Innovate NSW

Innovate NSW: driving innovation

Innovate NSW connects technology SMEs and businesses in key sectors of the NSW economy to develop globally competitive business-to-business (B2B) solutions that address compelling needs. The program focuses on rapid development of business driven solutions that use 'enabling technologies'.

The Innovate NSW program defines 'enabling technologies' as new technologies or new uses for existing technologies that enable new products, services, or more efficient processes. This includes mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials and biosciences.

What's on offer?

The Innovate NSW program provides assistance to technology development SMEs creating business solutions for the following key sectors:

  • E-health
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Energy technologies and services
  • Online and interactive education
  • Transport, logistics and infrastructure

Submissions will also be considered for solutions being developed for other sectors where the applicant can demonstrate the value to the NSW economy.

Success Stories

The Department of Industry has prepared success stories and case studies on the following Innovate NSW funding recipients.

  1.  365 Cups, Simone Elyse

    Award-winning app brewed in regional NSW

    Wagga Wagga is the home of an award-winning app that allows users to order coffee from a café with their mobile phone. Read more...

  2. Divvy Parking uses smart technology to make better use of car spaces.

    A smart way to divvy up parking spaces

    Divvy Parking uses smart technology to make better use of all those car spaces in the city that sit vacant every day. Read more...

  3. XXXXXXX.

    Helping the elderly stay in touch

    inTouch Living has developed a platform that allows the elderly to communicate with their care providers, with friends and family, and with others in their age group. Read more...

  4. Connecting in real life with Meetisan

    Connecting in real life with Meetisan

    Meetisan is a social networking platform that connects users who have a similar interest and are only a stone's throw away. Read more...

Types of assistance available

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants provide up to 50% of approved project costs to a maximum of $15,000 to assist technology SMEs to engage with a potential business customer to demonstrate an idea, prove a concept, develop a prototype or customise a B2B solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge for a key sector (as detailed above).
  • Tech Vouchers (currently under review) grants provide up to 50% of approved project costs to a maximum of $15,000 for technology SMEs to collaborate with a NSW research organisation to overcome a specific technical challenge or test a new technology.  As with the MVP grant, the technology should address a high growth opportunity or challenge for a potential business customer in a key sector (as detailed above).
  • Collaborative Solutions grants provide up to 25% of approved project costs (to a maximum of $100,000), for consortia to develop an innovative solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge in a key sector (as detailed above). The consortia must include three entities - a technology SME with the ability to develop and commercialise the solution (lead company), a pilot business customer in a key sector that is willing to test the solution (pilot organisation) and at least one partner company that will provide additional technology, research capabilities, or assistance to scale the solution.

Important to note: The pilot organisation is the potential business end-user that has a compelling need for the solution. However, they are not committed to purchase the product, but to guide the development.

  • Australian Technology Showcase features innovative technologies across a wide variety of industries.  Please note: New membership for the Australian Technology Showcase is currently closed while the program is being evaluated.

Innovate NSW eligibility

While the eligibility requirements for each type of assistance varies, all applicants must be:

  • Incorporated in NSW
  • Owner of the IP for the solution (submissions from 3rd parties are not accepted)
  • Developing the solution for deployment to multiple customers, rather than for improvement of their own business processes

How do I apply for Innovate NSW?

  • Complete the Preliminary Assessment Form.
  • Within 7 business days of submitting the form applicants will be contacted by a Trade & Investment Business Advisor to discuss the solution.
  • The Business Advisor may recommend applying for a grant under one or more of the program funding elements. Each element has guidelines and an example application form for guidance. The applicant should not apply for funding until submitting the preliminary assessment and being asked to proceed by a Business Advisor.

Evaluation criteria

While the requirements for each type of assistance varies, all applications are competitively assessed against the following criteria:

  • Innovative use of enabling technologies: The innovative use of enabling technologies to address a compelling industry sector need.
  • Strength of the business model: This is the financial health, past performance, and ability to develop, commercialise and export the solution. The business model for the solution is also considered in terms of sustainability, potential for high growth and capacity to scale the solution across the sector.
  • Industry sector benefits: The tangible benefits to a key industry sector, such as reduced costs, faster processing, or addressing a barrier to growth across the sector.
  • Economic benefits to NSW: The potential economic benefits to the state such as jobs created, new investment attracted, export potential and benefits to regional NSW.

Assessment

Applications are accepted at any time of year and are assessed in the following manner:

  • Minimum Viable Product and Tech Vouchers - internally by the department on an ongoing basis. Turnaround time is approximately 3 weeks.
  • Collaborative Solutions - internally by the department. Selected applicants will be invited to present to an assessment panel. Assessments will take place approximately every 4-6 weeks, dependent on the number of submissions.

Further information

For further information on Innovate NSW please contact innovate.nsw@business.nsw.gov.au or (02) 9338 6792.