Challenge 2: Win $250k funding for your solution that builds economic resilience to recover from the impacts of COVID-19

The theme for Innovation Districts Challenge Two is economic resilience with a focus on solutions that build economic resilience for NSW business to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Projects might address problem areas including;

  • business sectors most impacted by COVID-19, such as tourism, international education
  • ongoing supply chain weaknesses and sovereign supply chain capacity
  • strengthening local communities in the management and recovery from outbreaks.

Step up to the challenge and be in the running to win funding of $250,000* to accelerate the commercialisation of your product.

Stage One

To take the next step in this exciting challenge, check out whether your business and product is eligible (see the Eligibility section below).  If you meet the criteria then tell us about your solution that builds economic resilience for NSW business to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  To submit your product or service and business information, go to the 'Express your interest' section at the bottom of this page and answer each question (this will be part of the Expression of Interest phase of the Challenge time-frame). Before submitting your Expression of Interest, make sure you talk to the Innovation Hubs team first E: Innovate@csu.edu.au or Ph: 02 69334004.

Charles Sturt University Innovation Hub is proud to support businesses in the Riverina-Murray, Central West and Mid-North Coast areas through these series of challenges.

Stage Two

The top three Expressions of Interest will be collaboratively developed for submission to NSW Treasury.

*See the Funding section below for full information of different tiers of  funding and terms and conditions.

Information is gathered for the sole purpose of considering the challenge application. Any confidential or other information that a business considers to be commercial-in-confidence should be clearly marked.

The grant recipient organisation, project title or short summary, and amount funded will be published by NSW Treasury in accordance with the NSW Treasury Privacy Policy

What you need to know

  • Funding

    The total funding pool for Challenge 2 is $500,000. Grant funds of $250,000 for first place, $100,000 for second place, and $30,000 for third place will be awarded to the three highest ranked overall recipients. A grant of $10,000 will also be awarded to one local recipient in each of the twelve innovation districts. The local recipient will be the highest ranked finalist that is not one of the overall winners for that innovation district.

    Grant recipients will enter a funding agreement with NSW Treasury to outline the grant amount, terms and conditions, and project deliverables. Funds will be transferred from NSW Treasury to recipients as an upfront payment.

    The funding agreement will require recipients to provide a progress report to NSW Treasury at six months and twelve months following receipt of funding.

    NSW Treasury may amend, suspend, cancel or re-issue all or any part of the fund.

  • How Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs will support you

    The Charles Sturt University Innovation Hubs team is committed to supporting regional founders develop sparks of business ideas to fruition.

    This challenge offers a unique opportunity to entrepreneurs to fund and accelerate their solution that builds economic resilience for NSW business to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

    If your product is one of the three successful Expressions of Interest applications, you will receive the following support from the Innovation Hubs team to take you to the next stage of the application process:

    • Mentoring to assist with full application development
    • Coaching to develop a two-minute Pitch and Pitch Deck
    • Professional Recording of two-minute pitch for submission with Full application.
  • Timeline

    Challenge Open: Challenge 2 will launch on 11th February  2021.

    Stage One

    EOI’s close: 4th March 2021 at 5.00pm  ADST.

    Following the close of EOI's, applications will be considered by the Charles Sturt University Selection Committee. Leading applications will be pitched to the Charles Sturt University Selection Committee panel on a nominated date and time during the week commencing 8th March 2021, after which the top 3 (and eligible) applications will be supported in their application to NSW Treasury.

    Stage Two

    Challenge Closes: All Stage Two applications will be submitted directly to NSW Treasury by Thursday 1st April 4.00pm  ADST  (final 3 applications only from each Innovation District).

    Unsuccessful applicants will be notified after the 1st April 2021.

    Note to applicants:  It is the candidate’s responsibility to submit Expression of Interest and, if ranked as one of the top three, full application within the designated NSW Treasury deadline. No extensions can be granted by Charles Sturt University

  • Application process
    1. The Expression of Interest form is completed and submitted  to Charles Sturt University.
    2. Initial eligibility check by the NSW Treasury to ensure the Eligibility Criteria is met.
    3. Charles Sturt University Selection Committee will assess and rank Expressions of Interest. Leading applications will be asked to pitch to the Charles Sturt University Selection Committee panel, after which, the top three Expressions of Interest will be selected.
    4. If your business’s Expression of Interest is ranked as one of the top three, you will be provided support from Charles Sturt University Innovation Hubs to complete a full application for the funding of your product/service idea.  Please see above section 'How Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs will support you' for support package details.

    Note to applicants:  It is the candidate’s responsibility to submit Expression of Interest and, if ranked as one of the top three, full application within the designated NSW Treasury deadline. No extensions can be granted by Charles Sturt University.

Expressions of Interest have now closed

Expressions of Interest for our second challenge have now closed.

The Innovation Hub will get back to applicants regarding their submissions soon. Thanks to everyone who applied!

Need help applying

If you need help applying you can reach out to our Charles Sturt University contact Siobhain Howard E: Innovate@csu.edu.au.

Or you can also find further information, including FAQ's on the at the NSW Treasury Innovation Districts COVID-19 R&D Challenges website.

  • question 1