Business bulletin: 5 May 2022

NT Training Awards 2022. Nominations close Friday 20 May. Click here to nominate now.

Satellite dish

The Territory’s space industry has taken an important leap forward with the release of the Territory Space Strategy 2022-2026.

The strategy builds on the success of Territory Space Industry 2020 and establishes a vision for the Northern Territory to be recognised as the home of high altitude satellites in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia’s premier space launch location and a leading regional centre for ground station facilities.

Already in the Territory we have seen the Centre for Appropriate Technology’s wholly-owned subsidiary CfAT Satellite Enterprises become the host of 2 new ground stations in 2020, with the company now developing a master plan to facilitate further investment.

Equatorial Launch Australia established its commercial launch facility, the Arnhem Space Centre, near Nhulunbuy and is now ready to service the commercial, research and government sectors.

NASA is launching 3 sounding rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre in June and July this year, its first from a commercial spaceport outside the US.

To help unlock new growth opportunities and space investment in the Territory, Geoscience Australia and the Northern Territory Government have partnered to deliver Earth Observation for the Northern Territory (EO4NT), a $200,000 demonstrator grant program.

EO4NT aims to provide seed funding to private sector companies to develop products and services that solve challenges in the NT’s agribusiness and fisheries, mining and government services sectors.

Companies can access grants to help them develop earth observation-powered solutions that enhance business productivity and performance, or overcome business problems from these sectors.

Applications are now open and close on 27 June 2022.

For more information and to apply, read about the Earth Observation for the NT grant program on the NT Government website.

Read the Northern Territory Space Strategy 2022-2026.

Recycling machine

Development of new recycling infrastructure projects in the Territory has received a boost with applications now open for the Northern Territory Recycling Modernisation Fund grant program.

The Northern Territory Recycling Modernisation Fund (NTRMF) is a $3.8 million grant program jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government.

The NTRMF is a key element of the Northern Territory Circular Economy Strategy 2022-27. The Strategy maps out a coordinated approach across all tiers of government to encourage investment by business and industry to increase waste recovery, reuse and recycling.

The NTRMF grant supports projects that create opportunities to grow the Territory economy by turning waste into a valuable commodity. This includes infrastructure expansions or upgrades to address gaps within the Territory’s waste recycling and reprocessing capabilities.

Eligible projects include those that create or improve recovery, sorting, processing, reuse, recycling or remanufacturing of plastic, paper and cardboard, tyres or glass.

Projects need to demonstrate economic development opportunities through the development of new domestic markets for recycled materials.

Grants of $50,000 or more are available on a 50:50 co-contribution basis and applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.

Applications close 22 June 2022.

For more information and to apply, read about the NT Recycling Modernisation Fund on the NT Government website.


The Business Innovation Program has been refreshed to better support Territory start-ups and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

The Business Innovation Program (BIP) 2.0 is a mentoring and grant initiative.

Under BIP 2.0 successful applicants select an experienced advisor who will provide one on one mentoring and support. Applicants can receive up to $2,600 in advisory services to develop an Innovation Project Plan and a pitch deck.

Under the revised program, participants that demonstrate their innovation will deliver Value for Territory, is viable and likely to commercialise, will have an opportunity to apply for up to $30,000 in grant funding to further develop their product.

The program has been designed to better support applicants through each stage of their business journey and to see them successfully commercialise their innovation concepts.

BIP 2.0 is a priority program under the Territory Business Innovation Strategy 2022-23 and is designed to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation in the Territory.

The Territory Government is inviting suitable qualified organisations to register as BIP 2.0 Advisors to help guide the next generation of Territory innovators and entrepreneurs.

For more information about becoming an Advisor and to submit your EOI, read about BIP on the NT Government website.

BIP 2.0 applications are scheduled to open in early June.

To find out more about innovation in the Territory, go to the Innovation Territory website.

Curled ice cream stand

A Darwin-based company is serving up the world’s most popular dessert in a revolutionary way.

Craig and Darlene Finck are the first Northern Territory business - and one of the first in Australia - to make ice cream on cold plates. The company, Curled Ice Cream, use a secret recipe to produce creamy ice cream on -20C cold plates.

“It’s a totally different way of making ice cream, it's dessert and a show” says Craig. 

“The ice cream is chilled so quickly that ice crystals don’t have time to form, which leads to a much creamier product.

“The taste is sensational. Once you’ve tried curled ice cream, you’ll never go back to the traditional stuff.”

Craig and Darlene used a Business Pivot Grant from the Territory Government to buy a blast chiller, which freezes ice cream to -40C in 3 minutes. The chiller is being used to supply pre-packaged ice cream to Darwin’s Deckchair Cinema and other new retailers.

Applying for the grant was straightforward.

Craig says Michael Sinclair, a Small Business Champion with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, was “amazing”.

“He visited us several times and was full of great ideas.”

Curled is now working with 2 Territory firms, Darwin Sheet Metal and NTC Refrigeration.

Together, they have designed and built cold plates, so they can be manufactured in the Northern Territory.

Curled Ice Cream is now working to franchise their business. They are in the final stages of completing all the required documentation and hope to be advertising for franchisees by the end of the year. Craig is about to start work on their fourth trailer, which will be allocated to their first franchisee.

To find out more, go to the Curled website or Facebook @curledicecream.

Read more about the Business Pivot Grant on the NT Government website.

 2021 Australian Exporter of the Year, Monsoon Aquatics.

Territory exporters are invited to nominate for the Chief Ministers NT Export Awards to celebrate their export successes, innovation and business resilience.

In its 29th year, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements and success stories of Territory exporters. Winners progress as finalists to the Australian Export Awards to compete against their peers and receive national recognition.

The Territory has demonstrated that it has innovative and ambitious exporting businesses. In 2021, Monsoon Aquatics were crowned Australian Exporter of the Year. Other past winners at the National program include SRA Information Technology (2017), Charles Darwin University (2014), Australian Skills Training and Alice Springs Helicopter (both in 2009) and Energy Resources of Australia (2008).

Nominations for the 2022 Chief Minister NT Export Awards are now open.

This year’s awards will showcase Territory export businesses succeeding across 13 categories including small business, agribusiness, resources, manufacturing and innovation.

The Chief Minister’s NT Export Awards are coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce NT, with support from Austrade and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

Nominations close 10 June 2022.

Winners and finalists will be celebrated at a gala dinner event on 7 October 2022.

For further information and to nominate, go to the Export awards website.


DefenceNT will bring the Defence Industry Roadshow to Alice Springs on 25 May 2022.

Local businesses are encouraged to attend to get a refreshed understanding of who’s who in the defence industry landscape in central Australia.

The Defence Industry Roadshow will include a defence and industry update, then a cyber-security briefing, followed by networking drinks.

Defence and industry update

This event will take place from 2pm and businesses working in Defence or interested in Defence opportunities are encouraged to attend.

Local Australian Defence Force (ADF) and prime contractor representatives will provide updates on project opportunities and how to become better engaged in future programs.

The recently established Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS) will provide insight into their defence business advisory service and how this will build the capability of defence industry.

Cyber security briefing

From 3:30pm, the Darwin Joint Cyber Security Centre (JCSC) team will provide a briefing on cyber security threats and protections to support you to protect your business and enhance defence readiness.

Cybercrime can affect all businesses, no matter their size or location, with cyber threats including ransomware and business email compromise that can cause significant disruption and financial loss.

The JCSC briefing will give you the confidence to act now to stay secure to protect your business from cyber threats.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s annual threat report highlighted small businesses made a higher number of cybercrime reports last year than in the previous financial year and ransomware incident reporting increased by almost 15%.

The JCSC briefing will also detail the free Partnership Program available to small businesses, providing threat advisories and alerts.

The cyber security briefing is open to all small business, including non-defence related businesses.

The Defence Industry Roadshow will close at 4:15pm for a networking session with Defence industry and business representatives.

This event will be held in person and not streamed online.

Register your physical attendance on the EventBrite website.

How is your business investing in a disaster resilient Australia?

Submissions are open for the 2022 Resilient Australia Business Award!

Open to business and the private sector, including tertiary colleges and universities, the Business Award recognises businesses investing in a disaster resilient Australia.

The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate and promote initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action.

The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

The Resilient Australia Awards is proudly sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR).

For more information, go to the AIDR website.

Last updated: 05 May 2022

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