide and establish an opportunity for South Australian businesses and entrepreneurs to gain expertise and funding from Angel Investors.

The objective of the RDA Adelaide Angel service will be to increase funding opportunities for South Australian businesses and entrepreneurs. The offer includes, information regarding funding opportunities, online tools, and regular invitation-only workshops and meetings between businesses and local and or interstate Angel Investors.

The RDA Adelaide Angel service is expected to operate from early 2019, however you are welcome to email if you wish to be updated on the progress of the service. 



2. Investment Attraction Tool

The purpose of this Investment Attraction and Support Services resource is to identify various investment funding sources, options and services available to enterprises in Regional Development Australia - Adelaide Metropolitan Incorporated (RDA Adelaide) region to enable Small Business to grow and expand their organisations.

Click here to download the Investment Attraction Tool V5.0


3. Playford Council Grant

RDA Adelaide is pleased to announce that The city of Playford has been successful with an $2,752,500 application to the NSRF Grant for the purposes of a $5,505,000 Construction of 12 mixed-use allotments within the Playford Central Business District, all of which will be suitable for commercial, retail or residential development. The project will also upgrade the streetscape and function of Playford Boulevard to improve pedestrian and traffic flows and to provide an attractive space for community activities at Elizabeth.

Photo: Mayor Glenn Docherty (right) showing RDA Adelaide CEO Kenneth Taplin (centre) touring a super school in northern Adelaide

4. Flinders University Spill Over Research briefing was supported by funding from
    RDA Adelaide

The suite of maritime defence projects is among the most sophisticated engineering endeavours ever undertaken in Australia. As well as providing highly desirable and strategically valuable opportunities for Australian industry participation, major defence projects demand highly skilled and qualified people. They also generate a range of spillovers, which are economic and social benefits that cannot be easily captured by the firms directly involved in the delivery of a major project. This includes knowledge, technologies, enterprise capabilities and workforce skills developed or applied during the course of a major defence project that have commercial application.

Click here to download the AITI Briefing report.


5. New RDA Mentoring Project

Click here to download the RDA Adelaide SAYES Mentoring Project report.


6. SA Aviation Museum Grant

RDA Adelaide is pleased to announce that SA Aviation Museum has been offered a $205,000 Grant for the $410,000 NSRF New Display Hangar. The outcomes of this project are the provision of the opportunity to acquire new iconic aircraft, and particularly RAAF disposals requiring covered display space and the increase in visitor numbers and expenditure in Port Adelaide


7. AEIOU Grant

RDA Adelaide is pleased to announce that AEIOU have been offered a $891,139 NSRF Grant for the $1,873,652 Early Intervention Centre project.

The project will establish a purpose built autism early intervention centre to provide vital education & support services to Adelaide & surrounding communities.

The centre will provide up to 40 full-time placements for children with autism (aged 2-6) in North Brighton SA).


8. Freight Terminal Grant

A new intermodal freight terminal will be established in Penfield, South Australia which will create hundreds of jobs, take trucks off local roads and cut transport costs for the state’s businesses. Click here to read more.


9. Leukaemia Foundation Grant

Patient Village To Help Fight Against Leukaemia. Click here to read more.


10. University of Adelaide Grant Assistance

In 2013 RDA Adelaide was an early adopter that invested seed funding to the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Energy Technology (CET) to identify and develop opportunities to establish an Australian Centre for Energy Storage. Following extensive consultation with industry, government stakeholders and funding bodies this work resulted in the development of a detailed funding proposal to establish the Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank. The $3.26M project “Establishing the Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank” was awarded a $1.44M grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and commenced in May 2015. The project brings together partners SA Power Networks, Solar Storage Australia, the South Australian Government and the Energy Networks Association, who are collectively contributing $650,000 towards the project, as well as local integration specialists Power and Drive Solutions and ZEN Energy Systems who are providing in-kind support.

Led by Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul, the project will develop a mobile energy storage test facility and an online knowledge bank. The new knowledge bank will act as a central repository of energy storage expertise, bringing together reports and case studies, along with information on regulation, reliability, safety, operation and performance of energy storage systems in Australia. The new mobile facility will be able to conduct independent simulated and field testing of energy storage technologies and generate high resolution data for the knowledge bank. The Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank project is set to build industry confidence in energy storage technologies and has the potential to accelerate investment in grid connected and remote locations, particularly where there are high levels of renewable energy generation. The Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank is the first major step in expanding the University of Adelaide’s capability in energy storage. CET would like to thank RDA Adelaide for catalysing this opportunity, which without their support would not have been possible.

11. Grant Writer Workshops for Staff from Council & Industry

RDA Adelaide is proud to partner with BEC Australia to offer Grant/Investment Attraction Workshops. These workshops, and those previously held at RDA Adelaide have had 220 attendees from the council, small business and not for profit sector. The current Investment Attraction workshops will be held in the RDA Adelaide region, hosted by partner (BECA) for SME-NFP-Council staff and stakeholders that are invited to learn and share better Grant and Investment Attraction techniques. The project has important cross-region opportunity benefits with a main outcome to increase the likelihood that stakeholders gain investment in the region. The feedback has been very positive regarding an increase in capability regarding the following focus, Investment Attraction, Economic Development Other Government Programs. For more information or a copy of the key learnings report please contact

Photo: Workshop attendees: Melissa from the Marion and Ian from Onkaparinga Councils

12. EDA Knowledge Bank Project

RDA Adelaide is proud to partner with Economic Development Australia (SA) for the project, Economic Development Knowledge Bank that will assist Economic Development in the region.

The project objectives include strong support for EDA members/Council staff working in the economic development sector. The partnership has been formed to create a Knowledge Bank that will add value to information to region stakeholders to assist the economic development activity in the region with the latest shared information and blogs regarding best practice techniques..

The main outcome will be to increase the opportunities for region stakeholders to gain Economic Development and investment activity, the project also has a cross-region opportunity benefits and a link back to the RDA Adelaide web site that also shares other government programme information.

Photo: Launch of the EDA (SA) Knowledge Bank: (left) Chairperson Ms Skana Gallery and (right) RDA Adelaide Chairperson Dr. Felicity-ann Lewis

13. RDA Adelaide and LGA (SA) Collaboration

RDA Adelaide is proud to partner with LGA (SA) for the purposes of developing an Economic Development project, which also has a cross-region opportunity benefits.

This project partnership will add value to the LGA (SA) Shandong business development programme. The LGA and partners will host representatives from Shandong China who will visit SA for a number of meetings including business to business and business to government.

Photo: RDA Adelaide Chairperson Dr. Felicity-ann Lewis with visitors from Shandong China


14. RDA Adelaide funded LGA (SA) Smart Cities

Partner:The Local Government Association (LGA) of South Australia is a membership organisation and the voice of local government within the state representing all 68 individual councils.  The LGA provides leadership, support, representation and advocacy to achieve better outcomes for the Councils and communities they represent.

Project Overview: The project partnered with LGA (SA) and the University of Adelaide to produce a snapshot of what smart cities activities Council’s are currently delivering information to support business opportunities.

Objectives: In 2017 the MLGG ratified the preparation of a Smart Cities (Technology) Snapshot, partnering with the University of Adelaide Smart Cities Consortium. 

Methodology: The appointment of the University of Adelaide’s Smart City Consortium to undertake the Smart Cities Technology Snapshot (2017). The appointment of a “Council Coordinator for the Smart Technology Snapshot” to the LGA Secretariat where representation was sort from all metropolitan Councils via email (11.17). A final Snapshot Report was issued by the University of Adelaide to the LGA Secretariat who forwarded to MLGG membership for comment (02.17).

A meeting was held by the MLGG to discuss “Where to next” in relation to Smart Cities where the following was established:

Greater definition/understanding of benefits of Smart Technology;

Better understanding of how the Smart Technology/Smart City approach can define QoL standards; Value for money/community benefit of Smart Technology over time; and  Opportunities for collaboration (01.18). A Workshop was then arranged by the LGA Secretariat in response to the MLGG request for a detailed proposal in relation to the potential Smart Cities Audit. 

The Council Coordinators specifically considered the final Report on the Smart Technology Snapshot, the Audit and their Council’s journey. 

The Snapshot was received as important and a “useful starting point”, they also confirmed that the Smart Cities Audit was unnecessary (01.18).

Outcome: The project facilitated the establishment of a clear Working Plan for Smart Cities, inclusive of:

Establishment of a Metropolitan Local Government Smart Cities Network

Develop a Metropolitan Smart Cities Strategy: The Strategy would require Council’s to agree on a collaborative Vision, goals as well as defined outcomes (i.e. jobs; economic benefits; community wellbeing) and targets

Capability Assessment/Gap Analysis: A more detailed capability analysis of individual Councils

Develop and Implement a Roadmap: identify the initiatives required to extend capabilities and address gaps within Council (e.g. collaboration; joint funding/procurement/ grant prospects; identify access points for public use of data; service transformation opportunities).


15. RDA Adelaide funded Business SA: Encore Entrepreneurs 35+

Partner: Business SA 

Project Overview: Business SA: Encore Entrepreneurs 35+ .The proposal supports the launch of Business SA’s new pilot program Encore Entrepreneur developed to help entrepreneurs over 35 establish or grow their business. Based on the successful SAYES model, the program aims to develop the skills and confidence of program participants to explore and develop their business model and strategy. 

Objectives: A high quality entrepreneurial program designed to fill the gap in the market for entrepreneurs aged 35+ sponsored by RDA Adelaide. Survey of satisfaction identifying participant gains from the program  (To be completed at the conclusion of the program).

Methodology: A report to RDA Adelaide on the progress and acknowledgement of RDA Adelaide as a program partner.

Encore Workshops:   

1. August – Business Planning

2. September – Legal

3. October – Business Model

4. November – Marketing

5. November – Online Marketing

6.  January –  Innovation and change

7.  February – Risk

8.  March – HR

9.  April – Leadership

10. May – Finance.

Outcome: The Encore Program commenced in July 2017 with 16 of the 21 applicants being offered positions in the inaugural Encore Program. The average age of participants is 35 and the industries that are represented in the Encore Program are: design (3), fashion (2), food (2), hairdressing (2), photography (1), retail (4) and wellbeing (2). There is a small spread of participants across ten council areas within South Australia: Campbelltown Council (1), City of Adelaide (2), City of Burnside (1), City of Charles Sturt (2), City of Mitcham (2), City of Onkaparinga (2), City of Playford (1), City of Port Adelaide Enfield (2), City of Tea Tree Gully (1) and the City of West Torrens (2).


16. RDA Adelaide funded BEC Tender Writing

Partner: Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) Australia in conjunction with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Adelaide Metropolitan. BEC Australia is a national network of Business Enterprise Centres, which offer business advice and support to small and micro businesses.  

Project Overview: The Grant Writers Workshops, focusing on the region’s Local government area members, small and medium size businesses and Not for Profit Entities. Comprising a total of two forums (Nov 2017 and Feb 2018 respectively) targeted organisations including Local Government Areas (LGAs), Not for Profits (NFPs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who have potential (with assistance) to prepare successful grant funding applications.  These workshops have aimed to engage participants on a pathway to one: one mentoring across the grant application process.

Objectives: The objective of the Grant Writer Workshops was to increase the chances of grant applications being favourably considered by participating applicants in regards to business development and increased employment. (i.e. LGAs, NFPs and SMEs).

Methodology: More than 400 attendees from the region have now participated in previous half day workshops. These workshops allow attendees to follow 50 slides of information upskilling attendees with writing and grant sourcing knowledge and a group exercise.

Outcome: The outcome of the Grant Writer Workshops:

More than 30 LGAs, NFPs and SMEs in attendance at the workshops who are better informed on the application process with greater capability to prepare successful grant submissions. With success comes more revenue to the Adelaide region and increased local economic activity leading to job creation.

Participants advised that their “key learnings” were:

√ Being able to back up what you say with evidence

√ Do your homework - contact provider, understand the application requirements

√ Address all criteria effectively, know & sell the product

√ Be sure of key objectives – what is the funding body trying to achieve?

√ Be CLEAR with pitch, concept skeleton, input, outputs. Don’t just repeat a business case

√ The need to plan - Have a great pitch - Prepare concept skeletons.

√ Developing the skeleton – long before grants become available

√ How closely this all ties with out project management methodology?”

√  “5 step Pitch process and how to bring it all together in a succinct way

√ The Grant Lifecycle and “The Other Grant Lifecycle” identifying the breakdown and rationale for timings and scorecard assessment

√ Planning through a proactive approach to Grant types, the tracking of Opportunities, and relationships with Providers and other Stakeholders.

√ Speak to the funding provider (not to misinterpret anything and get some advice on the application before submitting)

√ There is value in submitting unsolicited tenders by identifying trends and pre-empting funder needs

The importance of devoting time in planning the proposal


17. Thought Leadership Workshop and Report: Digital Disruption

The aim of the Thought Leadership Workshop and Report: Digital Disruption was to unlock the economic and social opportunities for South Australia by harnessing technology and digital disruption. Adelaide continues to be Australia’s leading Smart City, recognised for its infrastructure projects and technology that serves for testing and trialling smart city solutions.

As the first city outside the US to join the US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program, Adelaide has become part of the global gigabit community, facilitating a new era of collaboration and information sharing. This initiative promotes the development of ground-breaking gigabit applications and services, delivering new advances in priority areas, including healthcare, education and public safety.

GigCity Adelaide is connecting entrepreneurs, startups and big businesses to affordable high-speed internet. Businesses located at key innovation precincts can connect to extremely fast broadband speeds of 1 gigabit per second at an affordable cost to help businesses develop leadingedge ideas, create new opportunities and access new markets. Working with the South Australian Research and Education Broadband Network (SABRENet) and EscapeNet, GigCity Adelaide will provide ultra-fast internet that is 100 times faster than the national average. GigCity is making Adelaide one of the most connected cities in the Southern Hemisphere, creating a new era in digital connectivity. 

Adelaide is also home to Australia’s first Internet of Things innovation hub; Adelaide Smart City Studio and is Cisco’s only ‘Lighthouse City’ in Australia.

Click here to download RDA Adelaide Digital Disruption Thought Leadership report


18. Thought Leadership Workshop and Report: Ageing

The aim of the Thought Leadership Workshop and Report: Ageing, Wellbeing and the Economy was to unlock the economic and social opportunities presented by South Australia’s changing demographics.

Between 2020 to 2050, the number of South Australians aged 65 and over is expected to increase by 56% to 530,000. Significant economic opportunities can be associated with this demographic shift. It is important that economic development practitioners are equipped with the knowledge, tools and capacity to foster partnerships, facilitate business development and support investment attraction, to capitalise on these opportunities.

South Australia is embracing this new sector economy through a range of methods and is positioning itself as a global leader in the Ageing Well sector. State Government, local government, economic development practitioners and private industry are demonstrating innovative responses to the opportunities with the development of Living Laboratories, citizen-centred design, commercialisation support and trade collaboration. These private, public and community led initiatives are designed to yield innovative product development, export development, jobs growth and improved health and lifestyle outcomes.

Click here to download RDA Adelaide Thought Leadership Ageing WB


Disclaimer: This report was produced by Regional Development Australia, Adelaide Metropolitan Incorporated and does not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government, its officers, employees or agents. Its contents reflects information gained from consultations with stakeholders nominated by RDA Adelaide, supplemented with a strategic review of additional material, issues and representations provided by the officers and committee members of RDA Adelaide. While due care has been taken in the presentation and interpretation of this information, no warranty of completeness, accuracy or reliability is given in relation to the statements or material presented in this document, or to the representations made by staff, contributing parties or personnel involved or consulted as part of the Plan development process. Other than the responsibility owned to RDA Adelaide, neither any member, employee or officer undertakes responsibility arising in any way from the reliance placed on this document by a third party. Any such reliance is that third party’s sole responsibility.