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What is the Bushfire Commercialisation Fund?
The Bushfire Commercialisation Fund is a program to help innovators translate their cutting-edge research into practical solutions that will improve bushfire detection, preparation and response.
The NSW government hopes to inspire innovation which can prevent another Black Summer by promising research grants of up to $8 million each. Grants will be awarded to people, businesses or universities with fresh ideas on how to prepare for and respond to future bushfires. Innovation Minister Alister Henskens says we need to commercialise disaster-resilient solutions.
The Bushfire Commercialisation Fund has been established to assist in the development of technologies and services to protect against bush fires. It comes in response to one of the recommendations from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry. The inquiry made 76 recommendations, including that NSW should become a major world centre of bush fire research.
NSW chief scientist and engineer Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the new fund was modelled on two existing ones, the Medical Devices Fund and the Physical Sciences Fund.
The objective of the Bushfire Commercialisation Fund is to enable businesses to:
- progress bushfire technology along the commercialisation pathway, or
- adapt existing technology for use in bushfire management or operations
A total of $16 million over three years has been allocated, with the first round of funding offering grants of between $200,000 and $8 million to individuals, companies, research institutions and universities, to help them commercialise their research.
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Bushfire Commercialisation Funding can be used for:
- prototyping and piloting studies
- conducting market and product assessments
- salaries and access to external expertise that is directly related to delivery of the project
- commercialisation strategies and commercial feasibility studies
- specialist equipment and/or infrastructure necessary to progress the project
- intellectual property protection or advice.
To be eligible for the Bushfire Commercialisation Fund, you must be:
- a financially viable commercial enterprise based in NSW (e.g. location of manufacturing jobs, headquarters based in NSW, NSW investment); have an Australian Business Number (ABN); and be an Australian-registered company; or
- an individual who agrees to form such an entity with which NSW DEIT can enter into a legally binding funding agreement; or
- a NSW public research organisation applying through its appropriate technology transfer office or the Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) of the research organisation that will become a separate entity before entering into a legally binding funding agreement with NSW DEIT.
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Be headquartered in NSW and demonstrate that most of the project activities will take place in NSW.
- Demonstrate that the technology has reached a minimum of TRL of three and does not exceed TRL seven
- Hold the Intellectual Property or the rights to commercialise the device/system.
- Demonstrate that any funding from the NSW Physical Sciences Fund (PSF) does not duplicate activities in the BCF application and is unique to commercialise bushfire-related technology.
Bushfire Commercialisation Fund applications close 12 September 2022.