Innovate and grow

| April 16, 2024

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is inviting small to medium enterprises (SMEs) working on advanced manufacturing solutions to apply for a self-paced, 10-week, online program that can help them turn an idea into an R&D opportunity.

‘Innovate to Grow’ was launched in 2020, and in just four years the free program has equipped over 500 SMEs with the knowledge and tools required to progress their research.

CSIRO recently announced a $20 million investment to provide SMEs with greater access to vital research and development (R&D) opportunities to accelerate their growth.

The funding will support an additional 600 SMEs through its Innovate to Grow program, kicking off with its Advanced Manufacturing cohort.

CSIRO’s Director of Manufacturing, Marcus Zipper, explained how CSIRO’s unique position in the research ecosystem drives innovation to advance Australian manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing is a vitally important sector, employing over 800,000 people across Australia,” Dr Zipper said.

“It’s an exciting area of research and development for CSIRO, and we work collaboratively to connect SMEs with new technologies to improve efficiency, productivity, health, safety and environmental outcomes, while driving prosperity across the manufacturing sector.

“We translate research into products and processes that businesses want to adopt because what we’ve created is economically viable, more efficient and effective, and sustainable.”

The ‘Innovate to Grow’ program is designed for companies embarking on early-stage R&D or those venturing into new solutions within advanced manufacturing.

Successful program participants will gain access to expert facilitators and experienced researchers.

With expert guidance, participants will learn how to formulate a research question, assess its impact, and seek out strategic partnerships. Additionally, they will acquire skills in developing a compelling R&D business case and funding proposal.

Connop Metal Founder, Murray Connop, a 2022 Innovate to Grow: Advanced Manufacturing program participant, has made headlines for developing a world-first method of analysing the chemical compositions of PVC to make it recyclable – right here in Australia.

Mr Connop said CSIRO’s program provided invaluable connections to industry experts.

“Thanks to the Innovate to Grow program, I gained the vital contacts and support needed to determine the feasibility of my project,” Mr Connop said.

“I wholeheartedly recommend this program to fellow start-ups and small businesses in advanced manufacturing. The invaluable connection to industry experts provided by this program has played a significant role in the success of my project.”

Innovate to Grow: Advanced Manufacturing is open to SMEs working in robotics; additive manufacturing; advanced materials and processes; mechatronics design and engineering; energy storage and battery technology; sensing and detecting technologies; natural products manufacturing and biomedical manufacturing.

Learn more and apply for the Innovate to Grow: Advanced Manufacturing program or discover more programs for SMEs here.  Applications close on 12 May 2024.