The COVID-19 TechVoucher program is a matched funding grant for NSW technology-rich startups, scaleups or small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with Publicly Funded Research Organisations (PFROs). This is aimed at helping businesses accelerate the commercialisation of innovative R&D products and services that address the many health and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Timings and Special Note
Applications close on 10 February 2022 at 5:00PM AEST, and must be submitted through the COVID-19 TechVoucher application portal. Due to the Christmas/New Years period, applications submitted just beforehand will take longer to process. Funding will be provided for eligible and approved projects until the first of (i) available funding is exhausted, or (ii) final deadline for applications.
A TechVoucher can only be used to reimburse the business for paid PFRO invoices for delivered R&D contract services. Examples of activities funded by TechVouchers include:
- access to research facilities and equipment such as electron microscopes, medical imaging, and other PRFO delivery partner facilities
- product or process design, such as engineering or technical design expertise to determine prototype structure, function or materials
- validating or demonstrating technical capabilities of a product, process or technology including clinical trials and in-market validation
- funding toxicology studies on materials that could be incorporated into a new product
- testing and certification for supply of products
- enhancing existing product capabilities or enabling entry to international markets.
- production of laboratory prototypes
- PFRO overhead up to a maximum of 35% of the identified PFRO staffing costs
- ancillary costs incurred in the conduct of the project, such as consumables
There are two funding streams available under this program. A TechVoucher will fund up to 50% of all invoices issued by a PFRO partner to the maximum value of the voucher for each Stream. The TechVoucher is the NSW Government contribution of up to 50% of the cost of the R&D project. The business co-contribution is a minimum 50% of the project budget.
Eligibility and Criteria
To be eligible, a business must:
- have an ABN registered in NSW and be based in NSW
- have fewer than 200 employees
- have operated for at least 12 months, based on date of ABN registration
- have at least $150,000 in sales revenue or operating expenditure within the last 12 months or previous financial year
- have an ownership that is at least 75% Australian and is not more than 50% owned by another business
- propose a technology-based product or service that addresses the impacts of COVID-19
- provide evidence of your ability to co-invest at least 50% of eligible project budget
- demonstrate capability and capacity to complete the TechVoucher project within 6 months (Stream 1) or 12 months (Stream 2)
- be engaged with an eligible PFRO for R&D collaboration and have obtained a quote from the PFRO for the R&D project
- confirmation that the business holds the rights to commercialise the intellectual property arising from the project
To be eligible as an R&D partner for a business utilising a COVID-19 TechVoucher, the PFRO must receive public funds from Commonwealth or NSW Government for research and have operations in NSW. Eligible PFROs include the 11 universities in NSW:
- Australian Catholic University
- Charles Sturt University
- Macquarie University
- Southern Cross University
- University of Newcastle
- University of New England
- University of New South Wales
- University of Sydney
- University of Technology Sydney
- University of Wollongong
- Western Sydney University
In addition, eligible PFROs include CSIRO, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, National Measurement Institute, Defence Science and Technology Group, and the NSW Institute of Sport.
The TechVoucher program has enumerated specific exclusions. You may look these up on the COVID-19 TechVoucher Guidelines. Non-compliance may result in the withdrawal of the TechVoucher funding.
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