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Blue Sky Fund - Innovative Unsolicited Grants

Being a leader through innovation, the PHN acknowledges that many ideas that are novel and innovative fall outside the scope or timing of the PHN grant program. The PHN Blue Sky Fund is designed to provide flexibility in capturing these opportunities to trial projects that can deliver tangible positive health outcomes for the community.

The PHN’s most recent Health Needs Assessment identified a range of key disparities in health outcomes for people and communities in the region. These disparities have highlighted that poorer health outcomes are linked with socioeconomic disadvantage and increasing rurality, as well as older people, those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, infants and young people, those with a disability, and First Nations people.

The highest priority service issue identified in the needs assessment that contributes to these health disparities is access to primary care services.

The PHN encourages submissions for consideration for funding, that have a strong emphasis on addressing the strategic priorities of the PHN particularly in the areas increasing access to primary care and/or for priority groups and/or digitally enabled services.

Please read our 2023 - 2028 Strategic Plan for more information.

Applications submitted via the PHN Blue Sky Fund will be assessed and sent to the appropriate internal stakeholder areas for consideration.

Submission of an application is no guarantee of funding.

If funding is offered, it will be time limited and not ongoing. Therefore, projects and ideas that are innovative and require seed funding or are a pilot (with evaluation) are encouraged, as are collaborations.

Selection Criteria

Grant applications will be assessed by a panel, with a ranking system used based on set criteria, funding availability and value for money determination, as well as spread of projects throughout the PHN region. Selection criteria includes:

  • Description of your activity or project and the intended benefit or aims showing innovation or a different approach to addressing identified needs.
  • How the activity or project addresses the strategic priorities of the PHN.
  • Evidence of the need or research as to the benefits of the project.
  • What and how other organisations or communities are involved in the activity. (Partnerships and collaborations are to be accompanied by signed letters of support).
  • Outline of a high-level plan, with objectives, timeline and budget that shows efficient and effective use of funds.
  • Demonstrated capacity to carry out the proposed activities.

Funding is for time limited grants as there is no ongoing funding available.

How to apply

Applications are open via completion of the online form on the PHN grants portal, SmartyGrants. Assessment of submitted applications will take place quarterly and applicants notified of the outcome.

The PHN reserves the right to close the grant round if all funding has been awarded prior to the closing date or extend the grant closing date if funds are still available.


Organisations will be those who are working within the Hunter, New England and Central Coast geographical area that the PHN covers.

Previous grant recipients are eligible only if they have fully complied with any previous PHN funding contract commitments including reporting and acquittal requirements.

All applicants MUST agree to meet reporting requirements.

Councils are eligible to apply.

For more information please read the grant guidelines available here.

If you have any questions regarding these grants, please contact the PHN Grants team on

Apply to the Blue Sky Fund

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