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.

 

Background

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.

 

Challenges

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)

 

Eligibility

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.

 

Timing

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$100,000