Stage Two – Top three applicants in each Innovation District are invited to progress to Stage Two

Each of the 12 innovation district partners will nominate three businesses to progress to stage two through a publicly communicated independent process.

Finalist businesses will need to provide:

  • completed stage two Application Form
  • budget and commercialisation plan
  • video presentation up to two minutes
  • declaration of conflicts of interest and description of any ethical or regulatory requirements to deliver the product or solution to a marketable state in NSW.

Stage two applications received by the closing date will then be competitively ranked by an independent panel against three criteria: impact, effectiveness, and delivery (see below). Fifteen of the 36 finalists may receive a grant to accelerate the commercialisation of their products.


With a weighting of 33%, the impact criteria will assess the following targeted areas

  • What is the problem being addressed?
  • What is the solution and how is it unique and innovative?
  • Who is the market user and how large is the opportunity?
  • How you are going to collaborate to accelerate commercialisation?


With a weighting of 33%, the effectiveness criteria will assess the following targeted areas

Track record of business

  • Please provide an example of how your organisation or project team previously and successfully delivered real-world solutions at scale and with speed
  • What is the research basis of your product and the evidence that you can provide to show the effectiveness of your product?
  • How close are you to the commercialisation of your product?
  • What if any are the key uncertainties remaining about the effectiveness of your product, and how and when you will resolve these?
  • How do you propose to reach your users?
  • Who are your closest competitors and how is your product different?


With a weighting of 34%, the impact criteria will assess the following targeted areas


  • What are the resources your organisation is making available for this project?
  • What additional resources are you seeking for this project (aside from this funding application)?
  • How will your product be deployed into the operational environment rapidly and at scale?

Timing and Staging

  • What capabilities does the business have that enable implementation of the commercialisation of the product?
  • Outline the milestones and stage-gates that are present in the project plan

Coordination and Alignment

  • How does this project fit with your organisation’s strategic goals?

Applications will be scored using the guide tabled below, with each criterion being assessed on a scale from 0 to 5. This will result in a score of up to a maximum 15. This process will rank applications. In the event of a tied score, the independent panel will re-assess the relevant applications, and if necessary, have the deadlock decided by the panel chair.

5ExcellentMeets and exceeds all requirements. Solutions proposed are highly innovative and readily deliverable with no discernible risks.
4Very GoodFully meets all requirements and exceeds some. Solutions proposed are innovative and deliverable with limited problem solving and risk management.
3GoodMeets requirements in all areas. Solutions are innovative and deliverable with some problem solving or risk managements clearly evident.
2SatisfactoryAlmost meets requirements. Solutions are novel, or may be genuinely innovative, but substantial development or risk areas need to be resolved.
1PoorMinimal compliance with requirements. Solutions lack innovative quality and/or present substantial risk or deliverability challenges.
0Non-CompliantDoes not meet requirements. Solutions do not address the selection criteria in an assessable manner.

It is noted that – while the independent panel will determine its recommendations to NSW Treasury, and NSW Treasury will be guided by those recommendations – any funding award decisions will be made by NSW Treasury in its sole discretion and are final.