Our 9 assessment criteria
Proposals are assessed against 9 criteria to decide whether applicants qualify for funding, and how much they may receive. We need robust information and as much evidence as possible.
The SFF Futures assessment criteria are:
- sustainable benefits to New Zealand
- beyond business as usual
- fit with relevant strategies
- adoption and extension/path to market
- ability to deliver
- risk identification and mitigation
Your project doesn't have to show benefits from each category. Partnerships typically have a stronger emphasis on economic and financial benefits, whereas community-driven projects often focus on environmental or social benefits. However, we want your proposal to show that you have considered each benefit area. You might be surprised by how broadly your benefits could extend.
Here are some tips about how we assess your application against these criteria.
Explain sustainable benefits
Clearly explaining the public good, longer-term benefits of your project is a pre-requisite for SFF Futures funding. In particular, we want to know how it will contribute to one or more of the following:
- improved environmental performance for the benefit of current and future generations (for example, through improving freshwater quality or reducing methane emissions)
- the economic prosperity of New Zealand's food and fibre industries (for example, by developing high-value products or new land-use opportunities, increasing productivity, or creating new jobs)
- the development of thriving and sustainable rural communities and whānau/hapori (for example, by creating regional skills development or training opportunities, improving mental health, or lifting worker safety).
Consider Māori aspirations and opportunities
A well-rounded proposal will demonstrate recognition and consideration of tikanga Māori, and involve local iwi and other relevant groups appropriately.
Proposals should be solution-focused. They should find a new approach to an issue that New Zealand's primary sector needs to address. Whether it's national in scale or related to just one local community, we want your initiative to lead to positive, long-lasting change.
This may be incremental change that builds on other work or it could be disruptive in nature. It could be as big as an idea for a brand-new product or a smaller-scale solution such as a new way of tackling a pest, improving animal welfare, or cleaning up your local waterway.
Make it fit with relevant strategies
Proposals should either fit within an existing industry or government strategy or provide positive disruption to a sector.
Produce a well-considered plan
We want to see that you have:
- thought through the proposed work
- considered key risks
- put in place everything necessary to deliver the project successfully
- considered how you will achieve uptake or adoption of your initiative.
Tell us about the practical application of your project
If your project involves research and development it must have a practical application. The people who will put the research into practice must be actively involved in the project.
Develop a realistic and appropriate budget
We need to be sure that your project represents good value for money. We need to clearly understand the costs of your project and how they relate to the work you are proposing.
Find out more
Your application is confidential. However, we may share your application with experts in MPI and other government departments to get their feedback. This is to confirm that your idea is innovative and "beyond business as usual".
Our guidelines for applicants has more information about the SFF Futures assessment criteria.
Guidelines for applicants [PDF, 4.7 MB]
You can also contact us directly for more information:
- Email email@example.com
- Phone 0800 00 83 33