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Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology, Karen Andrews - The Market Herald
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  • The Federal Government is set to hand out over $2 million in grants to small and medium businesses as part of the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII)
  • The BRII is designed to support businesses who come up with clever and creative solutions to challenges laid out by the government
  • Under the program, businesses will be granted around $100,000 to produce a feasibility study for their solution
  • If the feasibility study is successful, the business is eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million to create a prototype of proof of concept
  • Importantly, companies will keep all intellectual property relating to successful products that come out of this round of the BRII
  • Small and medium businesses with an annual turnover of less than $20 million were eligible to apply for a spot in the BRII
  • Technology Minister Karen Andrews said of 220 applications, 23 businesses have been granted the first round of funding

The Federal Government is set to hand out over $2 million in grants to small and medium businesses as part of the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII).

The BRII is designed to support businesses who come up with clever and creative solutions to challenges laid out by the government.

Specifically, this latest round of the BRII is asking businesses to come up with solutions to one of five challenges: turning office trash into energy, revolutionising agricultural spray application, turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source, finding ways to count fish with advanced technologies, and automating the detection of whales at sea.

Twenty-three businesses have signed on to try to find ways to solve these challenges, with each business to receive around $100,000 in government funding to deliver a feasibility study for their solution.

Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the most successful projects could bank an extra $1 million in government funding to build a prototype of proof of concept.

Businesses have three months to deliver the feasibility study. If they are successful, they will then have 18 months to come up with the proof of concept.

"This initiative is giving Australian businesses with clever ideas the opportunity to develop them further, with the potential of creating products that will benefit the community and the Australian economy," Minister Andrews said.

"This is another good example of the government working with businesses to develop solutions to important challenges," she said.

Importantly, companies will keep all intellectual property relating to successful products that come out of this round of the BRII — meaning they can sell these products to market. Government agencies will also have the option to buy any of the developed products.

Who is eligible?

The BRII is only open to Australian business with an annual turnover of less than $20 million over the past three years.

Businesses controlled by universities or public sector research organisations are eligible provided they also have an annual turnover of less than $20 million over the last three years.

According to Minister Andrews, the 23 businesses taking part in this round of research and development are only a fraction of the businesses that applied for a spot in the initiative.

"We had a record 220 applications for this BRII round, showing how competitive the process is — and competition produces results," she said.

All up, just under $2.3 million has been handed to the successful applicants for the first stage of the BRII.

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