What is the Business Research and Innovation Initiative?

The Business Research and Innovation Initiative is a grant opportunity to help small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) develop innovative solutions for government policy and service delivery challenges.



The Business Research and Innovation Initiative Pilot  was announced as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, with funding commencing 1 July 2016.

The Business Research and Innovation Initiative covers up to five challenges each round for which SMEs can develop solutions.

The objective of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative is to drive innovation within small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and government by encouraging the development of innovative solutions by SMEs to public policy and service delivery challenges.

The intended outcomes of the Business Research and Innovation Initiativeprogram are:

  • stimulate the innovative capacity of SMEs and Australian Government agencies
  • improve business capability to access national and international markets
  • develop SMEs confidence and awareness when working with government as a possible customer
  • encourage Australian Government agencies to participate in sourcing innovative solutions.


Program Stages

The Business Research and Innovation Initiative has three stages:

Stage 1 – Challenge Selection

  • Government agencies submit challenges. Innovation and Science Australia assess and shortlist the challenges. The Minister then decides and announces the successful challenges.

Stage 2 – Feasibility study

  • You can apply for a competitive grant to conduct a feasibility study to address one of the challenges in section 3. The maximum grant amount for a feasibility study is $100,000 with a maximum grant period of three months. There is a total allocation of $2 million for the feasibility study grant opportunity.
  • If you successfully complete your feasibility study, you can apply for a proof of concept grant.

Stage 3 – Proof of concept

  • After completing a feasibility study under this program, you can apply for a competitive grant for the development of a proof of concept addressing the same challenge. The maximum grant amount is $1 million with a maximum grant period of 18 months. There is a total allocation of $10 million for the proof of concept grant opportunity.
  • At the completion of the proof of concept stage, we expect grantees to conduct negotiations for any potential sale of the solution to the participating Australian Government agency in good faith. Agencies will decide whether to purchase any solution at their own cost. Any procurement must comply with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. There is no guarantee that the Australian Government agency putting forward a challenge will purchase a solution from any grant recipient.
  • Grant recipients will retain intellectual property rights and the right to sell in domestic and global markets.



The challenges for Business Research and Innovation Initiative Priority Sectors Round – Feasibility Study are:

  • Revolutionising agricultural spray applications
    Challenge agency: Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)
  • Turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source
    Challenge agency: Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • Turning office trash into energy treasure
    Challenge agency: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
  • Counting fish using advanced technologies
    Challenge agency: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
  • Automating the detection of whales at sea
    Challenge agency: National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)



To be eligible for the Business Research and Innovation Initiative you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • have a turnover of less than $20 million for each of the last three years including any related bodies corporate, OR, if the entity is controlled by an Australian university or public sector research organisation, have an individual turnover of less than $20 Million for the last three years.

and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity, incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an individual or partnership, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement.

Joint applications are acceptable, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.



Applications for the Business Research and Innovation Initiative Priority Sectors Round close 10 September 2020.


Round 2 Recipients

Applicants awarded grant funding offers under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative round 2.

Fast and secure digital identity verification for people experiencing FDV

Applicant NameLocationGrant FundingProject title and description
Avatas Consulting Pty LtdTinbeerwah, Queensland$100,000val-ID Biometric Identification Service
Provide a solution that aims to efficiently verify identity using facial recognition and existing government biometric authentication infrastructure to validate an identity anchored by government issued trusted credentials.
FACTIL Pty LtdSurrey Hills, Victoria$100,000Digital identity verification
Provide a solution for people escaping family and domestic violence and seeking access to welfare payments and support services with the ability to provide identification for both initial enrolment and ongoing support.

Intelligent data to transform tourism service delivery

Applicant NameLocationGrant FundingProject title and description
GEOGRAFIA Pty LtdMelbourne, Victoria$70,000Tourism Revenue Impact Predictor
The proposed project will build upon Geografia’s existing Spendmapp application, an award-winning big data analytical tool in use throughout Australia. It will allow users to investigate the effect of age on expenditure patterns, predict future activity and expenditure, and identify market opportunities for new businesses.
Metrix Consulting Pty LtdWest Perth, Western Australia$100,000Australian Tourism Knowledge Bank
The aim of the solution is to unlock and integrate new data sources to better measure tourism and better inform decision-makers. This includes examining specific data sources and understand their capacity to enhance market coverage and provide insights to stakeholders about the tourism industry in Australia.
NEM Australasia Pty LtdMelbourne, Victoria$100,000Project Jigsaw
The proposed project will develop a dependable and repeatable modelling tool to forecast tourism growth and potential investment returns using cutting-edge and disruptive technology modelling.
WEJUGO Pty LtdMosman, New South Wales$100,000Data-driven travel and tourism marketing and insights platform
A project to develop a visitation and tourism analytics platform that combines data from transactional, telecommunications, social media and other digitally sourced data into a 360° view of tourism impacts across economic, environmental and cultural performance metrics.

Uplifting government capability to create digital transformation

Applicant NameLocationGrant FundingProject title and description
Next Paradigm Pty LtdKew, Victoria$100,000Digital Capability Hub
This project proposes to create a Digital Capability Hub (DCH) which will provide government agencies with an innovative online learning platform to support digital transformation specifically for government.

Managing the risks of hitchhiking pests and contaminants on shipping containers

Applicant NameLocationGrant FundingProject title and description
Industry Spec Drones Pty LtdNorth Wollongong, New South Wales$99,947Integrated CS-UAV, Hyperspectral Imaging and Gas Detection to Detect Biosecurity Threats
A Confined Space Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (CS-UAV) will be designed to be capable of automatic flight in industrial environments where other drones fail to operate. It will be specifically adapted to solve the BRII challenge. It will use unique CS-UAV flight platform paired with hyperspectral cameras, gas sensors and integrated artificial intelligence.
iugotec Pty LtdNorth Hobart, Tasmania$99,990AI-Driven Biosecurity Threat Sensing System
Conduct a feasibility study to test their solution using next-generation sensors and machine learning to solve this important problem and minimising the social, environmental and economic impacts related to the establishment of exotic pests and diseases in Australia.
Silverpond Pty LtdEndeavour, Victoria$98,750Using Autonomous Systems to improve current biosecurity inspections
The proposed project would include an automated system to quickly scan containers inside and out, detect contaminants, and triage for human review. This solution would aim to increase the biosecurity review footprint while also reducing costs and human error.
Trellis Data Pty LtdHughes, Australian Capital Territory$99,500Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System
The proposed project will look into using the Trellis Data Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System (BATDS) to detect and document biosecurity threats using computer ‘vision’ including microwave, infrared, and other invisible wavelengths.

Automating complex determinations for Australian Government information

Applicant NameLocationGrant FundingProject title and description
Automated Reasoning Alliance Pty LtdFlorey, Australian Capital Territory$97,410Automated Creation and Application of Digital Record Authorities
This project will test the feasibility of a scalable, automated solution to decide the value of Australia Government digital information and data and make determinations on whether the information should be preserved or destroyed.
Lenticular Pty LtdNarrabundah, Australian Capital Territory$100,000A Context Sensitive Learning and Classification System
This feasibility study aims to prove the possibilities inherent in automated machine learning when coupled with live inputs from and transparent monitoring by domain experts.
PWC Indigenous Consulting Pty LtdBarangaroo, New South Wales$100,000Algorithmic record management platform with a self-compliance wizard
This feasibility study will consider a human-in-the-loop (HITL) and machine learning solution to transform the current state of automating complex determinations into a front-of-house process to ease compliance, approval times and transparency.
Surround Australia Pty LtdSydney, New South Wales$100,000Tabula Servanda
The Feasibility Study will devise experiments to assess which techniques can deliver the highest quality, cost-effectiveness, scalability, efficiency, and accuracy in electronic record auto-classification. We will use explainable artificial intelligence techniques to document and explain how electronic records are classified in the experiments, and cross-compare the results with existing practice.


Round 1 Recipients

The 20 SMEs have been selected from 180 applications to receive initial funding to conduct feasibility studies of their solution. The SMEs with the most promising ideas and products arising from these grants may be eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million each. This would be to develop a prototype or proof of concept of their solution with government having the option of being the first customer.

The BRII provides opportunities for SMEs to develop innovative products and services with genuine commercial potential. The initiative allows government agencies to work with SMEs to develop innovative solutions and then have the option to purchase those solutions. This gives the SMEs a commercial income and the ability to grow with a global mindset.

On-the-spot technology for measuring pyrethroid surface residue

Applicant NameGrant Funding
Atamo P/L$93,894
Australian Sensing & Identification Systems P/L$99,090
Iugotec P/L$96,828
Micropace P/L$94,400
Panorama Synergy Ltd$73,500

Tracking the effect and value of information products

Applicant NameGrant Funding
Atraxium P/L$82,800
Avinium P/L$78,875
Gosource P/L$100,000
Houston Kemp P/L$100,000

Digitally enabled community engagement in policy and programme design

Applicant NameGrant Funding
Collabforge P/L$69,650
Crawford Kaye P/L & Claire Agnew$100,000
Futuregov Australia P/L$99,900
Likely Theory P/L$97,800

Improve transparency and reliability of water market information

Applicant NameGrant Funding
Aither P/L$99,663
Civic Ledger P/L$80,345
NGIS Australia P/L$97,920
The Marsden Jacob Unit Trust$99,897

Sharing information nationally to ensure child safety

Applicant NameGrant Funding
Leading Directions P/L$100,000
Factil P/L (previously Infinuendo P/L)$100,000
Itree P/L$99,459

More Information


Latest News

19 August 2020 – Itree’s CEO urges SMEs to apply for BRII

CEO of Itree, Ben Hobby talks to AusBiz TV about the benefits of participating in the Australian Government’s Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII), and urges eligible businesses to apply for the current BRII round before 10 September 2020.

Wollongong-based Itree has been working with government for over two decades, and already had the systems and processes in place to hit the ground running during the feasibility stage of BRII.

As a result, the business successfully made it through the first round of the program to then receive close to $1 million to create a prototype.