News, Research and Development

CSIRO invests $20 million to boost SME innovation

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, announced a $20 million investment aimed at granting small to medium enterprises (SMEs) enhanced access to crucial research and development (R&D) resources.

The funding will allow CSIRO’s SME Connect team to support up to 750 SMEs through a range of programs and initiatives that provide facilitation, training, dollar-matched funding and support to start-ups and SMEs seeking to engage in company-led research projects.

Dr Doug Hilton, CSIRO’s chief executive said, “SMEs are crucial drivers of Australia’s future and so often the engine room of new, innovative thinking and solutions to many of the challenges our society faces.”

This program will aid businesses across sectors such as technology, manufacturing, health, and biosecurity to accelerate their growth and scale.

“CSIRO’s fundamental role as the national science agency is to create benefits for Australia and that includes helping to drive SME’s productivity, sustainability and growth through greater access to R&D opportunities and conducting research to support a more resilient and diverse economy,” said Hilton.

Minister for industry and science Ed Husic praised the announcement and along side Hilton visited a successful Kick-Start program alumni in Canberra to witness the progress achieved through its collaboration with CSIRO researchers.

Husic said, “Our Future Made in Australian plan, whether it’s our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund or our $392 Industry Growth Program, means there’s support for businesses big and small to make more things here.”

CSIRO stated SMEs are the backbone of Australia’s economy, constituting 99.8 per cent of businesses, contributing to more than half to the gross domestic product (GDP) and employing 68 per cent of the private sector workforce.

The SME Connect programs include:

  • CSIRO Kick-Start: an initiative for innovative Australian start-ups and small businesses, providing funding support and access to CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities to help grow and develop their business.
  • Innovate to Grow: a free, 10-week online program designed to help SMEs progress their research and development (R&D) ideas.
  • RISE Accelerator: provides support to startups and SMEs who are working on innovative technology and are considering overseas expansion between India and Australia.

For more information visit the CSIRO website.

Send this to a friend