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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) pilot fact sheet

Advance Queensland is a $420 million initiative comprised of a comprehensive suite of programs designed to create knowledge-based jobs, drive productivity and build on Queensland’s natural advantages.

About the program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Pilot provides commercial opportunities for innovators while solving Queensland Government challenges.

Through a procurement process, participating Queensland Government agencies release challenges to the market where there is no identified viable solution. Applicants propose solutions to these challenges, and if selected, receive funding to research, develop and test their idea. This funding supports innovators through crucial feasibility and proof of concept stages, which can be difficult to fund.

At the end of the process, applicants have the potential to secure a contract with a participating Queensland Government agency.

Intellectual property developed within the SBIR Pilot is retained by the party who developed it, allowing innovators the potential to access broader commercial opportunities.

Program structure

Challenge definition

The SBIR aims to solve challenges with no viable solution available. These challenges have been sought from across government and then refined into clear and succinct Challenge Statements for release to market.

Release to market

Challenges were released to market on 17 July 2016 seeking novel solutions from a wide range of innovators. Applications close on 12 September 2016. Detailed information about each of the challenges and how to apply to solve them can be found at the Advance Queensland website.

Information exchange

Expert judging panels will assess the applications against the published criteria, and shortlist the strongest applicants to attend an information exchange day. Shortlisted applicants are able to interact with government personnel and subject matter experts to refine their proposed solution.

Solution presentation

Applicants will then have time to revise their applications before attending the solution presentation day, where they can present their solution to a judging panel.

Feasibility study

Following the solution presentation day, participating agencies may invite successful applicants to undertake a feasibility study where they are funded to test the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of a proposed solution over a period of up to 6 months.

Proof of concept

Applicants who successfully prove the feasibility of their solution may be invited to a proof of concept stage, where they will be funded to develop, prototype and pilot their solution over a period of up to 12 months. Timeframes are approximate and may vary at the discretion of participating agencies.

At the end of the proof of concept stage, the developed solution may be procured by the government agency that proposed the challenge. Irrespective of the government agency procurement decision, applicants are able to commercialise their innovations for other markets.


Funding of up to $250,000 is available for the feasibility stage and up to $500,000 for the proof of concept stage, at the discretion of the Queensland Government agency posing the challenge. As this is a competitive procurement process, assessment of applications will take into account value for money.

If a government agency chooses to procure a solution, or continue their relationship with an applicant beyond the SBIR Pilot, then all related costs will be borne by the participating agency.

Eligibility criteria

The SBIR is open to any entity which can enter into a commercial contract with the Queensland Government and commercially supply a final solution to a government agency.

Upon application, all applicants including research organisations, will be required to identify the commercial vehicle they will use to supply their final solution to government and also a clear plan to commercialise their idea.

Certain accreditation may be required for a solution to be procured. For example, information and communications technology suppliers may be required to be accredited through QAssure and the Queensland Government Information Technology Contracting Framework (GITC) before their solution can be procured by the Queensland Government.

More information is available about:

Assessment criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used throughout the SBIR Pilot to evaluate proposed solutions

  1. Do you have the capability to deliver the propsed solution?
    1. Experience and skills to deliver the solution?
    2. Access to any associated or existing intellectual property (where applicable)?
    3. Identified route to commercialise and take the solution to market?
  2. How well does the solution solve the challenge?
    1. Is the solution innovative—new to the market, already existing but applied in a new way or novel?
    2. How well does the proposed solution address the outlined constraints and deliver the benefits sought in the challenge brief?
  3. Is the project plan sound, and the proposed solution viable and achievable with the timeframes of the SBIR program stages?
  4. Does the proposed solution represent the potential for value for money, and appear financially viable with broad commercial potential?
  5. Does the proposed solution present broader benefits for Queensland?


Applicants participating in the SBIR Pilot have access to a range of benefits:

  • funding support for new-to-market ideas
  • the opportunity to collaborate with government in developing solutions
  • the possibility to secure government as a lead customer
  • retention of their intellectual property
  • opportunities for business growth.

How to apply

Applications can be completed and submitted online, through the Advance Queensland website.

Submissions are due by 12 September 2016 and should include:

  • a completed online application form
  • acknowledgement of reading and accepting the terms and conditions
  • a completed Schedule 1 to the terms and conditions outlining the proposed activities, costs, timeframes and source/s of funding
  • a project plan outlining project scope, planning considerations, monitoring and controls, estimated costs and schedule of key milestones and deliverables.

For detailed information on how to complete your application, refer to the application form guide (PDF, 541KB) and the SBIR terms and conditions (PDF, 464KB).


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application forms to evaluate applications for the SBIR. Only authorised departmental officers, approved assessors, and necessary staff from the contracted external service providers will have access to this information.

Applicants should note broad details of the program may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects.

Personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of the Information Privacy Act 2009.

For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material.

The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government.

More information on matters of privacy within the SBIR Pilot can be found in the terms and conditions.

Further information

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
7 March, 2017

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