A NSW Government website

Bushfire Technology Pilots Program

Bushfire Technology Pilots Program FAQs

Who is eligible to apply?

All NSW-based individuals, research organisations and commercial enterprises are eligible to apply to the Bushfire Technology Pilots Program (BTPP).

An individual will need to establish a legal entity and have an Australian Business Number before entering into a legally binding funding agreement with Investment NSW ('the Department').

A NSW public research organisation can apply to the BTPP through its appropriate Technology Transfer Office, CEO or equivalent. However, the research group must become a separate commercial entity before entering into a legally binding funding agreement with the Department.

Only one organisation or individual can apply to the BTPP. There must be only one lead organisation or individual who will enter into a legally binding funding agreement with the Department if successful. Other organisations can partner with the lead applicant on the project and collaborative partnerships are encouraged.

Government agencies (Commonwealth, State or Territory, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) are not eligible to receive funding. Government agencies can collaborate with the lead applicant on the project.

To receive funding, applicants must be headquartered in NSW or demonstrate that most of the activity will be based in NSW (e.g. location of manufacturing jobs, headquarters in NSW, testing and analysis etc).

What devices or systems are eligible for funding?

Funding requested is to commercialise devices or systems that benefit bushfire management and operations in NSW. The BTPP supports field-ready bushfire technology trials and pilots in an operational environment. Systems may include software applications and processes.

Further information about the BTPP can be found in the guidelines and application.

What is the Technology Readiness Level (TRL)? What are some examples of projects that would be eligible?

The TRL estimates the maturity of an innovation by considering the technological concepts and requirements and demonstrated capabilities of your innovation. You will be required to estimate the TRL of your innovation using the table in Appendix A of the guidelines.

The BTPP considers projects for trial or pilot of technologies that are at a minimum TRL of 6.

An eligible project will have a demonstrated performance in the laboratory or relevant environment that requires further testing and support before it can be launched to market.

What is a good application? 

A good application will demonstrate:

  • an innovative device or system that has potential to solve a problem in the bushfire sector
  • the potential to deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefit to NSW
  • the device or system has a strong technological and scientific basis
  • the device or system is at a minimum Technology Readiness Level of 6
  • the applicant has a strong competitive advantage
  • a clear commercialisation pathway
  • that substantial project activity will be based in NSW
  • the project team and external partnerships will provide appropriate technological and/or scientific, business and commercial expertise
  • a clear need for funding and targeted application of funding.

How does the funding work? 

If you are successful, the funding amount will be provided to your organisation in a single payment, following the execution of a funding deed between you and Investment NSW.

Who will assess my application? 

  1. The R&D Secretariat will check that your application has been fully completed and fulfils all eligibility criteria.
  2. A Working Group comprised of agency representatives will assess applications for proposal feasibility and ability to fulfil an agency need.
  3. The Expert Panel will assess applications for technical and commercial feasibility and make final recommendations for funding.

The Working Group will include representatives from agencies involved in bushfire management and response, such as the NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, and National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Expert Panel will include fire subject matter experts and innovation and commercialisation experts. The final Expert Panel composition is TBC.

Can I apply if I already have funding from another source? 

Yes, you can apply if you already have funding from another source(s).

You should clearly demonstrate in your application what the BTPP funding will be used for and why the funding is necessary to help you to commercialise your device/system. The BTPP Expert Panel may not support projects where it deems that funding and access to end-user agencies from the BTPP is not necessary to commercialise the technology.

I applied for the Physical Sciences Fund (PSF), can I apply for the BTPP?

Yes, unsuccessful applicants for the PSF can apply to the BTPP.

Additional NSW Government funding programs and support:

I need help developing my idea. Where can I go to for support?  

There are many university accelerators, technology transfer offices and early-stage funds in NSW that may be available to you. Some of these include:

At Investment NSW, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We encourage people with disability to apply. If you have disability and require more information on adjustments and assistance to apply, please contact us. Assistance in completing this application can be found at Communities and Justice, People with disability Australia or legal aide 

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander check out Aboriginal Affairs or your country’s Aboriginal Corporation to get assistance in the preparations of applications and grant program processes.

Who can I contact if I still have a question? 

You can contact the Investment NSW concierge team at https://www.investment.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/