Overcoming complex challenges with technology

As part of the programme, NSW government agencies are outlining specific problem areas that need to be addressed, giving small businesses an opportunity to propose solutions.

Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Alister Henskens said the $12 million program would provide grants of up to $100,000 to small businesses as part of the first phase to work with the government and conduct feasibility studies on their proposed solutions .

“This program is about leveraging our incredible local businesses to improve social, environmental, health and economic outcomes, while creating quality jobs that help the economy grow and ensure a brighter future for NSW,” said Herr henskens

“As part of the SBIR program, 10 exciting new technologies addressing a variety of problems have already entered a proof-of-concept phase. This next round of the program will deliver more solutions and outcomes for our community.”

The challenge areas for the second round of the program include:

  • Biosecurity Surveillance Challenge –The NSW Department of Primary Industries is seeking innovative technology solutions that harness the power of citizen surveillance to more accurately identify and validate threats to the biosecurity of NSW’s primary industries and environment.
  • School Zone Warning System Challenge – Transport for NSW is looking for innovative solutions to improve the existing school zone warning system to further improve road safety around schools.
  • Vital Signs Monitoring Challenge – Corrective Services NSW is seeking non-invasive technology solutions to monitor inmates’ vital health signs while in their cells. This technology is used to monitor “vulnerable” inmates and prevent inmates from harming themselves, which could lead to suicide.
  • Recycled content review challenge – The Office for Energy and Climate Change is looking for a solution that could trace and verify recycled material to support NSW government agencies in sourcing local recycled products.
  • Waste recycling and management challenge – NSW Health seeks resource recovery technologies and waste management solutions that: Provide innovative design for new facilities; redesign and reconfigure existing facilities; and discover opportunities to modernize our waste collection and processing systems, waste segregation and collection that can be implemented across NSW Health.
  • Challenge of cultural and linguistic diversity services – NSW Health is seeking artificial intelligence-based solutions to support the delivery of health services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Urban Heat Island Challenge – The Greater Cities Commission is seeking innovative solutions that could be tested in the Westmead Health and Innovation District to mitigate urban heat island effects and/or improve the resilience of our systems in response to extreme heat events.

Small Business Minister Victor Dominello said the program harnesses the power of local innovation and supports small businesses by investing in ideas to help high-tech industries grow now and in the future

“Small businesses are an important pillar of our economy and this funding will help many SMEs realize their potential and make the difficult leap from great ideas to commercial products and services that meet critical needs,” said Mr. Dominello.


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