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$10 Million to Tackle the State's Big Challenges


From solar-powered Wi-Fi to turning plastic waste into 3D printing material, new and innovative ways to tackle the State’s most complex challenges will receive $10 million in NSW Government support.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said 10 projects will receive funding through the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program to enable small businesses and NSW Government agencies to collaborate and develop solutions to complex problems.

“NSW has a highly innovative small business sector and by supporting these businesses to develop home-grown solutions, we can not only improve social and environmental outcomes, but boost our innovation economy by creating high-value jobs and growing new high-tech industries,” Mr Henskens said.

“These collaborations have found ways to tackle clearly defined real-world problems in regional connectivity, public transport accessibility, koala population monitoring, reduction of personal protective equipment waste and water purification.”

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the successful businesses had already completed Feasibility Studies under Phase 1 of the SBIR and will now use the funding to develop a proof of concept over the next 15 months.

“The devices and systems being developed by these NSW businesses are cutting-edge and this stage is key to ensuring they can commercialise and realise their potential,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

“Some of the innovative technologies receiving funding include a method to turn plastic waste from hospitals into 3D printing feedstock, a solar-powered Wi-Fi system to provide coverage in places mobile network operators cannot reach and a treatment to remove microplastics from water.”

Following the proof-of-concept phase, NSW Government agencies will consider procurement of the successful projects, the full details of which can be viewed here.

A new set of challenges for the second round of the SBIR is currently being finalised and will be announced shortly.

Caterina Polistina | Minister Henskens | 0419 463 370