Business building enviro-tech? These $100,000 government grants might be for you

environmental challenges

Does your business specialise in programming robots to detect whales? Count fish using lasers? You may be in luck.

The Morrison government is dishing out $12 million in grants for startups and small businesses building “innovative solutions” to solve environmental challenges such as automating the detection of whales at sea and counting fish using “advanced” technologies.

Launching the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative on Thursday, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said grants of up to $100,000 per business will be available to applicants looking to conduct feasibility studies.

“This is a great opportunity for Australian businesses to think outside the box and develop clever ideas that can help solve policy issues within Government,” Andrews said in a statement.

“Not only does this initiative help government agencies with tailored solutions that mean better value for taxpayers, it also gives startups and businesses the chance to develop new products and technologies for the global market.”

There are five ‘challenges’ the federal government is looking to address with these environmental grants, and $2 million has been allocated for each area:

  • ‘Revolutionising’ agricultural spray application;
  • Turning farm crops into renewable hydrogen sources;
  • Counting fish using ‘advanced’ technologies;
  • Automating the detection of whales at sea; and
  • Turning office trash into energy treasure.

There are two parts to this program. The initial grants will fund feasibility studies, then, those businesses with the ‘most successful’ ideas will be eligible for larger $1 million grants to develop proof-of-concept products over an 18-month period.

A total of $10 million has been outlaid for proof-of-concept grants, but this money will only be available to those businesses that successfully pass the feasibility study stage.

The environmental grants scheme is open to businesses with less than $20 million in turnover for each of the past three years, including any body corporates.

Entities controlled by Australian universities or public sector research organisations must have individual turnover less than $20 million for the last three years.

Joint applications will be accepted on the condition there is a lead organisation applying as the main driver of the project.

Applications close September 10, more information is available here.

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