Access funding to accelerate the commercialisation of COVID-19 research solutions to market

About

The Innovation Districts Challenges (IDC) is a $3 million investment by the NSW Government in the state’s innovation ecosystem with the aim of accelerating the commercialisation of research products or services that address the many disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, led by NSW Treasury with advice from NSW Health, Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer and the Accelerating R&D Council Subcommittee, is being rolled out by innovation districts across NSW. Innovation districts are where leading-edge anchor institutions such as universities cluster and connect with startups, business incubators and accelerators and can network with other Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as strategic and corporate partners that can accelerate commercialisation.

Participating innovation districts are led by the following Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP) partner organisations: Macquarie University, Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University, CSIRO, Southern Cross University, University of New England, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University. Each partner organisation will identify eligible businesses it is connected to, either through research relationships or physical location, that have high potential products or services that can address one of the three Challenge Statements.

Challenge Statements

There will be three rounds or challenges to this program, each addressing a particular theme and Challenge Statement that relates to COVID-19 and its impact on the people of NSW. Only one challenge will be open for applications at any given time. A breakdown of the dates and themes for each challenge is available below and can also be accessed on the NSW Treasury website

 

CHALLENGE 1- RESPOND

Health and wellbeing solutions that reduce the impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on many aspects of our work and personal lives in NSW. This challenge is looking to identify innovations that are close to commercialisation stage, and that help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health and wellbeing of people in NSW.

Examples of this can include but are not limited to: solutions that support remote business operations, working from home, remote communications, medical/health aspects e.g. telehealth, automation, sensoring/monitoring, IoT, cyber security solutions, resilience/mental health etc.

Exclusions – The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  • solutions that do not directly respond to the Challenge Statements
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises
 

CHALLENGE 2- RECOVER

The second challenge theme will be announced in due course

 

CHALLENGE 3- REFORM

The third challenge theme will be announced in due course

 

Purpose

This Innovation Districts Challenges (IDC) is the first of three projects under the new NSW Government COVID-19 R&D Commercialisation Fund, complementing C19 Edition TechVouchers and the C19 R&D Product Fund. The purpose of the IDC program is to accelerate the commercialisation of research solutions that address the many disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business that have a research product or service that addresses one of the Challenge Statements above and meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

 

Funding

The total funding pool available for each challenge round is $500,000 that will be awarded to the three highest ranked overall recipients:

– Grant funds of $250,000 for the highest-ranked applicant

– Grant funds of $100,000 for the second-highest ranked applicant

– Grant funds of $30,000 for the third-highest ranked applicant

– A grant of $10,000 will also be awarded to one local recipient in each of the twelve innovation districts. The local recipient will be the highest ranked finalist that is not one of the statewide overall recipients.

NSW businesses seeking to accelerate research products or services to market that address the many disruptions caused by COVID-19 are invited to apply for challenge funds. Examples of such products and services can include but are not limited to: solutions that support remote business operations, working from home, remote communications, medical/health aspects e.g. telehealth, automation, sensoring/monitoring, IoT, cyber security solutions, resilience/mental health etc.

Businesses will need to refer to the eligibility criteria before submitting an application.

FOR A DETAILED LIST OF THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, PLEASE VISIT THE NSW TREASURY WEBSITE

Exclusions – The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  • solutions that do not directly respond to the Challenge Statements
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises
STAGE 1 – EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

Each of the 12 innovation district partners are leading challenge activities in their respective innovation districts.

Businesses that are associated with Macquarie University or the Macquarie Park Innovation District either through a research relationship or physical location, and that have a high potential research product or service that addresses one of the Challenge Statements, are invited to submit their Expression of Interest via the form below or:

APPLY HERE

Each innovation district partner will refer the most promising businesses for an initial eligibility check and then work with high-potential candidates to develop applications. This includes the opportunity to attend workshops run by the Macquarie University Incubator, receive feedback on applications and participate in Q&A sessions in preparation for Stage 2.

STAGE 2 – APPLICATION TO NSW TREASURY

The innovation district partners will conduct an independent process to identify the top three applications to be nominated to progress to Stage 2. Nominated businesses will complete the Stage 2 Application form and provide the supporting material outlined below directly to NSW Treasury:

  • Completed Stage Two Application Form
  • Budget and commercialisation plan
  • Video presentation up to two minutes
  • Declaration of conflicts of interest and description of any ethical or regulatory requirements to deliver the product or solution to a marketable state in NSW.

For more information on the application process, please visit the NSW Treasury website

Details on the assessment process can be found on the NSW Treasury website

CSIRO
Ms Katie Green
Email: katie.green@csiro.au
Tel: 02 9413 7522

Western Sydney University
Mr Don Wright
Email: don.wright@westernsydney.edu.au
Tel: 02 9678 7200

Macquarie University
Mr Koos Gruntjes
Email: koos.gruntjes@mq.edu.au
Tel: 02 9850 7469

Business innovation challenge sparks new collaboration

Western Sydney University partners with CSIRO and Macquarie University to deliver the IDC

Western Sydney University is partnering with Macquarie University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to deliver the 3 challenges. This is the first time the three organisations have worked collaboratively to deliver a State Government program to businesses. By doing so, they bring together an innovation arc that stretches across Sydney, from the Northern Beaches, North Shore and North-Western Sydney to Parramatta, Penrith, Camden, Campbelltown and Liverpool. After considering submissions across the combined districts, nine outstanding businesses will compete in the first challenge round with a state-wide pool of 36, each hoping for a share in the $500,000 funding allocation.

Read our joint media release here.

MQ collaborates with WSU and CSIRO