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October 20, 2021

Southern Cross University launches COVID innovation grants program

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Southern Cross University is offering local businesses a share of $500,000 for products or solutions that directly address the impact of COVID-19.
Named the COVID-19 R&D Challenge, the program is for small to medium businesses from the Northern Rivers and Coffs Harbour that have an idea that they intend to take to market within 12 months.
The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the need for such products and solutions, so we are enthusiastic about the response our Innovation District will receive.

‘In exploring the health and wellbeing theme of the challenge, the first Innovation Challenge will focus on how can we grow our resilience to future shocks while positively growing the health and wellbeing of the people in our region,’ said Ben Roche, the Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross University.

‘This may include businesses developing new products from existing production processes, new forms of service provision in a COVID safe world or new technologies or approaches that enhance our resilience to withstand future pandemics.’
The total funding pool available for each Challenge round is $500,000. Businesses are asked to submit their EOI through the Southern Cross University website, whereby an independent judging panel will nominate the top three eligible applicants in their area to be assessed and ranked for grant funding by NSW Treasury.

Southern Cross University will partner with Sourdough Business Pathways to ensure all eligible applicants are provided with mentoring in the delivery of their pitch.
Submit EOIs before 5pm Monday 2 November here: https://www.scu.edu.au/enterprise-lab/innovation-challenge/

Eligibility criteria for Challenge One.
To be eligible, businesses must have:

  • an ABN registered in NSW and is based in NSW
  • fewer than 200 employees
  • operated for at least 12 months, based on date of ABN registration
  • at least $75,000 in sales revenue within the last 12 months or previous financial year
  • a product or service (which may still be in development) that directly addresses the health and wellbeing impact of COVID-19 that it intends to market within 12 months
  • ownership that is at least 75 per cent Australian and is not more than 50 per cent owned by another business.

Eligible businesses must also provide:

  • an operating profit and loss statement for the last 12 months or previous financial year
  • brief profiles of key personnel such as CV or LinkedIn accounts
  • nomination of their primary innovation district partner.

Exclusions

The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  • solutions that do not directly respond to the challenge statement for health and wellbeing solutions that address the impact of COVID-19
  • solutions designed to improve internal business processes
  • a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body including government business enterprises

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