Private Sector Pathways Program

The Private Sector Pathways Program aims to solve corporate challenges with solutions generated by proven innovative Queensland small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and Scaleups.

About the program

As part of Advance Queensland's (AQ) Corporate Innovation Network (CoIN), the Private Sector Pathways (PSP) Program aims to create commercial opportunities for innovative Queensland businesses by connecting them to corporates and provide a risk-managed process to explore and co-fund solutions to corporate challenges.

Current challenges

Challenge owner Challenge statement Closing date Application portal
Tourism Division, Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport Develop new ways to use technology, products or equipment to engage with students at career expos and in classrooms about jobs in the tourism industry. Challenge statement form.

Applications closed on 16 May 2023

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Building stronger and more meaningful connections with regional Qld communities and creating stronger demand from schools for QSO’s Education Programs Applications closed on Thursday 27 April 2023  
Mater Education Improving Student Retention for Mater Education’s Diploma of Nursing Applications closed on 11 October 2022  

Benefit for Queensland businesses (SMEs and scaleups)

  • AQ funding to trial technologies with corporates
  • Create connections with corporates and potential commercial contracts
  • Opportunity to pivot products or services to a new sector
  • Retain intellectual property
  • Building credibility by having large corporate customers

Benefit for corporates

  • Expose to latest technological innovation
  • Solve corporate challenges using local solutions and technologies
  • Diversify procurement and supply chain options to a wide range of Queensland innovative businesses
  • Co-fund, de-risk and increase speed of adoption of improved efficiencies and technologies

How it works

The PSP Program uses a staged process designed to manage risk while providing a straightforward pathway for trialling Queensland-developed solutions.

  • Identify
    Advance Queensland works with corporates to nominate challenges and define their scope and parameters. A challenge statement will set out the benefits sought and identified constraints.
  • Release
    The challenge statement is released to market and information sessions may be held to allow applicants (SME/Scaleup) to better understand the challenge from the corporate.
  • Engage
    Applications are assessed, and shortlisted applicants (SME/Scaleup) may be invited to present their proposed solutions with the evaluation panel.
  • Select
    An applicant (SME/Scaleup) with feasible solutions is selected and final parameters and negotiations are finalised before entering the project stage.
  • Fund
    The successful applicant (SME/Scaleup) will receive funding from Advance Queensland and the corporate to develop and pilot their proposed solution. Advance Queensland will match the corporate’s funding contribution up to $50,000. The corporate contribution may be more than $50,000 to cover total project costs greater than $100,000.

What’s important

  • Each challenge will be co-funded by Advance Queensland and the Corporate Challenge Owner for up to 6 months. Challenge Statements will provide a guide of expected project costs.
  • Participating corporates (Challenge Owner) will assemble evaluation panels, including Advance Queensland staff, to assess the applications. These panels may include technical, operational, policy and commercial experts. Full evaluation criteria are included in each challenge statement and SmartyGrants application form.
  • The successful applicant will be required to enter into a PSP Program Agreement with Advance Queensland and the corporate partner, which will include the terms of participation (PDF, 408KB).
  • The applicant (SME/Scaleup) owns the Intellectual Property (IP) that they provide and/or develop during their PSP project. Any background IP the Corporate owns and is provided for during the project, the Corporate retains. The terms of participation (PDF, 408KB) set out how IP is managed through the PSP program.


Corporate eligibility

  • Organisations must have an office in Queensland
  • Be a legal entity and hold an active ABN or Australian Registered Body Number
  • Corporate pays tax in Australia and employs staff in Queensland
  • Ideally operates within one of the priority industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, hydrogen, bio-futures, biomedical, defence, aerospace, space, resource recovery and METS.
  • Have obtained internal approval to make the application, including approval to co-fund all project costs not covered by financial assistance provided through the program
  • Have the financial ability to deliver the project

Applicant eligibility

  • Queensland registered ABN and be registered for GST
  • Be an established Queensland-based startup or small to medium enterprise with full time equivalent employee count below 200.
  • Applicants must have a product, which is at, or beyond, minimum viable product – being developed in Queensland
  • Applicants that have had previous commercial contracts from the participating corporate are not eligible to apply. The PSP program intends to provide new opportunities for Applicants to work with participating corporates.

More information