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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Lead agency: 
Science, Information Technology and Innovation
Start date: 
January 2018
End date: 
July 2018


All Queensland Government agencies are invited to nominate challenges for Advance Queensland’s SBIR, an innovative procurement program which aims to solve ‘unsolvable’ government challenges by supporting innovators to research, develop and test their solutions. 

SBIR challenges should be:

  • complex, with no suitable solution available off the shelf
  • open to a range of possible solutions
  • aligned with Queensland Government priorities.

For examples of suitable challenges, refer to the Advance Queensland website.

Typical SBIR challenges invite applicants to apply for a share in up to $250,000 to test the feasibility of their proposed solution, and a further $500,000 to develop a proof of concept, at the discretion of the participating agency. The SBIR program will provide up to 50% of development costs, up to a total contribution of $375,000.

At the end of the process, participating agencies are able to purchase successfully developed solutions.

If you are interested in nominating a challenge, please contact the SBIR Team at SBIR@dsiti.qld.gov.au.

Agencies involved

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
Agriculture and Fisheries
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
Education and Training
Electoral Commission Queensland
Energy and Water Supply
Environment and Heritage Protection
Housing and Public Works
Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Inspector-General Emergency Management
Justice and Attorney-General
Legal Aid Queensland
National Parks, Sport and Racing
Natural Resources and Mines
Premier and Cabinet
Public Safety Business Agency
Public Service Commission
Queensland Ambulance Service
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Queensland Health
Queensland Police Service
Queensland Shared Services
Queensland Treasury
Science, Information Technology and Innovation
State Development
Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
Transport and Main Roads


The SBIR provides a streamlined framework for agencies to procure innovation and helps participating agencies identify solutions with the potential to revolutionise their service delivery.

Key benefits for participating agencies include:

  • a challenge definition workshop, fully funded by the SBIR program, to ensure challenges are clearly scoped
  • opportunities to engage new and different innovative solution providers
  • support from the SBIR program for the costs of developing solutions 
  • a staged procurement process which manages the risk of funding innovative solutions 
  • opportunity to purchase successfully developed solutions.

The SBIR is based on similar successful programs in the United States and the United Kingdom, and has been designed in accordance with all Queensland Government procurement and probity requirements.

Key milestones

The SBIR team are currently seeking challenges from across government to be released in 2018. Contact the SBIR team at SBIR@dsiti.qld.gov.au to find out more.

Project phase

Challenge nomination


Contact name: 
SBIR team
SBIR [at] dsiti.qld.gov.au

Supporting information