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Small Business Grants: Important programs you should apply for right now

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Small Business Grants: Important programs you should apply for right now

Are you wondering if there are grants available to start a business or to provide assistance if your business has been interrupted by COVID-19 but aren’t sure where to look?

The Australian government invests billions of dollars each year towards developing our non-profit and business sectors. Knowing when funding will be given is important, as is completing your applications as quickly as possible afterwards.

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) has created an overview to explain financing eligibility and availability. We have compiled a list of Grants and Programs that will assist your company in tracking grants, as well as eligibility and deadlines.

Looking for tailored advice for your small business? The Digital Solutions program works with you to adopt digital tools to save you time and money and to help grow your business.

Closes in 206 days

Who is this for?

Small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time (or equivalent) employees and sole traders can access services at the subsidised rate. The service is available across all metropolitan and regional areas in Australia.

What do you get?

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Digital Solutions is a 7-hour package service offering 3 hours of tailored one-on-one support and group workshops or webinars.

Funding to help Australian businesses join space industry supply chains.

The Australian Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants provides Australian businesses with grant funds to build the capacity to deliver products and services into domestic and international space industry supply chains that could support Moon to Mars activities.

Closes in 238 days

Who is this for?

Australian businesses with a demonstrated domestic and international space supply chain opportunity.

What do you get?

Grants from $250,000 up to $1 million to fund up to 75 per cent of eligible project expenditure.

Get advice and funding to take your novel idea to market

Accelerating Commercialisation is a service under the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Programme that provides you with advice and funding to get your novel product, process or service to market.

Who is this for?

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Businesses, start-ups and researchers who have a novel product, process or service ready to scale up and commercialise in global markets.  

What do you get?

You’ll be paired with an independent facilitator. Your facilitator will make recommendations to take your project from prototype to your first commercial sales, and they’ll help you apply for the commercialisation grant. 

Get help to improve your business and take advantage of growth opportunities

Growth services is a collection of services under the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Programme that provide you with advice and funding to grow your business and become more competitive in global markets. 

Who is this for?

Businesses are working within, or supporting, one of the growth sectors that want assistance to grow and enter new markets.

What do you get?

You’ll be paired with an independent facilitator. Your facilitator will assess your business then, recommend operational and growth opportunities, and give advice on applying for the Growth Grant. 

Support for priority industry sectors

Are you an ambitious Australian business owner in one of our six priority industry sectors? An Industry Growth Centre may be able to help you achieve your goals.

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Who is this for?

Australian Business owners and researchers within six priority sectors. 

What do you get?

Support for your business or research collaboration.

Funding for Australian Researchers to improve the use of medicines by pharmacists

MRFF 2022 Quality, Safety and Effectiveness of Medicine Use and Medicine Intervention by Pharmacists Grant Opportunity

This grant provides researchers with funding to improve medicines’ safe and effective use.

Closes on Sept 7.

Who is this for?

An eligible organisation that can support innovative medical research projects to improve health benefits for Australians.

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What do you get?

Grants of up to $1.5 million under the four Streams.

Funding for businesses to commercialise an innovative product or service

Innovation Connect provides Canberra-based businesses with funding to help them develop and commercialise innovative products and services.

Closes on Sept 15

Who is this for?

Smaller technology Canberra-based businesses.

What do you get?

Matched funding of between $10,000 and $30,000

Funding to strengthen Aboriginal business capacity and capability

The Aboriginal Business Round provides funding for Aboriginal businesses to help them gain opportunities as suppliers of major projects and markets in Australia and overseas.

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Closes on Sept 20

Who is this for?

Aboriginal businesses in WA.

What do you get?

Funding of up to $50,000 (excluding GST).

Funding for regional Queensland collaborations to solve significant innovation challenges

This program supports regional innovation leaders collaborating with partners to unlock Queensland’s economic potential, whether by solving a significant problem or creating an opportunity for the region.

Closes in 84 days

Who is this for?

Queensland regional organisations.

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What do you get?

Matched funding of up to $200,000.

Offset your R&D costs to help innovate and grow your business

The Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) offers a tax offset for companies conducting eligible R&D activities. It encourages investment in R&D to help your company to grow and innovate, which generates benefits for the Australian economy.

Who is this for?

Eligible companies are conducting eligible R&D activities.

What do you get?

Tax offset for eligible R&D activities.

Link to Grants finder

Source: SBDC

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Amazon won’t have to pay hundreds of millions in back taxes after winning EU case

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Amazon won’t have to pay hundreds of millions in back taxes after winning EU case

LONDON (AP) — Amazon won’t have to pay about 250 million euros ($273 million) in back taxes after European Union judges ruled in favor of the U.S. e-commerce giant Thursday, dealing a defeat to the 27-nation bloc in its efforts to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

The ruling by the EU’s top court is final, ending the long-running legal battle over tax arrangements between Amazon and Luxembourg’s government and marking a further setback for a crackdown by antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

The Court of Justice backed a 2021 decision by judges in a lower court who sided with Amazon, saying the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, had not proved its case that Amazon received illegal state support.

“The Court of Justice confirms that the Commission has not established that the tax ruling given to Amazon by Luxembourg was a State aid that was incompatible with the internal market” of the EU, the court said in a press release.

Amazon welcomed the ruling, saying it confirms that the company “followed all applicable laws and received no special treatment.”

“We look forward to continuing to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe,” the company said in a statement.

The commission said it “will carefully study the judgment and assess its implications.”

The case dates back to 2017, when Vestager charged Amazon with unfairly profiting from special low tax conditions since 2003 in tiny Luxembourg, where its European headquarters are based. As a result, almost three-quarters of Amazon’s profits in the EU were not taxed, she said.

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The EU has taken aim at deals between individual countries and companies used to lure foreign multinationals in search of a place to establish their EU headquarters. The practice led to EU states competing with each other and multinationals playing them off one another.

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Tesla autopilot recalls: 2 million vehicles need to have their defective systems fixed

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Tesla autopilot recalls: 2 million vehicles need to have their defective systems fixed

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla is recalling nearly all vehicles sold in the U.S., more than 2 million, to update software and fix a defective system that’s supposed to ensure drivers are paying attention when using Autopilot.

Documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators say the update will increase warnings and alerts to drivers and even limit the areas where basic versions of Autopilot can operate.

The recall comes after a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of crashes that happened while the Autopilot partially automated driving system was in use. Some were deadly.

The agency says its investigation found Autopilot’s method of making sure that drivers are paying attention can be inadequate and can lead to “foreseeable misuse of the system.”

The added controls and alerts will “further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility,” the documents said.

But safety experts said that, while the recall is a good step, it still makes the driver responsible and doesn’t fix the underlying problem that Tesla’s automated systems have with spotting and stopping for obstacles in their path.

The recall covers models Y, S, 3 and X produced between Oct. 5, 2012, and Dec. 7 of this year. The update was to be sent to certain affected vehicles on Tuesday, with the rest getting it later.

Shares of Tesla slid more than 3% in earlier trading Wednesday but recovered amid a broad stock market rally to end the day up 1%.

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The attempt to address the flaws in Autopilot seemed like a case of too little, too late to Dillon Angulo, who was seriously injured in 2019 crash involving a Tesla that was using the technology along a rural stretch of Florida highway where the software isn’t supposed to be deployed.

“This technology is not safe, we have to get it off the road,” said Angulo, who is suing Tesla as he recovers from injuries that included brain trauma and broken bones. “The government has to do something about it. We can’t be experimenting like this.”

Autopilot includes features called Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control, with Autosteer intended for use on limited access freeways when it’s not operating with a more sophisticated feature called Autosteer on City Streets.

The software update will limit where Autosteer can be used. “If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alert the driver it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts, and Autosteer will not engage,” the recall documents said.

Depending on a Tesla’s hardware, the added controls include “increasing prominence” of visual alerts, simplifying how Autosteer is turned on and off, and additional checks on whether Autosteer is being used outside of controlled access roads and when approaching traffic control devices. A driver could be suspended from using Autosteer if they repeatedly fail “to demonstrate continuous and sustained driving responsibility,” the documents say.

According to recall documents, agency investigators met with Tesla starting in October to explain “tentative conclusions” about the fixing the monitoring system. Tesla did not concur with NHTSA’s analysis but agreed to the recall on Dec. 5 in an effort to resolve the investigation.

Auto safety advocates for years have been calling for stronger regulation of the driver monitoring system, which mainly detects whether a driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. They have called for cameras to make sure a driver is paying attention, which are used by other automakers with similar systems.

Philip Koopman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who studies autonomous vehicle safety, called the software update a compromise that doesn’t address a lack of night vision cameras to watch drivers’ eyes, as well as Teslas failing to spot and stop for obstacles.

“The compromise is disappointing because it does not fix the problem that the older cars do not have adequate hardware for driver monitoring,” Koopman said.

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Koopman and Michael Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, contend that crashing into emergency vehicles is a safety defect that isn’t addressed. “It’s not digging at the root of what the investigation is looking at,” Brooks said. “It’s not answering the question of why are Teslas on Autopilot not detecting and responding to emergency activity?”

Koopman said NHTSA apparently decided that the software change was the most it could get from the company, “and the benefits of doing this now outweigh the costs of spending another year wrangling with Tesla.”

In its statement Wednesday, NHTSA said the investigation remains open “as we monitor the efficacy of Tesla’s remedies and continue to work with the automaker to ensure the highest level of safety.”

Autopilot can steer, accelerate and brake automatically in its lane, but is a driver-assist system and cannot drive itself, despite its name. Independent tests have found that the monitoring system is easy to fool, so much that drivers have been caught while driving drunk or even sitting in the back seat.

In its defect report filed with the safety agency, Tesla said Autopilot’s controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”

A message was left early Wednesday seeking further comment from the Austin, Texas, company.

Tesla says on its website that Autopilot and a more sophisticated Full Self Driving system are meant to help drivers who have to be ready to intervene at all times. Full Self Driving is being tested by Tesla owners on public roads.

In a statement posted Monday on X, formerly Twitter, Tesla said safety is stronger when Autopilot is engaged.

NHTSA has dispatched investigators to 35 Tesla crashes since 2016 in which the agency suspects the vehicles were running on an automated system. At least 17 people have been killed.

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The investigations are part of a larger probe by the NHTSA into multiple instances of Teslas using Autopilot crashing into emergency vehicles. NHTSA has become more aggressive in pursuing safety problems with Teslas, including a recall of Full Self Driving software.

In May, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose department includes NHTSA, said Tesla shouldn’t be calling the system Autopilot because it can’t drive itself.

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AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this story.

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Why Was Sam Altman Fired? Possible Ties to China D2 (Double Dragon) Data from Hackers

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Theories are going around the internet why Sam Altman was fired. On an insider tech forum (Blind) – one person claims to know by third-hand account and how this news will trickle into the media over the next couple of weeks.

It’s said OpenAI had been using data from D2 to train its AI models, which includes GPT-4. This data was obtained through a hidden business contract with a D2 shell company called Whitefly, which was based in Singapore. This D2 group has the largest and biggest crawling/indexing/scanning capacity in the world 10x more than Alphabet Inc (Google), hence the deal so Open AI could get their hands on vast quantities of data for training after exhausting their other options.

The Chinese government became aware of this arrangement and raised concerns with the Biden administration. As a result, the NSA launched an investigation, which confirmed that OpenAI had been using data from D2. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, which is a major investor in OpenAI, was informed of the findings and ordered Altman’s removal.

There was also suggestion that Altman refused to disclose this information to the OpenAI board. This lack of candor ultimately led to his dismissal and is what the board publicly alluded to when they said “not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”

To summarize what happened with Sam Altman’s firing:

1. Sam Altman was removed from OpenAI due to his ties to a Chinese cyber army group.

2.OpenAI had been using data from D2 to train its AI models.

3. The Chinese government raised concerns about this arrangement with the Biden administration.

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4. The NSA launched an investigation, which confirmed OpenAI’s use of D2 data.

5. Satya Nadella ordered Altman’s removal after being informed of the findings.

6. Altman refused to disclose this information to the OpenAI board.

 

We’ll see in the next couple of weeks if this story holds up or not.

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