NSW Department of State and Regional Development
The Department of State and Regional Development is the key business development agency in New South Wales . Its main agenda is to facilitate economic growth to increase wealth and create and retain jobs.

The six strategic imperatives under which the Department operates are to:
Foster innovation and technology development
Promote investment
Boost exports
Improve the State's business climate
Build the economic capacity of regional NSW
Support entrepreneurship and growth in small and medium-sized businesses
The NSW Government recognises the importance of science and in particular biotechnology for the NSW and Australian economy, and has allocated $68M to the BioBusiness strategy over 5 years.

The Biofirst strategy aims to position NSW as a leader in biotechnology and to maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits of this sector for the people of NSW.

One element of the Strategy is the BioBusiness Program under which the Department may assist companies on a dollar for dollar basis to support all stages of the innovation cycle. The objectives are to help develop world-class, export-oriented products, services and businesses; to support the biotechnology pipeline to take basic research through development to commercialisation; and to promote leadership and training.

Several grants are available under the BioBusiness Program:

NSW Proof of Concept Grants
This early stage funding is designed to assist companies to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of their research. Companies which have received funding under the Commonwealth Biotechnology Innovation Fund (BIF) are eligible to apply for Proof of Concept Funding. Over $4 million have been allocated to this program.

Non-Research Establishment Costs
Under this program, assistance of up to $75,000 may be accessed by start-up companies for intellectual property protection, regulatory approvals, legal costs in agreements/advice for commercialisation, business planning and process development, financial systems development, market development and research and skills development projects.

High Growth BioBusiness
This funding is to accelerate the growth of established biotech firms. Funds may be used for regulatory approvals for specific markets, business planning and business process development, financial systems development, market development including export markets and skills development projects. In addition, this element of the program can be used to enhance existing linkages to CRCs, universities and the venture capital industry and to present investment readiness workshops and forums.

Professional Leadership and Development Program
The focus is on the development of business skills. This could include such activities as mentoring, training in corporate governance and finance management skills, participation in the Biotechnology Enterprise Workshops and presentation training to raise capital and promote partnering.

International Marketing Program
The Department subsidises booths, provides opportunities for business matching services, and marketing material preparation. The Department works in close collaboration with Austrade to sponsor attendance at events.

Other Programs
Other DSRD Programs include the Australian Technology Showcase (ATS) which promotes leading-edge Australian Technologies and supports the companies behind them to operate on the international scene. Under ATS, up to $20,000 are available to undertake market visits, participate in Trade Fairs, protect intellectual property, and develop promotional material and improvement of export/business planning.

The New Export Opportunities Program assists companies to participate in Trade Missions and Market Visit Programs. Assistance is given with business matching, appointments and other in-market services, e.g. interpreter services.

For further information on DSRD's programs see www.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au.