Charles Sturt takes on ‘Challenge’ to partner with NSW Government to tackle COVID-19

21 OCTOBER 2020

Charles Sturt takes on ‘Challenge’ to partner with NSW Government to tackle COVID-19

Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs becomes an Innovation District Partner as part of NSW Government's Innovation District Challenge to identify projects that will address disruptions caused by COVID-19.

  • Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs an Innovation District Partner as part of NSW Government’s Research and Development Innovation District Challenges
  • NSW Government is seeking to identify businesses with research projects that would address disruptions caused by COVID-19
  • Charles Sturt is one of 12 partner institutes, along with the CSIRO

A new Charles Sturt University partnership is seeking to commercialise research products that will address the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs is an Innovation District Partner as part of the NSW Government’s Research and Development Innovation District Challenges.

The NSW Government seeks to identify businesses with solutions to the pandemic through a series of challenges, aligned with its ‘Respond, Recover and Reform’ approach to COVID-19.

Challenge one, focusing on ‘Respond’, has launched for those who have a health or wellbeing innovation that could help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 in NSW.

A total investment of $3 million has been made to the Innovation District Challenges, with $500,000 funding available for each challenge - $250,000 for the highest-ranked applicant, $100,000 for the second-highest, $30,000 for the third-highest and $10,000 for the highest-ranked in each Innovation District.

Charles Sturt Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) Professor Heather Cavanagh said the University welcomes opportunities to form partnerships to further important research.

“Charles Sturt University welcomes the opportunity to partner with the NSW Government to offer small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to showcase and leverage their health and wellbeing innovations to tackle the negative impact of COVID-19 on peoples’ health and wellbeing,” she said.

“We’ve received a strong response from local businesses thus far and we’re looking forward to the remaining challenges.”

Acting Manager of the Charles Sturt Innovation Hubs Ms Siobhain Howard said regional SMEs have already shown interest in participating in the challenges.

“We’re really excited to have received some strong expressions of interest from local SMEs for this first challenge, with innovative and original offerings that could drastically reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on the health and wellbeing of people in NSW,” she said.

“It’s a privilege to be part of such an innovative ecosystem here in regional NSW.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Mr Stuart Ayres said 2020 has been unpredictable but the challenge presents an opportunity for innovation.

“Where there is a challenge, there is opportunity for innovation and the NSW Government is tapping into this creativity and expertise by investing $3 million to take products to market,” he said.

Mr Ayres said from the first challenge they hope to see innovative ways of addressing the impact of COVID-19, whether assisting in virus detection or improving patient care of ways for people to safely get back to activities they enjoy.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Mr Geoff Less said the challenges also provides support for universities through some tough months.

“We know our universities are doing it tough, which is why we are continuing to support their world-leading research and collaborate with business to bring products to market,” he said.

“This includes funding to run these challenges and the opportunity for the state’s 11 universities, NSW CSIRO and businesses to take these developments to consumers.”

To find out more information or submit an expression of interest, visit the research webpage on the Charles Sturt website.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Siobhain Howard, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or

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