$12 million business innovation initiative for SMEs to save environment

The federal government is calling on start-ups and small-to medium-sized businesses to submit proposals to develop innovative solutions to national environmental challenges.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said $12 million was being made available through the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) across five challenges.

“This is a great opportunity for Australian businesses to think outside the box and develop clever ideas that can help solve policy issues within Government,” she said.

“This round of BRII aims to find more effective ways of dealing with challenges that affect our oceans, water and soil quality as well as recycling technologies.

“Not only does this initiative help government agencies with tailored solutions that mean better value for taxpayers, it also gives startups and businesses the chance to develop new products and technologies for the global market.”

The challenges are revolutionising agricultural spray application, turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source, counting fish using advanced technologies, automating the detection of whales at sea, and turning office trash into energy.

The most successful ideas may be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept over a maximum of 18 months.

Relevant government agencies will have the option to purchase these solutions at the end of the proof of concept stage.

“Boosting opportunities for businesses to innovate, and doing things more efficiently within government will be crucial as we chart our COVID-19 economic recovery,” Andrews said.

Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $100,000 to further develop ideas and test feasibility over three months.

Applications close on September 10, 2020.

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