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NSW Government Launches New Innovation Programme

NSW businesses seeking to commercialise their innovative ideas can now help tackle some of the State’s most complex challenges through the second round of the NSW Government’s Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) programme. As part of the programme, NSW Government agencies outline specific problem areas that need to be addressed, with small businesses given the opportunity to propose solutions.

The NSW Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology stated that the AU$12 million programme would provide small businesses with grants of up to AU$100,000 as part of the first phase, to work alongside the government and undertake feasibility studies into their proposed solutions.

The minister said that the programme aims to leverage the region’s local businesses to improve social, environmental, health and economic outcomes while also creating high-value jobs, which will help grow the economy and secure a brighter future for NSW.

The SBIR programme has already seen 10 new technologies, addressing a wide range of issues, progress to a proof-of-concept phase. This next round of the programme will deliver more solutions and outcomes for our community.

Challenge areas outlined for round two of the programme include:

  • Biosecurity Surveillance Challenge– NSW Department of Primary Industries is seeking innovative technology solutions that leverage the power of citizen surveillance to more accurately identify and validate threats to the biosecurity of primary industries and the environment in NSW.
  • School Zones Alerting System Challenge– Transport for NSW is seeking innovative solutions to improve the existing School Zones Alerting System to further improve road safety around schools.
  • Vital Sign Monitoring Challenge– Corrective Services NSW is seeking non-invasive technology solutions to monitor the vital health signs of inmates while in their cells. This technology will be used to monitor ‘at-risk’ inmates and help prevent inmates from committing self-harm, which could result in suicide.
  • Recycled Content Verification Challenge– The Office of Energy and Climate Change is seeking a solution that could trace and verify recycled material to help NSW Government agencies procure local recycled products.
  • Waste Recovery and Management Challenge– NSW Health is seeking resource recovery technologies and waste management solutions that: offer an innovative design for new facilities; redesign and reconfigure existing facilities; and uncover ways of modernising our waste collection and processing systems separation and collection of waste that can be implemented across NSW Health.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Services Challenge– NSW Health is seeking Artificial Intelligence powered solutions to support the delivery of health services to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities.
  • Urban Heat Island Challenge– the Greater Cities Commission is seeking innovative solutions that could be trialled at the Westmead Health and Innovation District to mitigate urban heat island effects and/or improve the resilience of our systems in response to extreme heat events.

The NSW Minister for Small Business noted that the programme harnesses the power of local innovation and supports small businesses by investing in ideas to grow high-tech industries now and into the future. He added that small businesses are a vital pillar of the State’s economy, and this funding will help many SMEs realise their potential and make the difficult leap from great ideas to commercial products and services that meet critical needs.


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