CSIRO broadens access to R&D funding


More Australian small businesses can now access research and development (R&D) funding through CSIRO as it broadens its Kick-Start programme.

The programme has now been expanded with an increase in eligibility to include businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million, up from previous eligibility of up to $1.5 million.

The CSIRO Kick-Start programme assists Australian SMEs and scale-ups by providing facilitation and dollar-matched funding to access CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities for company-led R&D projects.

Since its inception in 2017, the programme has been a catalyst for over 260 small business projects, contributing just under $24 million in R&D activities, with recipient companies now having a market value of more than $2 billion.

CSIRO’s newly appointed Chief Executive Dr Doug Hilton (pictured) said: “CSIRO can absolutely play a role in supporting SMEs to embrace research and in stimulating entrepreneurship among our scientists and others in the community.

“Expanding the eligibility of the CSIRO Kick-Start programme means we can offer more Australian businesses, more Australian innovators, more Australian entrepreneurs’ access to the resources, knowledge, and support they need to flourish.”

From AI-powered tech to native skincare, hydrogen prototypes to Indigenous farming, the programme aims to connects visionary businesses with cutting-edge science and technology.

Key elements of the programme include:

  • Facilitation to help refine the research question
  • Connecting businesses with relevant CSIRO researcher expertise and capability – think of us as your in-house R&D division
  • And dollar-matched funding support to improve the affordability or expand the scope of R&D services.

CSIRO’s Kick-Start Program Manager Dr Megan Sebben said: “Many start-ups and SMEs face barriers, such as limited expertise and insufficient funding, that hinder R&D access.

“Our programme serves as a driver for change, providing comprehensive facilitation to overcome these challenges.”

Further reading:
See some of the projects the Kick-Start programme has backed here.

Picture: CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Doug Hilton

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