Innovative ideas have been brought to life following the second R&D Innovation Districts Challenge. Some of projects include optimising logistics for rapid vaccine distribution, mobile apps and games to teach STEM to students, and a business tool to support the wellbeing of customer service workforces.
Economic resilience was the focus of the second R&D Innovation Districts Challenge, which brings together universities, local businesses and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO to accelerate new products and services to market, and equip the NSW economy to bounce back from COVID-19.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the second Challenge was designed to find R&D solutions that fostered economic resilience, which is vital following the economic and business disruption caused by the pandemic.
“By backing businesses and driving innovation all across NSW, we’re helping to stimulate the economy, grow industries and create jobs,” Mr Ayres said.
“It’s exciting that in addition to many female-run businesses, there are initiatives to address the needs of the most economically vulnerable in our communities, including people with a disability and those experiencing financial distress.”
“Some very interesting ideas came out of rural and regional areas, including a world-first approach to heat-free milk pasteurisation, and a data aggregation platform for farmers.”
The challenge winners sharing $500,000 in seed funding are:
- $250,000 – Adiona, nominated by CSIRO develop a fast, powerful domestic logistics optimisation and simulation engine that can also be applied to rapid vaccine distribution
- $100,000 – Arludo, collaborating with the University of NSW on a suite of mobile apps and games to teach STEM and allow students to collate science data and collaborate in real time
- $30,000 – Kleu Australia, teaming up with the University of Wollongong on a business tool to support the wellbeing and performance of large-scale customer service workforces
- $10,000 to local winners of each Innovation District: Bundlfresh, Good360 Australia, Medulla, PeepsRide, Pairtree Intelligence, Young Henrys Brewing Company, Steber International, Maxiem, New England Cheese, Studymove, HRDS Technologies, and Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall congratulated Adiona, a former resident of CSIRO’s Lindfield Collaboration Hub, where small businesses can work alongside the national science agency to accelerate their growth with tailored commercialisation and engineering support.
“CSIRO’s commitment to NSW includes working with government, research and business partners across the state to turn more world-class science into real-world solutions that create jobs and benefit for all of NSW, driving our recovery from COVID-19 and building back better for the future,” Dr Marshall said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Gabrielle Upton said, “Commercialising more R&D is the central priority of the NSW R&D Action Plan. The Challenge strongly supports that outcome, solving problems while helping to grow jobs and new industries.”
The NSW Government Innovation Districts Challenges program is part of a $11 million innovation scaleup commitment, designed to support business communities across NSW to develop innovations to tackle the many challenges of COVID-19.