$12m in government seed funding for SMEs

| July 16, 2020

Australian start-ups and SMEs can now access up to $12 million in grants through the Business Research Innovation Initiative (BRII), an Australian Government seed funding initiative, to tackle five of the country’s most pressing environmental issues.

With COVID-19 battering businesses, a grant could make all the difference for hard pressed SMEs – affording them the time and money they need to work on feasibility and prototyping; collaborate closely with government to develop effective solutions and create products they can commercialise as well as help protect our increasingly threatened environment.

Given the current international situation, surveillance, AI and defence SMEs are among those sectors being encouraged to consider applying, as well as those working in environmental and agricultural realms.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the latest round of funding for the Business Research and Innovation Initiative was a “great opportunity for Australian businesses to think outside the box and develop clever ideas that can help solve policy issues within Government.”

“This round of BRII aims to find more effective ways of dealing with challenges that affect our oceans, water and soil quality as well as recycling technologies.“

Not only does this initiative help government agencies with tailored solutions that mean better value for taxpayers, it also gives startups and businesses the chance to develop new products and technologies for the global market.

“Boosting opportunities for businesses to innovate, and doing things more efficiently within government will be crucial as we chart our COVID-19 economic recovery.”

The five challenges identified for this round are:

•  Revolutionising agricultural spray application

•  Turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source

•  Counting fish using advanced technologies

•  Automating the detection of whales at sea

•  Turning office trash into energy treasure

Australian startups and small and medium businesses can submit proposals for ideas that address these challenges. Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $100,000 to further develop ideas and test feasibility over the course of three months.

The most successful of these ideas may then be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept over a maximum of 18 months. Relevant government agencies will have the option to purchase these solutions at the end of the proof of concept stage.

Applications close on 10 September 2020. To find out more information, including how to apply for a grant, visit www.business.gov.au/BRII.