Three ways the CSIRO can help businesses innovate

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Three ways the CSIRO can help businesses innovate
TAE's wearable for the aerospace industry. Source: Fountx.

Small businesses can obtain research grants worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The CSIRO’s SME Connect service is designed to link Australian small and mid-sized companies with research expertise and facilities.

Its Innovation Connections program helps businesses establish their research needs and potentially receive matched grants of up to $50,000 to place a researcher in the business, or to place someone from the business in a publicly funded research organisation.

Similar grants of up to $30,000 are available to businesses that employ a graduate or postgraduate to undertake a research project lasting between six and 12 months.

Participation is restricted to Australian businesses with an annual turnover or operating expenditure between $1.5 million ($750,000 in remote regions) and $100 million, and that operate in (or provide technologies and services to) the advanced manufacturing; food and agribusiness; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; mining equipment, technology and services; or oil, gas, and energy resources sectors.

Following a successful collaborative project, the SIEF STEM+ Business Fellowship Program offers a matched grant of up to $105,000 a year for two to three years may be available so an early career researcher can work with the business to develop and implement new ideas.

For startups or small businesses with annual turnover and operating expenditure below $1.5 million, the Kick-Start program provides matched funding between $10,000 and $50,000 for research projects conducted with CSIRO.

SME Connect has assisted businesses in industries ranging from healthcare to waste management, including TAE's wearable tech for the aerospace industry.

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