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Southern Cross University’s Innovation Districts R&D Challenge #2

By Mar 05,2021 February 17th, 2021 No Comments

Expressions of Interest Close 5pm, Friday 5 March

Seeking products or solutions that build economic resilience for NSW businesses to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Receive up to $250,000 in grant funding to take your product or solution to the next level.

Sourdough Business Pathways is delighted to be the official challenge partner of Southern Cross University for the Innovation Districts R&D Challenge #2: Products or solutions that build economic resilience for NSW businesses to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are you ready to take your business or idea to the next level?

Calling for SMEs that are looking to accelerate the commercialisation of products or solutions that build economic resilience for NSW businesses to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to ‘life as normal’. Government efforts to limit the spread of the virus has inevitably seen Australia’s economy shift into its first recession in 30 years.

Our spread prevention measures have resulted in the cancellation of events, closures of and restrictions on hospitality and tourism businesses, closures of offices and shifts to people working from home, and disruptions to international trade and the inability to have unfettered access to imported goods, some of which include our household necessities. By contrast, online communication platforms and home improvement goods and comforts have benefited as many of us move to an at-home and online day-to-day. These changes have had and continue to have a significant impact our economy.

The theme for Innovation Districts Challenge Two is economic resilience with a focus on projects that address problem areas such as:

  • Business sectors most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (for example tourism, international education etc).
  • Ongoing supply chain weaknesses and sovereign supply chain capacity.
  • Strengthening local communities in the management and recovery from outbreaks.

Eligibility Criteria outlined below, please submit an Expression of Interest Form before 5pm, 5 March, 2021 (or as soon as you can ahead of this date).

If your EOI is selected to move to the next phase, you’ll have the opportunity to be mentored by SCU and Sourdough towards supporting you in your continued R&D and commercialisation, and in developing your pitch and submission to NSW Treasury to be considered for the overall grant funding.

To connect with SCU and Sourdough and hear more about the Challenge, join our upcoming Information Session.

Eligibility Criteria

NSW businesses that are seeking to participate in Challenge #2 must have:

  • an ABN registered in NSW and is based in NSW
  • fewer than 200 employees
  • been in operation for at least 12 months, based on date of ABN registration
  • at least $75,000 in sales revenue within the last 12 months
  • a product or service that directly addresses the impact of COVID-19 ready for market within 12 months
  • at least 75 per cent Australian-owned, and not more than 50 per cent owned by another business.

Eligible 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 CV or LinkedIn accounts
  • nomination of their primary innovation district partner.


The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  • solutions that do not directly respond to the challenge statement for economic resilience solutions that address the impacts of COVID-19
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises.

What is the Innovation Districts R&D Challenge?

The purpose of the Innovation Districts C19 R&D Challenges is to accelerate the commercialisation of research products that address the impacts of COVID-19 by businesses in partnership with universities and CSIRO ecosystem networks in New South Wales.

The Innovation Districts Challenges (IDC) is the first of three projects under the new NSW Government COVID-19 R&D Commercialisation Fund, complementing C19 Edition TechVouchers and the C19 R&D Product Fund.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government

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