The Natural Hazards Technology Program (the Program) is a new $1.89 million competitive grants program to accelerate technology innovation and adoption in NSW. The Program will allow better preparation for and respond to natural hazards by trialling field-ready technology with end-user NSW Government agencies. It builds on the success of the Bushfire Response R&D Mission and Bushfire Technology Pilots Program and expands the remit to provide tangible assistance in overcoming challenges from natural hazards.
The Program involves NSW Government agencies posing challenges to address current gaps in responding to, managing and recovering from natural hazards. There is also a 'big ideas' stream to help identify future technology capabilities. The potential partner agencies include NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Services (SES), NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW Forestry Corp, Reconstruction Authority, NSW Telco Authority, Transport for NSW, Department of Planning and Environment, and the Department of Customer Service.
NSW businesses can apply for up to $250,000 per grant application to propose their solution for one or more of the Program challenges. Participating businesses receive grants to pilot their solution with the NSW Government agency to help solve the challenge. At the end of the Program, NSW Government agencies consider procurement where the solution successfully addresses their need.
The Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE) administers the Natural Hazards Technology Program.
The Program will run from January 2024 to June 2025, which includes the 12-month pilot.
The Program is designed to:
find technology solutions to challenges faced by NSW Government agencies in the management of natural hazards
support innovative NSW businesses to field-test their technologies with NSW Government agencies to:
refine and improve their product for market
build relationships to increase opportunities for future collaborations
build and improve NSW Government agency awareness of innovation possibilities in natural hazards management and operations through exposure to new technology.
The benefits of the Program for NSW businesses include:
up to $250,000 in grant funding to field-test new technologies with NSW Government agencies.
working with the NSW Government agencies to pilot, test and refine solutions.
building connections with NSW Government agencies for future opportunities or collaborations.
potential NSW Government contracts for successful solutions.
Each application is required to align to either:
End-User Agency Challenges – a challenge set by end-user NSW agencies requiring an innovative solution (applications can align to more than one challenge). Each challenge outlines a capability that the agency doesn’t currently possess and for which it is willing to explore solutions over the next 12 months.It should be noted that there are more challenges than can be funded.
‘Big Ideas’ Challenge – a cutting-edge or emerging technology/innovation in its application to natural hazards that could deliver a significant impact. Please note the technology will need end-user agency support before it can go through the assessment process.
The assessment process is overseen by an Assessment Panel. The Panel is made up of representatives from the NSW Government organisations with Program challenge statements (NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Services (SES), NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), NSW Forestry Corp, Reconstruction Authority, NSW Telco Authority, Transport for NSW, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), WaterNSW, and the Department of Customer Service), and independent experts with business and technology innovation and commercialisation experience.
There will also be an independent Assessor who will assess all eligible applications against all the Assessment Criteria in accordance with the Assessment Scoring.
Companies supported by the Bushfire Response R&D Mission
The NSW Government established the Bushfire Response R&D Mission to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative technologies to better prepare for future bushfires. There are no further rounds of the Bushfire Response R&D Mission Programs, with the NSW Government expanding the remit to consider natural hazards more broadly.
Information on the innovative companies supported by the Bushfire Response R&D Mission, are listed in the Bushfire Response R&D Mission booklet available at this link: