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Configured for ARENA's specific needs OmniStar management platform image

OmniStar management platform Configured for ARENA's specific needs

Our vision is to leverage technology to enhance the grants and ethics management process to meeting the high standards of the community we serve while enriching people’s lives. We bring good technology to life and the ARENA purpose-built grants management system is testament to that vision.

About the Australian Renewable Energy Agency

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is an independent statutory established under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. ARENA has responsibility for the administration of committed projects and measures from former initiatives administered by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Australian Solar Institute.

ARENA provides financial assistance for:

  • The research, development, demonstration, deployment and commercialization of renewable energy and related technologies; and
  • The storage and sharing of knowledge and information about renewable energy technologies.

ARENA provides advice to the Minister for Resources and Energy about renewable Energy and related technologies.

The vision to match the challenge Problem solving at its finest



In 2012 many government organisations that were involved in funding renewable projects, such as solar, wind, thermal and wave, were amalgamated into one new organisation – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – which was established to make renewable energy solutions more affordable and increase the amount of renewable energy used in Australia. To achieve these objectives, they needed a streamlined system to manage research grants that provided the insights and tools to stay compliant with ANAO’s 7 Principles for granting funds.


The vision was a fit for purpose and efficient Grants Management System (GMS) coupled with streamlined business processes that could manage all grants operations of the amalgamated organisations. It was imperative that the GMS provided the capability and solid foundation for ARENA to deliver on is goal of making renewable energy solutions more affordable and increase the amount of renewable energy in Australia.
From research to large-scale deployment, ARENA wanted its funding program to span the entire innovation chain. ARENA was looking for a grant management system to accelerate the affordability of new technologies and build investor confidence through:
1) Efficiency of systems
2) Consistency of processes
3) Probity of grant application & approval, financial management and reporting

The results speak for themselves Outcome

F1 Solutions proposed their OmniGrants platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and compliant with industry, state and federal standards to deliver on ARENA’s vision. The OmniGrants solution is used across Australia in state and federal government and government funded/not-for-profit organisations to provide grants management, powering systems such as the NHMRC’s Sapphire solution.

After an exhaustive review of the product and solutions available in the market in 2013, ARENA selected F1 Solutions OmniStar COTS Grants Management System (GMS). Out of the box, OmniStar met almost all of ARENA’s requirements, and where gaps were identified, OmniStar was tailored to meet these needs.
On a day-to-day basis, OmniStar is the Grants Management System for all ARENA’s programs facilitating the creation, processing and storage of grant applications, post-award process such as agreement and variations, milestone reporting and approvals.

ARENA engaged F1 Solutions to provide a fit for purpose fully hosted and managed GMS that provided functionality for all of their programs. The entire project took six months from commencement to completion. Ten major programs were implemented which included twenty application forms, twenty reviewer forms, configuration, workflow and reporting. The project included penetration/security testing and training. Post go-live services were also provided by F1 Solutions which included an outsourced help desk service, performance reporting, product support and training.

Since the initial implementation, F1 Solutions has been providing ongoing support and services to ARENA and continues to be the GMS in use by ARENA. It is seen as a critical line of business system with integrations with other ARENA systems such as Azure and FinanceOne.

ARENA has successfully released numerous grant rounds and funded 478 projects valued at over $5.49 billion all using OmniStar.

Several upgrades have been performed that are included as a part of the SaaS offering and with each upgrade, data and ARENA specific changes are carried forward by F1 Solutions. Using OmniGrants, ARENA has been able to run an efficient and effective grants operation.

“ARENA engaged F1 Solutions on a time and materials basis to perform the agreed scope of work. Weekly project status meetings were held to manage the delivery of the scope of work to the agreed budget, time frame and risk management. F1 Solutions went the extra mile to ensure the delivery of the project.”

Customer Satisfaction is Our Priority

Ensuring your success is our top priority. We're delighted with the results we produced for ARENA and they think so too!

    N/A Unsatisfactory Marginal Acceptable Good Superior
1 Capacity - Ability to service a large organisation such as a Government department          
2 Time management - meeting milestones, on-time delivery          
3 Management & suitability of personnel (if applicable) - Skills, experience, sufficient number, appropriate seniority used          
4 Standard of Deliverables - Meeting requirements, specifications          
5 Quality of Deliverables          
6 Cost (only required for professional services) - Actual cost did not exceed cost estimate without prior agreement          
7 Communications - Appropriate level of reporting          
8 Cooperative Relationships - Cooperative approach, commitment, resolving issues          
9 Recommendation for Future Work - Would you recommend the Service Provider for similar type of work? Yes

Whole Suite of Services

The following services were performed as a part of the project:

ANALYSIS AND DESIGN Business process re-engineering
  Analysis and solution design
  Requirement specifications
  Design specifications
  Integration specifications
CONFIGURATION Essential configuration (grant rounds, approvals, permissions, etc.)
  Portal branding
  SmartForm configuration
  Terminology configuration
  Templates (letters, documents and emails) configuration
  Workflow configuration
  Report and dashboard configuration
DATA MIGRATION Data migration specification  
  Data migration import  
QUALITY ASSURANCE Functional testing
  System integration testing
  Performance & load testing  
  Penetration testing  
  Data migration testing
TRAINING Instructor led training
  Training manuals
SUPPORT Go live support
  Level 1, 2 & 3 help desk support
HOSTING Environment provisioning (DEV, TEST, UAT and PROD)