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Frequently asked questions

The SBIR process

  • Where are the tender specifications?

    The SBIR program is a new way for government to do business which delivers procurement in an innovative way. Rather than going to market seeking a specific product or service, the SBIR program focuses on what the challenge is and invites innovators to tell government how they think it could be solved.

  • What is meant by an “innovative” solution?

    The SBIR program is seeking innovative solutions to complex challenges. An innovative solution typically will not be a minor modification or upgrade of existing technology, but ideally should create social, economic or environmental value through the development of new or significantly improved products, processes or systems; or through the novel application of existing products, processes or systems.

  • Why is the Queensland Government releasing challenges this way?

    The SBIR program provides an opportunity for the Queensland Government to find innovative solutions to complex challenges by working with organisations who may not typically apply for government contracts. Solutions to these complex challenges will help the Queensland Government to innovate to deliver improved operations and frontline services, more efficiently.

    Additionally, the SBIR program aims to support innovative businesses to grow and create jobs.

  • What are the timeframes for the SBIR?

    Applications to the current round of challenges opened 26 July 2017 and will close at 2pm (AEST) 25 September 2017. An information exchange day for these challenges will be held 22 August 2017. Find out more and register your attendance.

    All applications will be assessed in detail by Challenge Owner evaluation panels, and shortlisted applicants invited to a Solution Presentation Day in late October 2017.

    Once negotiations are complete, successful applicants will then have up to 6 months to undertake the Feasibility stage, and/or up to 12 months to undertake the Proof of Concept stage.

Requirements and eligibility

  • Do applicants need to be based in Queensland?

    Applicants can be located anywhere, but it is preferred that work is undertaken in Queensland, and applications will be assessed on their potential benefits for Queensland.

    International applicants should be aware that if they are successful, they may be required to undertake work in Australia, and should be aware of their obligations under relevant Australian legislation, including the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

  • I’m a large business, can I apply to the SBIR program?

    Yes. The SBIR program is open to businesses of any size, but may be particularly attractive for smaller, more agile businesses.

    Some challenges within the SBIR program may be subject to the ICT SME Participation Scheme, which aims to support small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) supply information communication technologies (ICT) to government agencies. Large businesses applying to these challenges may be eligible for additional weighting in their evaluation depending on their level of SME participation.

    For more information, see ‘What is the ICT SME Participation Scheme, and how is it applied in the SBIR?

  • I’m a researcher, can I apply to the SBIR program?

    Yes, both research organisations and researchers from universities can apply to the SBIR program. However, solutions developed within the SBIR program must be able to be procured by the Queensland Government.

    As such, research organisations applying to the SBIR program should ensure they have a clear plan to commercialise their solution, and identify the commercial vehicle they will use to supply their successfully developed solution to government.

    For advice on supplying to Government, refer to qld.gov.au/gov/supplying-queensland-government.

  • I have a solution, but don’t have an established business – can I apply to the SBIR program?

    Yes, ‘pre-startups’ are able to apply to the SBIR program. However, you will need to provide an ABN in your application, and will need to demonstrate your plan to establish your business and commercialise your proposed solution if successful within the SBIR program.

  • What are the terms of participating in the SBIR?

    The terms of participation are non-negotiable. When submitting an application, applicants are agreeing to be bound by these terms for the duration of their participation in the SBIR program.

    Funding, reporting and deliverables will be negotiated with successful applicants prior to each development stage commencing.

Funding

  • What funding is available?

    Each successful applicant may receive a share in up to $250,000 for the Feasibility stage and up to $500,000 for the Proof of Concept stage.

    As this is a competitive procurement process, the funding sought for each activity will be assessed competitively and should represent fair market value. Evaluation panels may negotiate funding for proposed activities when selecting successful applicants for their challenge.

    These negotiations will be based on the information provided in the application form, including:

    • their proposed activities for the stage they are applying for
    • the timeframes for completing each proposed activity
    • the amount of funding sought for each activity.

    Any continued relationship or procurement of a developed solution at the end of the Proof of Concept stage will be negotiated separately by the Challenge Owner.

Challenges

Applying

  • How can I submit an application?

    Applications are submitted online. Applications opened on 26 July 2017, and will remain open until 2pm (AEST)  Monday 25 September 2017.

  • Can two or more entities submit a joint application?

    Yes, applicants can identify partners who will be assisting them with their participation in the SBIR program.

    Applicants should provide the details of their partners in the application form, and are responsible for ensuring that their partners comply with the terms of participation. For more information on working with partners within the SBIR, refer to Clause 5 of these terms.

  • Can I submit applications for more than one challenge?

    Yes. An organisation can apply to solve more than one challenge, however they would need to have capacity and capability to be represented at the Solution Presentation Day if shortlisted, and deliver multiple solutions if successful.

  • Who assesses the applications?

    Challenge Owners will assemble evaluation panels to assess the proposed solution. These panels may include technical, operational, policy and commercial experts.

  • What is the ICT SME Participation Scheme, and how is it applied in the SBIR?

    The Information Communication Technology (ICT) Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) Participation Scheme is a whole-of-Government policy which aims to help more SMEs supply ICT to the Queensland Government.

    Under the ICT SME Participation Scheme, where applicable to a challenge, applicants can receive up to 10% in additional weighting in their evaluation depending on their level of SME participation.

    • If you are an SME, you will receive the full 10%.
    • If you are not an SME, you will receive a portion of the possible 10% based on the net proportion of work completed by SME subcontractors. Examples of how this is applied are available.

    For the purposes of the ICT SME Participation Scheme, SMEs are businesses who employ less than 200 people at the time applications to the SBIR program close. As a guide, 'people' are both employees and contractors employed by the business.

    Find out more about the ICT SME Participation Scheme.

Development

  • Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP)?

    The applicant owns the IP that they develop during their SBIR project. However, it is expected that any negotiations for the purchase of the developed solution will take into account the financial support provided to the applicant during the SBIR process.

    The terms of participation set out how IP is managed through the SBIR program.

    More general information about IP in Australia can be found at www.ipaustralia.gov.au.

  • What is the aim of the Feasibility stage?

    The Feasibility stage aims to prove a proposed solution is technically and commercially viable.

    Depending on the nature of the challenge and proposed solution, the Feasibility stage specifically aims to:

    • prove the technical merit of the proposed solution
    • demonstrate how the proposed solution will solve the challenge
    • identify how the proposed solution will operate within any design parameters identified by the Challenge Owner
    • identify any technical problems, production barriers or other risks, and viable actions to address them
    • determine if the proposed solution can proceed to the Proof of Concept Stage
    • identify key activities and proposed outcomes for the Proof of Concept Stage
    • determine the commercial potential and route to market, including anticipated timeframes, for the proposed solution
    • develop an early prototype/model for testing based on the needs of the Challenge Owner.

    Applicants will need to regularly update the Challenge Owner on their progress towards the objectives for the Feasibility stage. Full reporting requirements for the feasibility stage (financial and otherwise) are set out in Schedule 3 to the terms of participation, with timeframes for reports negotiated with successful applicants and documented in Schedule 1.

    Please note, successful completion of the Feasibility stage does not guarantee progression to the Proof of Concept stage. The Queensland Government reserves the right to not proceed with any proposal at any time.

  • What happens if the proposed solution is deemed not feasible at the end of the Feasibility stage?

    If the evaluation panel are unable to determine that a solution is feasible, then the applicant will not be invited to progress to the Proof of Concept stage.

    However, as applicants retain their intellectual property, they can continue to develop the solution outside of the SBIR program (at their own cost) to release to a wider market for other interested parties.

  • What if I have already proven the feasibility of my proposed solution?

    It is anticipated that most proposed solutions will require a feasibility study to be undertaken. However, if you can demonstrate that your proposed solution is feasible at the time of application, then you are able to apply directly to the Proof of Concept stage.

    You will need to provide evidence of your proposed solution’s feasibility in your application, which will be reviewed by an expert evaluation panel against the objectives of the Feasibility stage. If the evaluation panel determines that the proposed solution requires feasibility testing, then you may be asked to submit a revised application.

  • What is the aim of the Proof of Concept stage?

    The Proof of Concept stage aims to develop, prototype and pilot proposed solutions which have demonstrated their feasibility.

    Depending on the nature of the challenge and proposed solution, the Proof of Concept stage specifically aims to:

    • further develop a working prototype/model based on the needs of the Challenge Owner
    • undertake a pilot to test and validate the proposed solution
    • conduct the key proof of concept activities identified in the Feasibility stage
    • assess the outcomes of the Proof of Concept stage against the expected outcomes identified in the Feasibility stage
    • examine the operational requirements for the Queensland Government Agency to implement the developed solution
    • finalise the proposed route to market, and steps required so the solution may be acquired by the participating Government agency and other customers.

    Applicants will need to regularly update the Challenge Owner on their progress towards the objectives for the Proof of Concept stage. Full reporting requirements for the Proof of Concept stage (financial and otherwise) are set out in Schedule 3 to the terms of participation, with timeframes for reports negotiated with successful applicants and documented in Schedule 2.

    Please note that successful completion of the Proof of Concept stage does not guarantee procurement by the Queensland Government. The Queensland Government reserves the right to not procure any proposal.

  • What happens at the end of the Proof of Concept stage?

    If a proposed solution is successful within the Proof of Concept stage, then it may be procured and implemented by the Challenge Owner. There is no guarantee that a solution will be procured at the end of the Proof of Concept stage.

    If a proposed solution is shown to be unsuccessful within the Proof of Concept stage, then it will not be procured by the Challenge Owner.

    If a solution is considered to require further development before being released to market, the Challenge Owner may decide to continue to work with the applicant outside of the scope of the SBIR program.

    Regardless of the outcomes of the SBIR program, applicants will retain their intellectual property and can continue to develop their solution (at their own cost) for release to the market for other interested parties.

    The SBIR program does not provide additional financial support following the Proof of Concept stage, but a member of the SBIR Team may be able to provide advice on other Advance Queensland programs to support the further commercialisation of solutions. Contact the SBIR Team on SBIR@dsiti.qld.gov.au for more information.

Further information

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
9 August, 2017

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