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The Northern Territory Government is pursuing a stronger digital games and esports sector in the Territory. The winner of the competition will host an international esports competition hosted in Darwin.

Challenge information


The Northern Territory Government is pursuing a range of initiatives to develop a stronger digital games and esports sector in the Territory to:

  • accelerate Territory small to medium enterprises' entry into the digital games and esport markets
  • engage a wider diversity of Territorians into acquiring the digital skills that the Territory requires
  • provide new career pathways for Territorians in a rapidly changing employment market.

One initiative is to support the development of a permanent Digital Games and Esports Development Centre in Darwin, which will host an international esports competition and will include the international release of at least two digital games developed in the Territory within 2 years.

The challenge

The Northern Territory Government is holding a competition to design a permanent co-located Digital Games and Esports Development Centre in Darwin, which will host an international esports competition that will feature the international release of at least two digital games developed in the Territory within 2 years.

The design which is judged to offer the most value for the Territory will win the opportunity to negotiate a contract to procure the solution with the Northern Territory Government.

Challenge criteria

The design of the centre should include provision of the following services:

  • digital science and technology learning experiences to school age students during school hours
  • digital games, esports, and other digital skills education and training 
  • family friendly digital entertainment
  • hackathon, mashup, jam, and data crunching 
  • youth and under-represented cohort friendly entrepreneurial development and incubator
  • national and international esports competition participation and hosting 
  • capacity for the production of ad-hoc digital products such as interactive public digital art installations on commission
  • capacity for expansion into adjacent technologies such as robotics, drones, block chain, and cyber security.

The outcomes the Territory Government seeks from procuring the solution include:

  • growing the Territory’s digital games and esports sector, helping ensure Territorians are not only consumers of 4.0 technology, but also producers
  • providing Territory youth with the opportunity to build digital skills, including developing digital products with a key focus on digital games and esports, and empowering our youth to create their own jobs
  • establishing a place for start-ups to commercialise their products while attracting new investment into their products and businesses
  • contributing to the development of existing industry sectors and enable the Territory to diversify into new sustainable sectors
  • strengthening a culture of innovation in the Territory
  • contributing to Darwin City activation.

Solutions must include:

  • a consortium of partners that includes all of the following:
    • at least 2 Territory enterprises
    • a registered training organisation
    • a research organisation
    • any other partners considered necessary to deliver the solution
  • the terms on which the centre will host co-located organisations 
  • an engagement and workforce development plan to explain how Territorians will become more digitally skilled through the centre
  • how the centre will support the establishment of start-ups, the development and commercialisation of products developed in the centre
  • how the centre will be staffed and managed
  • how the centre will deliver an international esports competition hosted in Darwin in 2 years
  • an indicative cost of providing deliverables over 2 years.

The design of the centre will ideally align with the following design principles:

  1. think big, start small, learn fast, scale up, through open innovation, human centred design, and 4.0 technology
  2. support, diversify, and grow our innovation ecosystem to empower Territorians to innovate and commercialise more efficiently and effectively
  3. collaborate locally, nationally, and internationally to solve our own problems, strengthen our weaknesses, build on our capabilities
  4. deliver innovation to support priority Northern Territory Government strategic objectives including Territory Economic Reconstruction, Digital and Terabit Territory, STEM in the Territory, climate change, and COVID-19 objectives.

Alignment with Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade strategic priorities will be highly regarded including:

  • growing a skilled, agile and capable workforce to meet business and community needs now and for future demand
  • fostering and building capability and capacity of businesses to be profitable, resilient and sustainable
  • advancing research and innovation to bridge knowledge gaps, identify opportunities and broker solutions to secure the Territory’s future.

What's in it for you?

The winning solution will be offered the opportunity to negotiate a contract with the Northern Territory Government for the procurement of the solution, and upon execution of the contract, you will receive $100,000 in seed funding.

The model for procurement will form part of the negotiation of the contract for procurement. Options could include, but are not limited to: fee for service, subscription membership, equity stake.

Payments will be scheduled as the centre delivers service milestones (for example, the provision of education and training services or the delivery of the international esports competition hosted in Darwin).

The Territory Government will purchase the solution and will not take ownership of any IP developed by the consortium to deliver the solution.

How it works

An overview of the how Territory Innovation Challenges Program works can be found on the Northern Territory Government website.

Before you apply

You must read and understand all judging criteria which comprises the challenge criteria set out above, and the program terms and conditions.

Territory Innovation Challenges Program terms and conditions (PDF 736KB)
Territory Innovation Challenges Program terms and conditions (DOCX 191KB)

    One organisation must be the consortium lead for for matters related to the submission.

    How to apply

    Application for this challenge are now closed.

    Businesses interested in joining a cluster

    Next Tier Gaming and Esports
    David Moore, Founder / Director
    0406 427 197

    NTGE specialise in hosting, running and managing gaming and esports activities and programs for all age groups. We run both community and collaboration events as well as private sector events. We also run the NT's largest esports season the Northern Territory Esports League (NTEL).

    NTGE stands by ready to contribute it's experience of six years growing and developing the gaming and esports community in the NT. We have a dedicated team of passionate team members as well as a strong and growing community base who would support NTGE and further growth of the gaming and esports sector.

    Larrikin Interactive
    Dylan Bennett, Director
    0406 002 048

    Specialising in video game development and education, Larrikin Interactive is dedicated to supporting the emerging creative and tech ecosystem, as well as building commercial video games for the global audience.

    Paspaley Pearls Pty Ltd and Paspaley Pearl Properties Pty Ltd
    Nick Hanigan, Director
    08 88982 5555

    As a long term investor in the Northern Territory, Paspaley are interested in supporting this emerging market with land and investment available to assist any early business plan.

    Paspaley hold local engagement experience with property, contract and NT Government engagement in large scale projects in the NT, and well positioned property that would be suitably placed to offer a compelling location for business.

    Gary's House of Content
    Gary Leigh, Lead
    0402 158 250

    Specialist in digital technologies including ICT, live streaming, social media, digital content and asset creation, cyber security, experience design, gaming research and education. 

    Gary's House of Content has the ability to architect, advise, design and deliver experiences that inspire how people enjoy, play, learn, monitise and use retro, current and future technology in gaming and contemporary media mediums.

    META Esports
    Andrew Kinch, League Commissioner
    0424 537 872

    META High School Esports has provided a competitive environment for gamers to represent their school across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are casually competitive, or aspiring esports pros, META brings a quality gaming experience that helps students engage with their school and peers.

    META can bring insight into an esports player's motivation as well as the industry landscape.

    RunnerUp Pty Ltd
    Simon, Founder
    0438 294 144

    Web 3 platform and tools for the management of sports and esports local, state, national and international clubs and events. The RunnerUp platforms native web 3 browser extension and mobile app opens up opportunity to develop new solutions and sports tools from new developers looking to test their tech.

    I have experience as an athlete in sports and epport as a fan, participant and enthusiast as well as having experience as a visual designer and project manager for web 3 projects. I had lived in the Territory for over 20 years since the age of 2 before moving to Queensland and would like the opportunity to operate my business from the NT again.

    Jaytex Constructions Pty Ltd
    Matthew Moss, Director

    Jaytex Constructions Pty Ltd are property and property development professionals. They are also professionals in site selection, interior design, construction of playing arena, building certification and planning approvals.

    Everett Consulting NT
    Rana Everett, Managing Director
    0457 479 928

    Everett Consulting are mechanical engineering, safety and compliance professionals. They can develop training software for virtual reality simulation and supply the training programs.

    Darwin Innovation Hub Advisory
    Emma Nesbitt, Chief Operating Officer
    08 8943 0600

    Darwin Innovation Hub Advisory assist companies to find applications and funding for their ventures and technologies, scale into new markets and commercialise their research, all while staying abreast of and informing industry on new developments.

    Through their partnership with Charles Darwin University and AARNet, the Darwin Innovation Hub operates a high tech Data Lab and Research and Development Facility located in the DIH headquarters on Smith Street. The DIH compute facility will provide start-ups and companies undertaking research and development access to a 1GB internet (scalable up to 10GB) data connection via AARNet free of charge. We provide researchers with business advice from leading experts and access to grants, incentives and venture capital.

    Raven Consultants
    Reshard Namooya, Founder - Principle Consultant
    0400 363 485

    Raven Consultants can provide a specification, CAD drawings, tender documentation, tender review and contractor recommendation, site project management including all defects management ensuring the project is completed to the client's expectation.

    Raven Consultants will contribute as a team member to an innovative design backed by reputable companies like Extron, Crestron, and AMX. We will also be able to work alongside the nominated contractors contributing all design requirements to deliver a state-of-the-art esports gaming centre. Raven Consultant will also be able to guide the stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the environment we are trying to create.

    Culture Tech
    Josh Hughes, Director
    0412 453 557

    We're education change makers, empowering schools, communities and organisations to innovate and create with technology. Our service capability includes professional learning, learning strategy and design, technology support, app development, digital story telling and procurement.

    We're seeking to design and deliver high quality, accessible learning experiences, design innovative environments and leverage our industry experience and partnerships to engage city and remote stakeholders.

    Critical Hit Entertainment Pty Ltd t/a Australian Esports League
    Darren Kwan, Director
    0411 787 112

    Established in 2018 Critical Hit Entertainment is a company focused on video game and esports culture. We have honed a strong understanding of how to communicate to the gaming audience and manage structured esports events. We are most known for the Australian Esports League operating Australia's largest university esports league, recognised by UniSport Australia, and Australia's largest high school esports league. We host competitions in regional and metro locations in partnership with many local governments reaching tens of thousands of players across Australia each year with sophisticated structured esports.

    MacKillop Catholic College - Registered Training Organisation
    Patricia Sweeney Fawcett, Managing Director
    0428 022 653

    As an registered training organisation (RTO), we have the ability to deliver vocational education and training courses that align with the developmental outcomes targeted by this initiative.

    MacKillop Catholic College RTO will stand as a delivery partner, providing guidance and support via its current and developing digital training platform.

    Sports Geek
    Sean Callanan, CEO
    0407 047 200

    Sports Geek helps the sports industry develop digital fan bases to grow commercial revenue. We have extended that offer to gaming and esports helping brands understand the opportunities to connect with gamers. Our team Gravitas plays in League of Legends giving us inside insights into the Australian esports scene.

    Advice and consulting on what high-performance esports teams are looking for, how they are similar to sports teams and how they are different. Best practices and guidance on live event experience in esports to potentially bring esports and gaming events to NT.

    Level Up Esports
    Rachel Fosdick, Secretary
    0400 548 416

    Delivering grass roots participation gaming and esports opportunities for youth by youth.

    Collaboration - Ilma Ali, Paul Bartsch and Jens Cheung
    Ilma Ali, Architectural designer, furniture designer, and software developer
    0423 807 882

    As a collaborative design team, with extensive knowledge in both digital and analogue built environments including architecture, interiors, furniture, gaming, software, art and curation we are well placed to design a cutting edge and for purpose gaming hub; thoroughly detailed and tailored for a variety of end users.

    We can provide a full design and documentation package for various scales and scope, including concept design, design development and construction documentation (optional) of the gaming hub and associated spaces.

    Collaboration - Ilma AliPaul Bartsch and Jens Cheung

    Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Ltd
    Ceri Hutton, Director of Operations and Projects
    02 9209 4325

    IGEA is the peak industry association representing the voice of Australian companies in the computer and video games industry. We have over 100 members including, Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, League of Geeks, as well as NT's own Larrikin Interactive.

    To empower a vibrant, diverse and growing local game development industry, comprising an ecosystem of both independent homegrown studios as well as high investment international studios developing games for Australia and global markets via a creative, highly trained, highly-skilled, future-focused workforce.

    Contact details

    Page last updated on 1 March 2024