auDA and Afilias Co-marketing and Innovation Fund
The .au Co-Marketing Innovation Fund is a new initiative to help grow the .au namespace by building the businesses who know .au consumers the best – accredited .au registrars.
The .au Co-Marketing and Innovation Fund aims to:
- Grow the total .au domains under management
- Maintain or improve renewals of existing domains
- Build the brand value of .au by increasing trust, stability and security
- Increase the capacity, resilience and competition in the registrar landscape
- Improve digital inclusion for all Australians by making it easier for businesses, organisations and individuals to participate in the .au namespace
The fund will provide $8 million over four years to fund a range of registrar-led activities.
This investment in the growth of .au is a result of the appointment of Afilias Australia as the registry operator of the .au namespace from 1 July 2018. A substantially lower registry operator share of domain name licence sales has allowed auDA to drop the wholesale price of .au domains by 10% and reinvest in activities to support the growth of .au domain space.
Who is eligible for funding?
The fund is available to accredited and active .au registrars of all sizes.
Growth and retention in .au is ultimately delivered by registrars.
As auDA is the body responsible for, among other things, accreditation of registrars in the .au space it’s important that there is sufficient support for this industry to grow.
What activities will be funded?
The fund aims to give a boost to a range of activities to help registrars grow .au and strengthen their service offering.
- Brand/marketing development – e.g. planning advice, research, events
- Product development - e.g. security initiatives, data analysis
- Staff development – e.g. service delivery, technical development
- Innovative partnerships - e.g. with universities, tech companies, industry bodies
- Incentives to promote and sell .au
How does the fund work?
There are three streams of funding available to ensure registrars of all sizes can benefit from the investment.
Voucher (up to maximum $25,000)
The most flexible funding stream offering a simple way to access facilities, goods, services, advice or expertise with a fast turnaround on funding decisions.
Grant ($25,000 to $250,00)
This level is provided direct to registrars for funding specific projects and to deliver a specific outcome. Contestable funding rounds will be run four times per year and funding will paid upon achievement of agreed milestones.
Rebates (from $50,000 - $250,000)
Performance rebates will be agreed up front and paid against delivery of increased channel sales of .au. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for participation in a Performance Rebate program will be called for twice a year and reviewed quarterly.
Performance agreements will be negotiated individually by auDA in conjunction with Afilias.
Total funding is capped at $250,000 per year per registrar, or where there is a group of registrars, $250,000 across the group.
There is also a funding match requirement according to the grant type and the size of the registrar – as judged by the total domains under management (TDUM).
All registrars are required to submit a business case for each project to be funded, the detail of which will vary according to the amount and type of funding requested.
The Co-marketing and Innovation Fund will submit monthly reports to the auDA board, and an annual report as part of auDA’s annual reporting.
Ready to apply?
If you’re a registrar ready to apply for funding, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.