The New South Wales government is offering research facility providers up to $5 million to share infrastructure and expertise with Tech Central in a bid to remove access barriers at the new innovation precinct.
A total of $8 million has been allocated for open access projects, with expressions of interest now sought from universities, research organisations, industry, consortiums and New South Wales-based National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facilities.
Overseen by the state’s Chief Scientist and InvestmentNSW, the fund is targeting hard research infrastructure like labs and equipment as well as technical experts and facility managers in key areas like quantum, automation, medtech and AI.
Applicants must have their infrastructure located within Tech Central – which stretches across six inner city neighbourhoods – or demonstrate a strong alignment with the innovation precinct.
The area is home to three universities, a research hospital, a quantum hub, several research institutions, and is anchored by Australian tech giant Atlassian.
Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres opened the Tech Central Research and Innovation Infrastructure Fund on Sunday, saying the government wants to facilitate better access to high-tech facilities for Tech Central participants.
“Put simply, if you think you can add a significant public utility or technology to the Tech Central ecosystem, we want to hear from you,” Mr Ayres said.
Guidelines for the fund show InvestmentNSW will assess applications and make funding recommendations based on criteria around value added to Tech Central and the project’s alignment with the precinct’s priority sectors and technologies.
Tech Central’s key industries are medtech, digital creatives, AI, quantum, connected and autonomous vehicles, applied robotics, and cybersecurity.
Expressions of interest are now open, with requests for proposal across June and July. An expert panel will make the final recommendations to be approved by the state government and applicants notified by the end of July.
Grants are expected to range from $500,000 to $5 million per project.
Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology and Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the fund is focused on specialised equipment, expertise and collaborative programs in the key Tech Central industries.
“This is about delivering innovation, R&D and industry talent that will support the translation of world-class research into commercial outcomes, new technologies, services and globally competitive cutting-edge industries,” Mr Henskens said.
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