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Southern Cross University’s Innovation Districts R&D Challenge #3

Seeking R&D solutions that strengthen the entrepreneurship capability of NSW for a post-COVID-19 economy.

* Expressions of interest close Monday 6th September 2021.

Are you ready to take your business or idea to the next level?

Do you fit the bill?

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to ‘life as normal’. Government efforts to limit the spread of the virus has inevitably seen Australia’s economy shift into its first recession in 30 years.  

The Innovation District challenge #3 calls for R&D solutions that strengthen the entrepreneurship capability of NSW for a post-COVID-19 economy.

Proposed projects might:

  • Be scalable and research-based technology products or services
  • Help sectors pivot to high growth technology solutions
  • Strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability and local supply chains
  • Implement a sustainable and novel solution to an area in need of reform, such as aged care, food security
  • Address the workforce gap created by international closures (students, reduced migration)
  • Champion Indigenous entrepreneurs.

NSW businesses that are seeking to participate in the 3rd Innovation District's Challenge must:

  • have an ABN registered in NSW and be based in NSW
  • have fewer than 200 employees
  • have been in operation for at least 12 months, based on date of ABN registration
  • at least $75,000 in sales revenue or operating expenditure within the last 12 months or previous financial year
  • have a product or service that that build economic resilience for NSW businesses to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic ready for market within 12months
  • be at least 75 per cent Australian-owned, and not more than 50 per cent owned by another business.

Eligible businesses must also provide:

  • an operating profit and loss statement for the last 12 months or previous financial year
  • brief profiles of key personnel such as CV or LinkedIn accounts
  • nomination of their primary innovation district partner.

Exclusions

The following will not be considered eligible for funding: 

  • solutions that do not directly respond to the challenge statement for economic resilience solutions that address the impacts of COVID-19
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises.

Expression of interest

For more information please contact:

Rhianna Poole
Sponsorship & Outreach Officer (Engagement)
The Office of Engagement
enterpriselab@scu.edu.au 


What is the Innovation Districts R&D Challenge?

The purpose of the Innovation Districts C19 R&D Challenges is to accelerate the commercialisation of research products that address the impacts of COVID-19 by businesses in partnership with universities and CSIRO ecosystem networks in New South Wales.

The Innovation Districts Challenges (IDC) is the first of three projects under the new NSW Government COVID-19 R&D Commercialisation Fund, complementing C19 Edition TechVouchers and the C19 R&D Product Fund.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government

NSW Government logo

Our challenge partner

Sourdough logo

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Innovation Districts R&D Challenge?

A. The purpose of the Innovation Districts C19 R&D Challenges is to accelerate the commercialisation of research products that address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses in partnership with universities and CSIRO ecosystem networks in New South Wales.

The Innovation Districts Challenges #3 (IDC) is the final of three projects under the new NSW Government COVID-19 R&D Commercialisation Fund, complementing C19 Edition TechVouchers and the C19 R&D Product Fund.

Q. What is the Third Challenge?

A. The Innovation District challenge #3 calls for R&D solutions that strengthen the entrepreneurship capability of NSW for a post-COVID-19 economy.

Proposed projects might:

  • Be scalable and research-based technology products or services
  • Help sectors pivot to high growth technology solutions
  • Strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability and local supply chains
  • Implement a sustainable and novel solution to an area in need of reform, such as aged care, food security
  • Address the workforce gap created by international closures (students, reduced migration)
  • Champion Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Q. When will the challenge take place?

A. The challenge will launch on Tuesday 20th July 2021 and EOI applications will close on Monday 6th September 2021.

Q. Is my business eligible?

A. NSW businesses that are seeking to participate must:

  • have an ABN registered in NSW and is based in NSW
  • have fewer than 200 employees
  • have been in operation for at least 12 months, based on date of ABN registration
  • at least $75,000 in sales revenue or operating expenditure within the last 12 months or previous financial year
  • have a product or service that directly addresses the impact of COVID-19 ready for market
    within 12 months
  • be at least 75 per cent Australian-owned, and not more than 50 per cent owned by another busines.

Q. Exclusions?

A. The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  • products or solutions that do not directly respond to economic resilience in the face of COVID-19
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises.

Q. If selected I can go into a competitive pool for?

A. A grant of $250,000 for the first placed submission; $100,000 for second place, and $30,000 for third place. Grant funding of $10,000 will also be awarded to the highest ranked in each of the twelve innovation districts. 

Q. What’s the process between submitting an EOI and developing my pitch?

A. Southern Cross University will assess your submission against the criteria. If suitable, you will be informed of your successful application to the next phase of the process. If you are not successful in this round, Southern Cross University may assess your businesses suitability for other accelerator or mentorship opportunities.

If you’re EOI submission has moved to the next phase, Southern Cross University, in partnership with Sourdough Business Pathways, will facilitate a short series of mentoring workshops that will assist in developing your businesses pitch and submission to NSW Treasury. Southern Cross University may also align your business/solution with a key thought leader, whom will be able to assist you in developing complementary evidence in your pitch and submission.

This process will culminate in a brief pitch session with the Southern Cross University panel. Each of these pitches will be ranked with the top three submissions being recommended to NSW Treasury. Investment NSW will asset the top three and determine who receives the $10,000 grant as being the local innovation district winner.

Following this, Investment NSW will judge the solution/product against the criteria and select the first, second and third placed submissions, informing the innovation districts of the results of the first challenge, approximately four weeks* after pitch submissions. If you are not successful in this round, Southern Cross University will assess your businesses suitability for other accelerator or mentorship opportunities.

Q. Where must I be based to submit my EOI with Southern Cross University?

A. You must be based in one of the following LGAs:

  • Bellingen
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Clarence Valley
  • Richmond Valley
  • Ballina
  • Byron
  • Lismore
  • Tweed
  • Kyogle
  • Tenterfield

Where do I submit my EOI?

A. www.scu.edu.au/enterprise-lab/innovation-challenge/#register

Where can I find more information?

Contact Rhianna Poole
Sponsorship & Outreach Officer
The Office of Engagement
enterpriselab@scu.edu.au 

 

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