With two successful rounds completed already, the third Illawarra Innovation Quest promises to be even more exciting for SME (Small & Medium Enterprise) businesses seeking to drive innovation and change. If you’re working on a new product or service that could help the Australian economy grow in the post-Covid era, we want to hear from you!
To be eligible, businesses must have:
• An ABN registered in NSW and be based in NSW
• Fewer than 200 employees
• Been trading for at least 12 months
• At least $75,000 in sales revenue or operating expenditure within the last 12 months or previous financial year
• A product or service (which may still be in development) that it intends to market within 12 months that directly addresses the theme for Innovation Districts Challenge Three (Entrepreneurship)
• Ownership that is at least 75% Australian and is not more than 50% owned by another business
To demonstrate eligibility, businesses must also provide:
• An operating profit and loss statement for the last 12 months or previous financial year
• Brief profiles of key personnel such as a CV or LinkedIn accounts
• Nomination of their primary innovation district partner
All applicants must submit the eligibility application form via this link Treasury New South Wales.
Preference will be given to applications that address one or more of the following:
• Are scalable
• Are based on research
• Strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability
• Support a sector in need of reform
• Help sectors pivot to high growth
• Address the workforce gap created by international closures
• Champion Indigenous entrepreneurs
• An automated fruit-picking system to supplement the limited supply of international workers who traditionally harvest crops.
• A local pharmaceutical manufacturer expanding their capabilities to produce a new rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19
• A supply chain expert with a cold-chain solution that will allow for the safe delivery of mRNA vaccines to remote communities or 3rd world countries.
• An Indigenous entrepreneur who’s created a new platform to support education and online learning in remote communities
• A machine vision system able to detect compliance with mask wearing and social distancing regulations.
The following will not be considered eligible for funding:
• Solutions that do not directly respond to the challenge statement for Research and Development (R&D) solutions that strengthen the entrepreneurship capability of the state for a post-COVID-19 economy
• Solutions designed to improve internal business processes
• A Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises
Online application opens
UOW Expression of Interest application deadline (closes 11:59pm)
Top 6 announced
Top 6 invited to Insights & Lessons Learned session
Pitch Showdown & Top 3 announced
Top 3 Innovation Support Program
Top 3 applications are submitted to Investment NSW
State winners announced
You will need to provide an Expression of Interest, a summary of your Pitch, and a 2-minute video.Apply now
Our district finalists will be coming together at the IIQ Showdown to pitch their visionary products and services, and an expert panel will select the top three to compete in the state finals. Join us at this public session to see how these entrepreneurs plan to help our region solve the challenges of COVID-19, and celebrate our winners as they chase their share in the $500,000 funding pool.
Applicants will receive an e-mail from the government on 9 September on how to submit their application.
By 30 September 2021, 4pm, the top 3 Finalists will need to submit their final application to the NSW Government.
Finalist businesses will need to provide:
We will help you with all of the above.
During this phase, we will organise several support sessions, such as:
Classroom style learning
1:1 coaching sessions:
Optional Support at Additional Cost:
There is no cost to participate in the challenge.
The time involved will vary between applicants, proposed projects and how far you progress through the process. Book in a consultation with Zahra or Leo from the Innovation Quest team for advice on your solution's likely fit with the program's criteria and potential time requirements.
UOW and NSW Government may publicly announce grant funding for individual applications including the organisation, project title and/or short summary, and amount funded. In addition, applicants should be aware that information submitted in applications and all related correspondence, attachments and other documents may be accessed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW). Information that is deemed to be commercially sensitive will be withheld.
Unsuccessful applicants will be eligible to access alternative funding to do R&D with UOW. Our Team will be in contact you to find the right solution.
Successful applicants will be required to submit progress reports at six month and 12-month intervals following receipt of the funding to the NSW Government.
An expert panel with representatives from both external stakeholders and the University of Wollongong will assess each eligible application. Applications will be evaluated against the Guideline Criteria. The top 6 applicants will pitch at the Pitch Showdown, and an independent panel will select the top 3 based on their pitch and Q&A.
Funding can be used for business activities that enable the commercialisation of a product or service that directly addresses the challenge statement, and is intended to be launched within 12 months. Solutions designed to improve internal business processes and projects that are unrelated to the challenge statement are not a valid use of funds.
If you think your solution and company fit the Innovation Quest criteria, register to attend an information session with the University of Wollongong.
Email us with any questions or enquiries about the Illawarra Innovation Quest.
We would be happy to answer your questions and have a conversation with you.
Talk about your expression of interest and application with either Zahra or Leo.