UP TO a quarter of a million dollars is available for the business that comes up with the best idea to bring the state’s economy back from the brink.
Business owners in the region are asked to come up with an idea that could boost industries like tourism impacted by COVID-19; address supply chain weaknesses; promote homegrown manufacturing; or strengthen the way local communities bounce back from outbreaks.

With the help of the University of New England’s SMART Region Incubator (SRI), three finalists will be picked to go on to the final round, regional startup connector Ali Treloar said.
“It needs to be an innovative product or service to help build economic resilience in NSW, so that could boost a sector across the state, but it needs to have broad-scale relevance,”
she said. “Round one was focused on health, this is much broader.

“From a local business perspective it does deliver a lot more scope, the only other thing I should mention is there does need to be a research and development component – so a business already working with a university or CSIRO.

“It could be a completely new idea, but they do need to have backing behind them, the business needs to hit some criteria and one of those is already turning over $75,000 a year in their income.”
Birth Beat founder Edwina Sharrock won the first round of the region’s Innovation Challenge with solutions to improve the health and well-being of people in NSW.

Entries close March 1, for more information on the Innovation Challenge visit the SRI website.