APPLICATIONS are now open for the 2021 Innovate with NBN Grants Program, with $95,000 in total funding up for grabs to support regional and remote businesses to drive the development and adoption of their bright ideas.
Innovate with NBN, in partnership with the Regional Australia Institute, is looking for businesses that are harnessing the benefits of the NBN network to develop products or solutions that improve digital participation, productivity or social outcomes for regional and remote Australians.
Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply for one of the seven categories including Agriculture, Arts, Education, Health, Indigenous Business, Tourism and Women in Business.
Gavin Williams, NBN Co Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote said that NBN is "committed to lifting the digital capability of Australia and helping regional businesses".
"Through Innovate with NBN, we are looking for these new and exciting innovations that need a little bit of help to bring their idea to life.
"I encourage eligible businesses to apply, and I am excited to see the depth and range of digitally-led solutions that are being developed in regional Australia for regional Australians."
The winner of each category will receive a $10,000 grant. Each category winner will go into the pool to become the overall winner and receive an additional $25,000.
Applications are online and close November 30; for more information and to apply visit www.nbnco.com.au/innovatewithnbn.
To be eligible, entrants must be connected to the NBN network, located in regional Australia, have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and an Australian bank account.
Applicants and can only apply for one category.
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Regional Australia Institute's chief executive, Liz Ritchie said that quality broadband services were critical for businesses in regional and remote Australia to innovate and compete.
"High-quality broadband connectivity is critical to boost the prosperity, creativity and sustainability of regions and the livelihoods of their people," Ms Ritche said.
"The Regional Australia Institute is delighted to be involved with the Innovate with NBN Grants Program again this year."
The inaugural overall winner - HoldAccess (WUNA) - said that wining the Innovate with NBN has been critical in scaling his product.
Jason Davis, WUNA's chief executive, said it could be difficult to create opportunities without digital access, and that winning the award helped him bring his product to a wider audience.
"Winning the Innovate with nbn™ Indigenous Business Award category and overall award got me into a position of scaling and commercialising my product.
It was the catalyst I needed to support an ongoing problem experienced by people left behind in the digital change, self-determination with people first and elevating business performances so everyone wins."
The Indigenous start-up created a (Digital) Diji-Wallet, making it easy for those of First Nation backgrounds, job seekers and transitional populations who require a network to share their important data such as identification, training certificates, compliance ID and cultural heritage, health, and family lines.
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