NSSN Grand Challenge Fund now open


The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) is calling on research, industry and government stakeholders to form collaborative proposals and apply for funding under round two of the NSSN Grand Challenges Fund. The applications close on 21 February 2022.

Grants of up to $100,000 per project will support the development of R&D projects that link industry or government partners with NSSN member universities to translate world-class research into impactful smart sensing solutions, either through commercialisation or operationalisation.

The Fund has been established to promote the development of innovative, collaborative research projects that advance smart sensing solutions to the six NSSN Grand Challenges: ageing, bushfires, COVID-19, water; plus the two new Grand Challenges introduced this year: mining, and smart places and buildings.

NSSN Co-Directors Professor Benjamin Eggleton and Professor Julien Epps said: “The fund provides a unique opportunity for industry and government partners to team up with researchers from across NSW and ACT and develop sensing solutions with a defined pathway to impact. As an innovation network, the NSSN is committed to translating world-class research occurring in NSW universities into compelling solutions that create value for the economy, environment and society of NSW.”

NSSN COO Nicholas Haskins said: “NSSN Grand Challenges are aimed at creating impactful solutions for the most complex issues of our time. In 2020, when the Fund was initially launched, we targeted really vexing current issues around ageing, bushfires, COVID-19 and water. This year, we have added mining and smart places to our program in recognition of the breadth of application of smart sensing. We have also integrated the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the program.”

The Grand Challenges have been selected for the important role smart sensing can play in responding to the issue and where technological innovation holds the promise to change the game. They have also been selected for the NSSN’s unique ability to mobilise the world-class R&D capability across our member universities in partnership with industry and government for practical, impactful outcomes.


To be eligible, funding proposals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Leadership: be led by an NSSN member university.

Collaboration: involve a minimum of two NSSN member universities (incl. the lead).

Partnership: partner with at least one industry or government partner.

Co-investment: attract cash co-investment from industry/government partners at least equal to the requested amount.

Proposals that do not meet these criteria will not be assessed. For more information visit the guidelines page.

Submission time frame

Applications will close at 5pm on 21 February 2022.

For more information, visit the NSSN Funding Announcement Page.

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