A NSW Government website

$1 million for smart tech to eliminate waste and go circular

Environment Sustainability

The NSW Government today announced the first ever NSW Smart City Innovation Challenge calling for start-ups and small businesses to pitch data-focused solutions to help NSW be a zero-waste state.

Deputy Secretary for Cities and Active Transport, Kiersten Fishburn said the Innovation Challenge is a great opportunity for the emerging technology sector to sink its teeth into solving a problem and for the NSW Government to uncover new technologies to create opportunities from wasted resources in our cities.

“We’re rethinking how we work with the private sector to target new and emerging solutions. This Innovation Challenge will help us find fresh ideas to tricky problems, and start-ups are given a chance to partner with the NSW Government. It is a win-win,” Ms Fishburn said.

“We want the best and brightest from industry to share ideas with us on how we can address the ‘data gap’ on material use, waste and recycling practices. With better data, we can all find new ways to divert materials away from landfill – increasing reuse, repurposing and recycling.

“As our cities grow and adjust to the changing needs of the population, we need to value our resources and get as much use out of products and materials as possible.

“There will be up to $1 million on the table for a start-up or small business to partner with the NSW Government to test their solution.”

NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change Executive Director, Kate Wilson said better access to data and insights will help drive innovative outcomes for the circular economy.

“We’re really excited to be part of the Smart City Innovation Challenge. Globally, nearly half of the world’s emissions are generated by the use and management of materials. Transitioning NSW to a circular economy and improving the efficiency of material use will contribute to our overarching net zero goals,” Ms Wilson said.

“For us to make a shift, data insights and modelling are critical. With the right data, interventions to reuse and recycle materials can be tracked, modelled and evaluated to inform circular economy initiatives across NSW. Better access to materials data can also help generate new business opportunities in recycling and reuse industries.”

The first Smart City Innovation Challenge asks participants to consider solutions to test the circular economy challenge in either the Western Parkland City or the Parkes and Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precincts.

The Innovation Challenge includes a call for proposals, Pitchfest event, co-development of the solution and for one lucky applicant access to $1 million to develop a proof of concept over 12 months with the potential for further scale-up if successful.

The Innovation Challenges are made possible by the Smart Places Acceleration Program which has allocated $45 million from the Digital Restart Fund.

Applications close Friday 29 April and a briefing seminar will be held on Thursday 14 April 2022.

Registration is essential and for more information, visit Smart City Innovation Challenges.