The NSW government has labelled the state as “Australia’s innovation powerhouse” after unveiling Innovate NSW, a $6.7 million scheme aimed at backing cutting edge start-ups. Applications are now open for Innovate NSW, which has been designed to bolster collaboration between the private sector and the government. Andrew Stoner, the state Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, said that the initiative will help develop new businesses in areas such as e-health, energy technology and services, online and interactive education, advanced manufacturing, transport, infrastructure and logistics. Innovate NSW will comprise of four different funding elements: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will provide matched funding of up to $15,000 to entrepreneurs to demonstrate an idea, prove a concept, develop a prototype or customise a solution. TechVouchers (TV) will help small firms partner with research bodies to tackle technical challenges with up to $15,000 in matched funding. Collaborative Solutions (CS) will stump up 25% of project costs, with a ceiling of $100,000, to help develop new, innovative products within 12 months. The money will be provided to a consortium that must consist of three entities – an innovator, an end-user that will test the solution and a partner company that will research or scale the product. Australian Innovation Showcase (ATS) will provide support via seminars and networking for innovative, market-ready Australian technology. “Innovate NSW, backed by $6.7 million in funding over four years, cements our State’s global reputation as Australia’s innovation powerhouse, the place where great ideas are born through world class collaboration,” Stoner says. “Targeted assistance will be provided through Innovate NSW to promote this collaboration and to open up new high growth business and export opportunities for NSW and Australia.” “It will develop stronger networking outcomes in critical sectors of the economy and in sectors where we have strong competitive advantage or potential for new growth.” “Local businesses will have access to world-leading knowledge and capabilities and will be provided with a low cost, low risk opportunity to trial and fine tune their solutions with major companies and government partners. “The initiative will focus particularly on supporting innovative solutions which use enabling technologies – including mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials and biosciences.” “The NSW government, NSW companies and researchers are working together to lead the way in identifying barriers to innovative growth, to generate new solutions, improve productivity and create new opportunities for NSW and Australian enterprises to compete in global markets.”
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