Seafood Innovation Program

Increasing the value of NSW Seafood

A new competitive grant program offering seed funding and expert mentoring to develop ideas that will increase the value of NSW seafood.

Seafood for sale

NSW DPI, in partnership with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), and an industry led steering committee, has developed the Seafood Innovation Program which aims to increase the post-harvest value of seafood in NSW.

The competitive grant program will offer seed funding and expert advice to individuals, cooperatives and companies with ideas for increasing the value of NSW seafood. Proposals must address one or more of three key challenges:

  1. Supply chain innovation
  2. Product innovation
  3. Product quality.

The program will:

  • Provide innovators with a new and accessible avenue to propose technologies and solutions to NSW DPI and the FRDC for consideration
  • Identify technologies and solutions that will deliver improved efficiencies, services and outcomes for NSW fishers, fisheries and the seafood supply chain.

Register your interest

Do you have a great idea that will benefit the NSW seafood industry and are interested in this program?

Can you offer business advice and guidance and are interested in becoming a mentor?

Register your interest by contacting opportunity@dpi.nsw.gov.au and sending your contact details. We will keep you up to date on program developments and let you know more details as we call for formal grant applications.

Opportunities

By combining high-quality product with post-harvest processing, product innovation and development there is potential to significantly increase the value of the NSW wild harvest product.

There are many opportunities for businesses to develop solutions to existing problems in the seafood supply chain. For example, have you got a great idea that could see a new market developed for currently under-utilised species or increase the use of  by-product species? Have you got an idea for packaging that extends shelf life? Can you value-add to high quality product, create a new product or can you see a way to expand export markets. If so, we want to hear from you!

What does the Seafood Innovation Program offer?

The program has a hybrid focus and will target innovative ideas at two different stages of product development. We are looking to support both new, novel ideas and existing, more developed projects that need assistance with scaling. The program will provide seed funding, mentoring and business advice.

Capability Uplift Ten to fifteen selected businesses with novel ideas will be supported through a mentoring to develop their idea to achieve market impact. This is designed to support ideas and innovation to create a pipeline of new outcomes for the industry.

Innovation Exemplars Two selected applicants will receive funding assistance of up to $100,000 each for one year to support feasibility and viability testing to deliver new products, new processes and services that help the NSW seafood industry. This supports the testing of ideas which address gaps or unmet need in the market, and reduces risk prior to large investment.

Mentors Experienced mentors will be partnered with Capability Uplift and Innovation Exemplars to provide advice and support to the businesses.

Key Dates

NowRegister your interest in the program by contacting opportunity@dpi.nsw.gov.au 
May 2023Expression of Interest announced – formal call for applications for Seafood Innovation Program grants
June 2023Assessment of applications and announcements of successful Capability Uplift and Innovation Exemplar grants
From July 2023Business development and mentoring
Sept 2024Showcase Review – demonstration of program outcomes, the journeys undertaken by the companies and their potential for market impact
Oct 2024Report on the project outcomes and recommendations for progression

Frequently asked questions

How will I apply?

Details of how to apply will be released when a call for formal applications is made in May 2023 – the process will be simple and straightforward.

What should I start preparing now, to apply?

Full details will be released, but you may want to start thinking about:

  • Your “pitch” - can you explain your idea to a stranger in under two minutes and get them excited?
  • Business structures – can you provide details of your business registration, structure, ABN (noting your business must be registered or have operations in NSW)
  • Product research – for more advanced projects, what product research or development has already been undertaken?
  • Impact – can you demonstrate how your idea will benefit the NSW seafood industry?

Should I apply for the ‘Capability Uplift’ or the ‘Innovation Exemplar’ stream?

Businesses are welcome to apply for either stream of the Seafood Innovation Program, depending on the stage of development your idea is at.

  • If your business is at an early stage, the mentoring and project development offered via the “Capability Uplift” stream may be more beneficial.
  • If you are able to demonstrate that your idea is well-advanced and progressed to a late stage of development, you may apply directly for the Innovation Exemplar stream. There is no requirement for businesses to progress first from the Capability Uplift stream before applying for the Innovation Exemplar stream.

Can two people or businesses apply jointly?

Yes. We strongly encourage projects that involve collaboration.

Questions?

If you have questions during the registration of expressions of interest period contact the team via email at opportunity@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

The team will respond to emailed questions within 5 working days.  Answers to questions will be posted on the website.

The question period for Registrations of Interest will close at 30th April 2023.

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