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Small Business Innovation & Research Program

  • Applications Open: until 28 February, 2023
  • Grants: up to $100,000 for Phase 1 and up to $1 million for Phase 2

The Small Business Innovation & Research program will support agencies to recognise solutions, evaluate the technology’s feasibility and trial and validate the solution to cultivate a commercial product.

$12 million is allotted for the program round.

The program has three phases:

Phase 1 – Feasibility study:
SMEs present proposals to resolve one of the SBIR program challenges. Applications are evaluated and successful applicants will obtain funding to perform a feasibility study.

Phase 2 – Proof of concept:
Successful feasibility study grantees are asked to apply for the second phase, the proof-of-concept phase. Applications are assessed and successful applicants will receive funding to develop a proof of concept.

Phase 3 – Procurement:
NSW Government agencies will consider the procurement of effective solutions.

Key Requirements

Applicants must submit:

  • A project budget
  • Balance sheets from the last two years
  • Profit-and-loss statements from the last two years
  • An application, answering all questions
  • A video presentation no longer than three minutes

OCSE will confirm which applications meet the eligibility criteria. Eligible applications will be assessed by an Expert Panel (independent panel of experts) with experience in venture capital, commercialisation, business development and entrepreneurship and the NSW Government agency that proposed the challenge.

What is eligible for funding?

To qualify as eligible, expenditure must:

  • Fit within one of the seven categories of eligible expenditure.
  • Be a direct project cost or incurred to undertake required project audit activities, and
  • Be incurred by the grantee during the project period

The seven categories of eligible expenditure are:

  • Labour expenditure including on-costs
  • Capital equipment relevant to the project
  • Material costs (including consumables specific to the project)
  • Contract expenditure
  • Travel and overseas expenditure
  • Financial auditing of the project, and
  • Other costs directly related to the project or project audit activities.

What companies are eligible for funding?

To be eligible for the SBIR program an applicant must:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • Be one of the following entities:
    • An NSW public research organisation applying through its appropriate technology transfer office, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement or
    • A small or medium-sized enterprise with under 200 full-time equivalent employees, or
    • An individual or partnership, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • Be headquartered in NSW, or
    • Conduct the majority of business research and development and production operations in NSW.
  • Hold the Intellectual Property or the rights to commercialise the proposed solution.
  • If successful, undertake to conduct SBIR program related research and development work in NSW.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.