Small business innovation and research program gets $24m funding in NSW

Engineers are expected to benefit from a $24 million New South Wales Government initiative to help accelerate research and development through small and medium-sized businesses.
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Small and medium businesses with ideas that could help to solve key challenges for New South Wales are invited to apply for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which has received $24 million in funding for the next two years. 

The idea for the program was established in the ‘Turning Ideas into Jobs – Accelerating Research and Development in NSW Action Plan’ launched in early 2021.  

Five challenge statements are outlined as part of the SBIR program, with the goal to get small businesses to provide solutions to each one.  

The five challenges represent a current NSW Government agency problem that requires a solution. These problems are; connectivity, hyperlocal navigation, the koala count, personal protective equipment and water purification.  

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,” he said. 

Speaking at an Engineers Australia Executive virtual breakfast in Sydney, Professor Durrant-Whyte, reiterated the fund would be a great opportunity for small engineering businesses.  

Engineering businesses can find out more about the five challenges through the NSW Small Business Innovation and Research page on the NSW Government website.  

Applications for innovative solutions are open until 11.59PM Sunday 29 August 2021 and grants are expected to be awarded in October 2021.