Innovate NSW

Innovate NSW: driving innovation

Innovate NSW connects technology SMEs and businesses in key sectors of the NSW economy to develop globally competitive business-to-business (B2B) solutions that address compelling needs. The program focuses on rapid development of business- driven solutions that use 'enabling technologies'.

The key sectors include the following. Submissions will also be considered for solutions in other sectors where the applicant can demonstrate the value to the NSW economy.

  • e-health,
  • advanced manufacturing,
  • energy technologies and services,
  • online & interactive education, and transport, logistics & infrastructure.

For purposes of this program, 'enabling technologies' are defined as new technologies (or new uses for existing technologies) that enable new products, services, or more efficient processes. This includes: mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials, and biosciences.

What's on offer?

NSW Trade & Investment offers three types of assistance to drive collaborations in the sectors listed above:

  • Minimum Viable Product grants provide matched funding up to $15,000 to assist technology SMEs to engage with a potential business customer to demonstrate an idea, prove a concept, develop a prototype or customise a B2B solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge for a key sector (as detailed above).
  • Tech Vouchers grants provide up to $15,000 in matched funding for technology SMEs to collaborate with a NSW research organisation to overcome a specific technical challenge or test a new technology.  As with the MVP grant, the technology should address a high growth opportunity or challenge for a potential business customer in a key market sector (as detailed above).
  • Collaborative Solutions provides grants of up to 25% of project costs (to a maximum of $100,000), for consortia to develop an innovative solution that addresses a high growth opportunity or challenge in a key sector (as noted above).  The consortia must include three entities: a technology SME with the ability to develop and commercialise the solution (Lead Company), a pilot business customer in a key sector that is willing to test the solution (Pilot Organisation), and at least one partner company that will provide additional technology, research capabilities, or assistance to scale the solution. Note: the Pilot Organisation is the potential business end-user. They are not committed to purchase the product, but to guide the development.
  • Australian Technology Showcase  features innovative technologies across a wide variety of industries. Note: Membership for ATS is currently closed while the program is being evaluated.

Innovate NSW Eligibility

While the requirements for each funding element varies, all applicants must be:

  • incorporated in NSW;
  • owner of the IP for the solution (submissions from 3rd parties are not accepted);
  • developing the solution for deployment to multiple customers, rather than for improvement of their own processes.

How do I apply for Innovate NSW?

  1. Complete the    Preliminary Application Form .
  2. Within 7 business days of lodging this, the applicant will be contacted by a Trade & Investment Business Advisor to discuss the solution.
  3. The Business Advisor may recommend applying for a grant under one or more of the Program funding elements (detailed below). Each element has guidelines and an example application form for guidance. The applicant should not apply for funding until submitting the Preliminary Assessment and being advised to proceed by a Business Advisor.

Evaluation Criteria

While the Key Requirements for each program element varies, all applications are competitively assessed against the following criteria:

  • Innovative Use of Enabling Technologies: The innovative use of enabling technologies to address a compelling industry sector need. Enabling technologies are defined as new technologies or new uses for existing technologies that enable new products or services or more efficient processes (e.g. mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials, biosciences).
  • Strength of the Business Model: This is the financial health, past performance, and ability to develop, commercialise, and export the solution. The business model for the solution is also considered in terms of sustainability, potential for high growth, and capacity to scale the solution across the sector.
  • Industry Sector Benefits: The tangible benefits to a key industry sector, such as reduced costs, faster processing, or addressing a barrier to growth across the sector.
  • Economic Benefits to NSW: The potential economic benefits to the State such as jobs created, new investment attracted, export potential, and benefits to regional NSW.


Applications are accepted at any time of year and are assessed in the following manner:

  • Minimum Viable Product and Tech Vouchers – internally by the Department on an ongoing basis. Turnaround time is approximately 3 weeks.
  • Collaborative Solutions – internally by the Department, and then selected applicants will be invited to present to a panel consisting of the Department and external industry professionals. Assessments will take place approximately every 4-6 weeks, dependent on the number of submissions.

Further Information

For further information on Innovate NSW please contact or (02) 9338 6792.