Turning ideas into jobs: Accelerating research and development in NSW


The NSW economy is experiencing unprecedented disruption. Technological advances, natural disasters and a devastating global pandemic have put our economic prosperity under pressure. The NSW Government is responding to these challenges to build a more resilient, self-sufficient and innovative state economy.

Innovation generates the products and services crucial for future jobs and industries. Research and development (R&D) undertaken in our universities, institutes and tech businesses is a major source of innovation and should be supported for the whole community to thrive.

The Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, has prepared an Accelerating R&D in NSW Action Plan guided by an Advisory Council, chaired by David Gonski AC. The Advisory Council’s recommendations in the Action Plan will help make NSW the R&D leader in Australia and a world-class contributor.

The Action Plan recommends five Priority Actions and 16 Supporting Actions that will accelerate the rate at which ideas are translated into new industries, jobs, products and services.

The five recommended Priority Actions are:

  1. Launch a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program – provide competitive grants for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find and commercialise innovative solutions to well-defined problems for NSW Government agencies.
  2. Boost open data – release new government datasets so businesses can make better decisions, entrepreneurs can build new businesses and the government can solve complex challenges.
  3. Turbocharge precincts – develop precincts to attract national and global technology industries and investment, and drive collaboration between universities, research organisations, start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs, to commercialise R&D.
  4. Target strategic support for NSW universities – collaborate on research that drives future NSW strategic growth industries and research-led industry attraction, and better leverage Commonwealth Government research funding.
  5. Establish an R&D matchmaking platform – better connect research ‘sellers’ and ‘buyers’ and link researchers to research infrastructure and expertise.

Download and view the Action Plan



In developing the Action Plan a comprehensive public consultation process was undertaken with submissions received from businesses, research organisations, government agencies, investors and universities, and over 60 stakeholder consultations. In addition, a series of workshops, forums and roundtables were held with stakeholders. The ideas that emerged from these consultations helped shape the Action Plan.

The NSW Government welcomes the Action Plan and will work closely with the Advisory Council to respond to their recommendations.