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Researchers open up critical minerals R&D for SMEs

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Researchers at Australia’s leading science agencies are opening up opportunities for R&D into critical minerals opportunities through a new online course.

The Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub, a collaboration between CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and ANSTO, is inviting SMEs in the critical minerals industry to apply for a 10-week online innovation accessibility.

The free ‘Innovate to Grow’ programme helps SMEs acquire business insights to leverage R&D to meet their business needs.

The Manager of the Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub Lucy O’Connor said: “Scaling up and commercialising critical minerals projects requires strategic collaboration to address technical challenges and drive sustainable growth and innovation in this sector.

“This programme is designed to help SMEs navigate the complex landscape of R&D within the critical minerals sector and build new collaborative projects with the support of technical experts.”

The ‘Innovate to Grow’ program is designed for companies embarking on early-stage R&D or those venturing into new ideas within the critical minerals sector.

Successful participants will be given access to expert facilitators and experienced researchers, who will help them examine their technical or business challenges, explore R&D opportunities, and develop actionable R&D business and funding plans.

“Participants will work through the self-paced materials and engage with researchers and industry experts, to advance their project idea and discuss collaboration opportunities with R&D leaders at CSIRO, other science agencies and universities.”

API Management, which manages the Australian Premium Iron Joint Venture, went through the Innovate to Grow program in 2021.

Principal Scientist at API Management Dr Alan Ooi said: “The industry has big challenges, with lots of elements that need to come together, and CSIRO is playing a key part in our research and development goals.”

Picture: ANSTO/Australian Synchrotron

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