Call 1300 658 508
What is the Small Business Innovation & Research Program?
The NSW Small Business Innovation & Research program is an initiative of the NSW Government that provides funding to support a 3-month projects undertaken by small to medium enterprises to help them address a specific problem highlighted by the NSW government.
The NSW Small Business Innovation & Research (SBIR) program is a competitive research and development (R&D) challenge program funded by the NSW Government, administered by the Office of NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE).
The primary objective of the Small Business Innovation & Research program is to leverage the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) NSW-based R&D to address the needs of the NSW Government with the aim to procure these solutions.
The objectives of the Small Business Innovation & Research program are to:
- Increase the commercialisation of NSW Governmentfunded R&D, selling to NSW Government and potentially other end-users
- Support the technology and innovation sector in NSW, with the NSW Government being a proactive customer for innovation
- Grow the number of innovative products, services and jobs in NSW.
Through the Small Business Innovation & Research program, the NSW Government will seek solutions developed by NSW SMEs for defined NSW Government challenges.
Call 1300 658 508
The SBIR program has three phases:
- Phase 1 – Feasibility study: SMEs submit proposals to solve one of the SBIR program challenges. Applications are assessed and successful applicants will each receive funding to conduct a feasibility study.
- Phase 2 – Proof of concept: Successful feasibility study grantees are invited to apply for the proof-of-concept phase. Applications are assessed and successful applicants will receive funding to develop a proof of concept.
- Phase 3 – Procurement: NSW Government agencies will consider the procurement of successful solutions.
Each phase is competitive and not all SMEs will proceed through to the next phase.
- Phase 1: Feasibility study will require the grantee to establish the technical basis and commercial feasibility of the proposed solution. It will also assess and demonstrate the capacity and ability of the SME to deliver the proposed solution.
- Phase 2: Proof of concept will require the grantee to develop a proof of concept for the solution proposed in the feasibility study, such as a prototype of the product or service. The aim is to move the solution from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 6 or 7 (see Appendix A of the guidelines)
- Phase 3: Procurement will require the solution developer to work with the NSW Government to implement the solution in NSW Government operations.
- Phase 1: Feasibility study funding will be up to $100,000 per study for a project of up to three months. A total of up to $1,600,000 in grants will be allocated for Phase 1.
- Phase 2: Proof of concept funding will be up to $1,000,000 per study for a project of up to 15 months. A total of up to $10,000,000 in grants will be allocated for Phase 2.
- Phase 3: Procurement will be at the discretion of NSW Government challenge agencies.
The SBIR program only provides grants for Phases 1 and 2. The grant amount will be determined based on the project budget presented in the application.
The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project expenditure.
Funding is available to enterprises that innovate to solve one of the following challenges:
- waste recovery and management
- biosecurity surveillance
- cultural and linguistic diversity services
- recycled content verification
- school zones alerting system
- urban heat island
- vital sign monitoring.
Call 1300 658 508
An SBIR program grant must be spent in accordance with the grant agreement and only on eligible expenditure.
To qualify as eligible, expenditure must:
- Be incurred by the grantee during the project period
- Be a direct project cost or incurred to undertake required project audit activities, and
- Fit within one of the seven categories of eligible expenditure.
The seven categories of eligible expenditure are:
- Labour expenditure including on-costs
- Capital equipment relevant to the project
- Material costs (including consumables specific to the project)
- Contract expenditure
- Travel and overseas expenditure
- Financial auditing of the project, and
- Other costs directly related to the project or project audit activities.
To be eligible to apply for the SBIR program you must:
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Be one of the following entities:
- A small or medium-sized enterprise with under 200 full-time equivalent employees, or
- An individual or partnership, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement, or
- A NSW public research organisation applying through its appropriate technology transfer office, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement.
- Meet one of the following criteria:
- Be headquartered in NSW, or
- Conduct the majority of business research and development and production operations in NSW.
- Hold the Intellectual Property or the rights to commercialise the proposed solution.
- If successful, undertake to conduct SBIR program-related research and development work in NSW.
Applications close 28 February 2023.