News: NSW launches $12MN initiative to fund innovative SMEs

Funding & Investment

NSW launches $12MN initiative to fund innovative SMEs

The 2021 SBIR program will provide up to $12 MN in grants to NSW SMEs to solve the five NSW Government challenges
NSW launches $12MN initiative to fund innovative SMEs

Forward-thinking businesses in New South Wales now have the opportunity to take a cut of a new program that will receive $12 MN in funding over its first two years. 

The NSW Small Business Innovation & Research (SBIR) program is an initiative of the NSW Government that provides competitive grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find and commercialize innovative solutions to well-defined problems for NSW Government agencies.

The 2021 SBIR program will provide up to $12 MN in grants to NSW SMEs to solve the five NSW Government challenges listed below.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have been invited to tackle the following five important challenges and receive funding to commercialize their solutions:

  • Assisting vision-impaired customers to navigate the public transport network
  • Increasing the resilience of regional and remote communications networks
  • Quantifying the number and extent of koalas in NSW
  • Reducing contamination in wastewater
  • Reducing PPE waste in the health system

The establishment of the SBIR program was the first priority action recommended in the turning Ideas into Jobs Accelerating Research & Development in NSW Action Plan, launched by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in January 2021.

"The Action Plan stressed the increasing need to be proactive in supporting and attracting new business, especially in the future industries that will sustain economic growth, productivity, and employment," says Berejiklian.

David Gonski, Chair of the Advisory Council of leaders who guided the NSW Action Plan, welcomed the SBIR program launch. "The impact of COVID-19 on economic growth and job creation makes the task to commercialize more R&D an urgent one," Gonski said.

The NSW chief scientist and engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said research and development was the key to delivering problem-solving solutions.

"Like the medical Devices Fund and Physical Sciences Fund, the SBIR program is an excellent example of the NSW Government's commitment to leverage the capacity of SMEs' NSW-based R&D to address the state's most pressing problems and provide solutions which deliver a social, environmental, health or economic benefit," Durrant-Whyte said.

The benefits of the SBIR program for NSW SMEs include:

  • Up to $1.1 million in grant funding to develop and commercialize a new technology or service
  • Working with the NSW Government to pilot and test solutions
  • Potential NSW Government contracts for successful solutions
  • Retaining intellectual property rights and the right to commercialize and sell solutions in domestic and global markets.

Further information including the guidelines and how to apply can be found here.

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Topics: Funding & Investment, C-Suite

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