A NSW Government website

$24 million to fund innovative solutions from NSW small businesses

The establishment of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was the first Priority Action recommended in the Turning Ideas into Jobs – Accelerating Research & Development in NSW Action Plan, launched by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on 25 January 2021.

“The Action Plan stressed the increasing need to be proactive in supporting and attracting new businesses, especially in future industries that will sustain economic growth, productivity and employment,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The SBIR program will provide competitive grants for SMEs to find and commercialise innovative solutions to NSW Government agencies for five well-defined problems”.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Gabrielle Upton MP encouraged business to get involved.

“The program will tackle important challenges including assisting vision-impaired customers navigate the public transport network, increasing the resilience of regional and remote communications networks, quantify the number and extent of koalas in NSW, reduce contamination in wastewater and reducing PPE waste in the health system,” Ms Upton said.

“The SBIR program will not only support NSW SMEs to develop innovative solutions to government challenges, but the challenges have been specifically chosen to ensure that the successful SMEs can also sell their solutions to other customers in local and international markets.”

David Gonski AC, Chair of the Advisory Council of eminent 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,” Mr Gonski said.

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

The NSW Chief Scientist & 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,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

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