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Incubate 2019 is a three-day innovation lab for teams to develop high-impact, innovative projects that will accelerate Australia’s transition to renewable energy.

Up to ten teams will be invited to participate to develop new projects that drive systemic innovation across the energy sector.

Teams will be supported by A-Lab facilitators, industry experts and provocateurs to enhance the quality of their ideas, enable cross-sector collaboration, and accelerate the process of taking project concepts through to funding and delivery.

A-Lab Incubate 2019 will be held in Sydney, 11-13 September 2019 [Closed].

How to apply

Thank you for your interest in the Incubate 2019 three day innovation lab. Applications for Incubate closed at 5pm AEST 2 August 2019.

More information can be found below:

  • About Incubate 2019

    Innovation labs have emerged as a way to tackle large-scale, complex, whole-of-system challenges, particularly those with strong social elements. They are used in business, community and government contexts across the globe to drive systemic change by exploring, developing and testing new ideas rapidly.

    A-Lab is ARENA’s innovation lab, aimed at helping to create cross-sector partnerships and world first projects to transform Australia towards a clean energy future. A-Lab brings a diverse network of people together to generate new ideas by using a variety of approaches to facilitate intensive, collaborative processes.

    In developing A-Lab ARENA found that no single actor can innovate across the entire system to drive the change needed to help the sector transition to one that is customer driven with high shares of renewables.

    A-Lab overcomes these critical barriers by creating the physical and virtual space to bring together a network of diverse thought leaders, industry experts, government, communities and customers. A-Lab leads this network of people through a structured innovation process to make genuine inroads towards an affordable, reliable and low carbon electricity system of the future.

    Incubate 2019 objectives

    We are inviting project teams from across Australia to apply to attend our three-day, competitively selected innovation lab.

    At A-Lab Incubate 2019 we will help accelerate ideas into innovative projects that leverage the right partners to achieve technical and investment readiness.

    We will do this by:


    • high impact, innovative projects that require collaborative approaches from multiple stakeholders for success
    • a diversity of projects and participants.


    • intensive expert assistance for teams to test the value proposition for customers and end users, to build compelling project proposals and achieve “investment readiness”
    • access to potential investors (including ARENA, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and investment funds), industry and regulatory experts who will provide feedback on project ideas and demonstration projects.

    Enhancing and accelerating:

    • project team formation around innovative renewable energy projects that need funding
    • the formulation of projects’ objectives, scope, scale and impact
    • improving the investment readiness of projects.
  • Scope

    ARENA is seeking teams working on ideas that align with one of the following interest areas:

    • Delivering technology and business model solutions to enable higher shares of renewables in the electricity grid
    • Supporting the growth of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry
    • Helping industry transition to renewables

    Each team’s project must have a sufficient nexus to ARENA’s purpose of accelerating the shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. Applications related to energy efficiency projects are out of scope.

    ARENA funds discrete projects with a dedicated budget and associated deliverables that may be within a broader business. A-Lab Incubate 2019 is looking to accelerate these types of project ideas that may be suitable for ARENA funding.

    Each team’s project must be actively under development, although it may range from an idea just brought into existence to a project well under way.

  • Who should apply?

    Incubate 2019 teams will comprise three to seven core people working on a project concept in the renewable energy sector that aligns with the interest areas in scope. Where possible, we are seeking diverse teams that are comprised of people from multiple organisations including combinations of innovators, disruptors, technology providers, project developers, energy retailers, network businesses, end-users/customers, regulators, rule makers.

    If you are seeking input from a particular part of industry that you are having trouble accessing, we encourage you to highlight this in your application. For teams invited to participate, A-Lab will help connect you with relevant individuals to build out a multidisciplinary team, where possible, to help your project succeed.

  • Application questions

    You are required to answer the questions below to and upload a one minute pitch video explaining your project and the issue or barrier to be solved. Please submit your application via our online application portal.

    Your project concept

    • one minute pitch video (upload) – Gaddie pitch structure
    • one page concept diagram that illustrates your core idea – (Upload)

    Problem definition and solution

    • Provide a clear and concise summary of your project (100 words)
    • What is the problem or barrier you are solving? (250 words)
    • How will your project solve this problem? – tell us about it (500 words)
    • What is innovative about your project and to what extent is it the first of its kind? (250 words)
    • Describe the positive impact or value that your project will generate for renewable energy in Australia? (250 words)
    • Which ARENA interest area does your project most closely align with? (drop-down menu with interest areas)
    • What is the estimated cost of this project and what funding (if any) is secured to date? List any organisations that are, or may likely contribute funding. Hint text: The answer to this question can be a high level indicative estimate. (250 words)

    Your team and network

    • Who is the project lead (i.e. key organisation or individuals)? (250 words)
    • Who are the project partners involved in the project delivery? (250 words)
    • What skills gaps do you need filled or what stakeholders do you need greater access to that ARENA can help facilitate? (i.e. regulatory organisations, energy market bodies, industry experts, customers, etc) (250 words)
    • Who are the three to seven individuals in the team (including the project lead) you are nominating from across this group to represent your project (Form filling: Full name, role in the project, skills/value they bring)

    Value of Incubate 2019 for your team

    • What stage of development is your technology at (drop down menu with checklist – research to prove feasibility, technology development, technology demonstration or market testing, commercial operation of technology ).
    • Include a description of technology development to date (150 words)
    • What are the key steps remaining in the development of your project? (Hint: examples of remaining steps could be offtake arrangements, the internal approvals of you and your partners, financing, land access for the project, hire of additional key staff, connection agreements etc) (150 words)
    • How and when did the project idea originate and how has it changed since then? (250 words)
    • What you do want to learn or get out of attending A-Lab Incubate? (250 words)
  • Assessment and selection

    Applications will be assessed and selected based on the following:

    Impact: Project concept, definition and solution

    • alignment with the Incubate 2019 interest areas
    • pushing the boundaries of innovation in the sector.

    Capability: Team and network

    • capability of the team to deliver with the support provided
    • availability of the team (representatives from all key collaborators should be available onsite for the full three days of the Incubate process)
    • diversity of team composition: regulators, rule makers, technology proponents, retailers, networks, customers, innovators, disruptors.

    Value of Incubate 2019 to the project:

    • ability for the Incubate process to assist in accelerating the project
    • evidence of some traction and/or iteration of the project idea to date.

    Shortlisted applicants may also be invited to attend a video conference interview prior to Incubate 2019. This is to enable the team to pitch their project idea, receive feedback or guidance from ARENA and allow them to outline any further resources or connections that would be valuable during Incubate 2019.

Last updated 17 November 2020
Last updated
17 November 2020


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