SOUTHERN Cross University (SCU) wants to identify and support small to medium enterprises that have a product or solution that directly addresses the impact of Covid-19 and intends to be in the market within 12 months.
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The university has launched Innovation Districts COVID Research and Development Challenge, a joint initiative with the university and the NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP).
Announcing a call for Expressions of Interest for the first of three challenges, Ben Roche, Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross University noted the important role universities play in nurturing the development of new solutions to pressing global challenges.
“In partnership with the NSW Government, Southern Cross University welcomes the opportunity to facilitate more opportunities for local business and enterprise to apply their smarts to the health and wellbeing challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Roche said.
“The Northern Rivers and Coffs Coast is renowned for its track record in developing saleable enterprises that respond to new economic opportunities that address collective challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the need for such products and solutions, so we are enthusiastic about the response our Innovation District will receive,” he said.
“In exploring the health and wellbeing theme of the challenge, the first Innovation Challenge will focus on how we can grow our resilience to future shocks while positively growing the health and wellbeing of the people in our region.
This may include businesses developing new products from existing production processes, new forms of service provision in a COVID safe world or new technologies or approaches that enhance our resilience to withstand future pandemics.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Innovation Districts Challenges provided much needed support for universities during some of the toughest months.
“We know our universities are doing it tough, which is why we are continuing to support their world-leading research and collaborate with business to bring products to market,” Mr Lee said.
“This includes the funding to run these challenges and the opportunity for the state’s 11 universities, NSW CSIRO and businesses to take these developments to consumers.”
By Sandra MOON