David Gonski and David Thodey among business giants to head new NSW SME grant scheme

Other issues the government hopes to address are improving communications in rural and remote areas and helping visually impaired passengers access public transport.

New ideas will receive funding in stages – from a feasibility study, for example, to scoping and commercialization activities – with the ultimate goal of making the NSW government an early customer.

“This is how government can play a really powerful role,” says Upton. “We have problems, we are spending money, why should we just buy a product off the shelf when we can create new ideas and new jobs?”

Congratulations on moving quickly

Mr Gonski, who chaired an advisory board that included Commonwealth Bank President Catherine Livingstone, Company Director Jillian Broadbent, Quantum Computing Chief Michelle Simmons, Business Council CEO Jennifer Westacott, Capital -Risk Daniel Petre and former Telstra boss David Thodey said the program could play a role in promoting what he calls translational research.

While NSW has no shortage of high-quality research from the state’s 11 universities and is effective in helping established businesses grow, Mr Gonski argued that it was the ‘in between, take this part. idea and translate it into something that will move forward, where we are not great ”.

Mr Gonski congratulated Ms Upton and Ms Berejiklian for rapidly rolling out the new program.

“It’s important at all times, but coming out of COVID I think we need opportunities to move forward. It is a step towards the future. What are the things that we have that we can use to advance the state and advance the life of the community? ” he said.

Mr Thodey, who also chairs CSIRO, said the council had tried to avoid “boiling the ocean with good policy” and instead wanted to focus on a small number of initiatives where taxpayers could get the hang of it. best quality price report. Harnessing the government‘s vast purchasing power to help SMEs solve the perennial problem of finding initial customers for their ideas was a smart solution, he said.

“This is a classic example of where governments can step in in a place where there is a market failure,” Thodey said.

“It takes really pragmatic and real things to make a difference. They’ll never be perfect, but you have to go and keep going and make changes along the way.

The new program will be executed by R&D NSW, a branch of the new state development agency, Invest NSW.

Mr Gonski said that while many of his fellow council members had worked together before, it was “the first time for many of us that it was totally state-based and that’s a big plus” .

“State resources are important but may not be as coordinated as some might like. This allowed for real coordination, ”he said.


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About Christopher Easley

Christopher Easley

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