Frequently Asked Questions

What are Publicly Funded Research Organisations?

To be eligible as an R&D partner for a business utilising a COVID-19 TechVoucher, the PFRO must receive public funds from Commonwealth or NSW Government for research and has operations in NSW.

Eligible PFROs include the 11 universities in NSW, and entities such as CSIRO, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, National Measurement Institute, Defence Science and Technology Group, and the NSW Institute of Sport.

The 11 universities are:

  • Australian Catholic University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • CSIRO NSW
  • Macquarie University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of New England
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Western Sydney University

Excluded PFROs 

Commonwealth, NSW or other state or local government agencies or bodies including government business enterprises that do not use public funds for research are excluded.

What can a COVID-19 TechVoucher be used for?

A TechVoucher can only be used to reimburse the business for paid PFRO invoices for delivered R&D contract services.

Examples of activities funded by TechVouchers include:

  • access to research facilities and equipment such as electron microscopes, medical imaging, and other PRFO delivery partner facilities
  • product or process design, such as engineering or technical design expertise to determine prototype structure, function or materials
  • validate or demonstrate technical capabilities of a product, process or technology including clinical trials and in-market validation
  • fund toxicology studies on materials that could be incorporated into a new product
  • testing and certification for supply of products
  • enhance existing product capabilities or enable entry to international markets
  • production of laboratory prototypes
  • PFRO overhead up to a maximum of 35 per cent of the identified PFRO staffing costs
  • ancillary costs incurred in the conduct of the project, such as consumables.

The following are ineligible for TechVoucher funding:

  • capital expenditure on equipment by the business or PFRO
  • conference or workshop participation
  • projects that do not address an impact of COVID-19 as assessed by an independent panel
  • projects designed to improve internal business processes.

Non-compliance may result in the withdrawal of the TechVoucher funding.

What does this cost?

There is no cost (fee) in submitting an application.

The TechVoucher is the NSW Government contribution of up to 50 per cent of the cost of the R&D project. The business co-contribution is a minimum 50 per cent of the project budget. The business co-contribution may comprise up to 25 per cent in-kind contribution representing personnel costs, which is to be reported in a statutory declaration by the business to Investment NSW.

How much time is involved in the application process?

The time involved will vary between applicants and the proposed projects. Applicants must liaise with an eligible Publicly-Funded Research Organisation (PFRO) to discuss the project and obtain an official quote, which is to be submitted as part of the application. For full details on the application process and documentation required, please refer to the Guidelines.

Will my information be kept confidential?

The NSW Government may choose to publicly announce grant funding for individual applications including the organisation, project title and/or short summary, and amount funded. In addition, applicants should be aware that information submitted in applications and all related correspondence, attachments and other documents may be accessed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW). Information that is deemed to be commercially sensitive will be withheld.

If I am unsuccessful, will I be eligible to enter future rounds in this fund,or other funds under Investment NSW?

This is a single round fund. Unsuccessful applicants will be eligible to apply for future funds under Investment NSW.

If I am successful in receiving a grant, what are the obligations? Are there milestones? 

Successful applicants will be required to enter a Funding Agreement with Investment NSW, which must be accepted and signed within 10 business days from the date of notification. Failure to meet the deadline may result in the offer being withdrawn.

TechVouchers will be paid by Investment NSW to the applicant in two separate milestones:

Milestone 1 

Release first tranche of funding on receipt of R&D contract between the business and the PFRO, and evidence that the business has paid the PFRO invoice for agreed services, with the TechVoucher funding amount not to exceed 50 per cent of the paid invoice

Milestone 2 

Release second tranche of remaining TechVoucher funding amount on receipt of end-of-project report and evidence that the business has paid the PFRO invoice for agreed services

As part of their obligations under the Funding Agreement, successful applicants must:

  • submit reports (mid-term, end of project and 6-month post-project), which will include progress against the intended use of funds, following receipt of the funding to Investment NSW as outlined in the Funding Agreement. The end of project report must also include a Financial Acquittal Report containing the detailed financial statement of the application of the TechVoucher; a definitive statement as to completeness and accuracy of financial accounts; and the balance of any unspent TechVoucher
  • pay back unspent funds delivered, or those funds which have not been spent in accordance with the Funding Agreement
  • comply with a requirement that the applicant has and can provide a copy of all relevant insurances, such as public liability insurance or other insurance depending on the application.
  • participate in a program evaluation after the project has concluded to determine the extent to which their projects have contributed to the objectives of the program. The evaluation will require applicants to provide evidence of how projects have resulted in measurable benefits that are consistent with the objectives of the program.
  • agree that any information submitted by recipients may be used for material prepared by the NSW Government.

Requests for variations or changes to the TechVoucher will be considered in limited circumstances and when Investment NSW is satisfied that the circumstances present no probity concerns that invalidate the assumptions that underpinned the application and its assessment.  Changes or variations may be rejected or accepted at Investment NSW’s sole discretion and may be subject to certain conditions.

Failure to meet the above conditions and obligations may result in funding withdrawal, suspension or demand for funds to be paid back to Investment NSW.

How can I learn more? 

By contacting Global NSW Concierge on 02 4908 4800 or at global.nsw.gov.au/contact-us.

What is TRL?