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AgriFutures Australia automates research grant activity with Nintex

Cloud-based project management reduces time to contract research projects from 4 weeks to as little as 30 minutes

Prior to the 2019 bushfires in Australia, the project management technology AgriFutures Australia used to support the management of the research grant process was located on-premise in Wagga Wagga – in country NSW, Australia. It became clear that a move to the cloud as part of a broader digital transformation project was required.

Whilst a need for a better disaster recovery strategy helped kickstart the project, the real catalyst was the user experience – or lack of it – during the application and administration process, it was difficult to initiate, submit and manage research applications. The process was manual and took a lot of time.

Once awarded, contracts were either emailed or physically mailed to applications. For the in-house IT team, the platform was hard to develop on, which made adding new enhancements difficult. There was also a lot of support required from the IT helpdesk to help people submit applications.

AgriFutures Australia
Capabilities Used
Automation On-Prem

Who they are

AgriFutures Australia plays a critical role in helping the agricultural industry understand and raise awareness around both sector-level and industry-specific challenges and opportunities impacting the agricultural community. They invest in research, innovation, and leadership to strengthen rural industries and regional communities.

What they need

A cloud solution was required to replace existing on-premise project management software to manage the research grant process. Managing applications was difficult and time-consuming for both staff and research applicants.

How they did it

AgriFutures Australia manages all research grant activity with Nintex K2 Cloud. Research calls are initiated, contracted, and managed end-to-end via an automated process using workflows in the cloud.

Building vibrant rural communities through research

AgriFutures Australia chose to move to Nintex to take advantage of the cloud-based workflow platform. A key feature for the IT team was the open API’s, as well as good integration points to their existing systems.

These two features allowed AgriFutures Australia to implement a best-of-breed technology stack that could be used across all areas of the business, with the flexibility to swap out systems as they were replaced.

The research process is now mapped out end-to-end, with all approvals and delegations embedded into the workflow process. Program Managers from any part of the business are now able to initiate and manage their own projects, from opening a call for applications, to receiving applications, awarding them, and managing the program once the research is underway. The automated approach has provided much easier access to large volumes of data, which are now able to be viewed and analyzed for trends. The data can also be displayed on dashboards – which makes it more easily accessible across the organization.

The full solution went live in six months, and after some time to manage the learning curve, it’s now embraced by users.

Issuing a contract went from 3-4 weeks to as little as 30 minutes. Our users now have an intuitive task-based system, both internally and externally. One researcher even called it the easiest research system they now use.
Nicole Legovich, Senior Manager Corporate Information Systems & Business Improvements, AgriFutures Australia
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