NSW launches $24m initiative to fund innovative SMEs

NSW launches $24m 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 $24 million in funding over its first two years.

As part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, businesses will be provided with grants to tackle five key problems identified by the NSW Government that require some entrepreneurial thinking to solve.

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

  • Assisting vision-impaired customers 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, and
  • 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 commercialise more R&D an urgent one," Gonski said.

"Rapidly translating ideas into new products and services will be integral to our recovery from the pandemic."

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.

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

 

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