FAQs

Click on the headings below to see the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Small Business Innovation Partnerships Program

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The best way to get involved is to check the ‘open opportunities’ tab of this website and to register with TendersACT. All open opportunities will be advertised through these sites. We will also provide notifications of new projects through the business networks detailed on this site. SBIP advertises all projects through the networks mailing lists and uses these business networks to stay abreast of industry developments. Please note the SBIP program does not facilitate unsolicited bids.

  1. Leveraging the ACT Government’s procurement spend through the SBIP will stimulate innovation, deliver better value procurement outcomes for government and grow our local economy.
  2. Support Canberra businesses to flourish and foster economic development in the ACT.
  3. Be the first to benefit from innovative solutions that improve your service delivery.
  4. Be part of the change to a more dynamic, more agile, innovative ACT Government.
  5. A phased approach ensures there is a balance between risk and experimentation.
  6. Use the best minds in Canberra, both within and outside government, to help refine your ideas.

The SBIP program fills a gap is the current procurement framework where Simple Procurements (classified as projects under $200,000) do not routinely receive support from ACT Government’s Procurement and Capital Works Branch. For the majority of procurements of this value this is appropriate as they tend to be low complexity and routine.

The procurements that aren’t catered for are the Simple Procurements that involve complex unknowns with potentially innovative solutions and that require industry engagement in order to define the problems and solutions. The SBIP program fills this gap by facilitating industry engagement through Canberra’s innovation and business networks.

The SBIP program also provides an avenue for the ACT Government to opt out of the arrangement after the development of a prototype, and not scale the product to a full solution. This is important for managing the risk associated with innovative or unproven solutions.

The program has been designed to fill these gaps while meeting normal ACT government procurement requirements.

The SBIP program does not and cannot discriminate on the basis of a business’s location or size. Businesses from other Australian states may take part in the program. The program is however intended to facilitate local economic development and provide opportunities, where appropriate, for SMEs. The 10% ‘Economic Contribution’ weighting under the Local Industry Participation Plan to all SBIP projects. Given the complexity of some SBIP projects it is common for small businesses to form coalitions to best address specialist areas of a project or to develop and deliver a solution based on a product of a large supplier.

Prototype Challenge submissions should be short and sharp. We are looking for strong ideas. If you are shortlisted, there will be an opportunity to provide a greater level of detail. The focus on brevity is also intended to limit the amount of unpaid time small businesses have to spend applying for SBIP projects.

The SBIP program is ideal to address problems where there isn’t a clear solution to purchase ‘off the shelf’. It also suits problems that would benefit from engaging with industry to explore alternatives prior to procurement. The SBIP team helps by facilitating pre-procurement engagement as well as the procurement itself.