NSW Small Business Innovation & Research Program

Date/Deadline: 28 Feb, 2023

The 2022 Small Business Innovation & Research program (SBIR) Round Two Challenges have been announced and the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE) is now accepting Feasibility study grant applications.

SBIR program challenges are well-defined problems currently faced by the NSW Government, which require innovative technologies that are not yet commercially available. The SBIR program will assist challenge agencies to identify solutions, assess technology feasibility and pilot, trial and demonstrate the solution to develop a commercial product.

Up to $12 million is allocated for the 2022 SBIR program round.

Companies will first apply for a Feasibility study grant of up to $100,000 for a project of up to three months.

Companies which successfully complete a feasibility study will then have the opportunity to apply and be assessed for a further proof-of-concept grant of up to $1,000,000 to carry out a more in-depth demonstration of their solution’s ability to meet the needs of the challenge agency through a project of up to 15 months,

Challenge statements

Proposed solutions address one of the 2022 SBIR challenges. Each challenge describes a current NSW Government agency problem requiring an innovative solution.

Seven challenges have been defined for the 2022 SBIR round:

  1. Waste Recovery and Management
  2. Biosecurity Surveillance
  3. Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Services
  4. Recycled Content Verification
  5. School Zones Alerting System
  6. Urban Heat Island
  7. Vital Sign Monitoring

About the SBIR program

The establishment of the SBIR program was recommended as a Priority Action of the Turning ideas into jobs: Accelerating research & development in NSW Action Plan. The program is modelled on similar successful Australian and international examples.

The SBIR program is designed to:

  • Leverage the capacity of NSW SMEs and R&D to solve important problems for the NSW Government
  • Drive jobs and industry growth and support the development of innovative products and services in NSW.

The benefits of the SBIR program for NSW SMEs include:

  • Up to $1.1 million in grant funding to develop and commercialise 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 commercialise and sell solutions in domestic and global markets.

The SBIR program is managed by R&D NSW within Investment NSW, with the support of other NSW Government agencies.

The SBIR program has three phases:

Phase 1 – Feasibility study: An SME submits a proposal to solve one of the five SBIR program challenges. The proposals are assessed, with each successful applicant receiving a grant of up to $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study over a period of three months.

Phase 2 – Proof of concept: Successful feasibility study grantees are invited to apply for the proof-of-concept phase. Applications are assessed and each successful proof-of-concept grantee will receive up to $1,000,000 to develop a proof of concept over a period of up to 15 months.

Phase 3 – Procurement: NSW Government agencies will consider purchasing successful solutions.

Not all SME applications will proceed through all phases.

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