Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is boosting Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability by providing free research and development (R&D) support to businesses to help them develop new products or services.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working on new advanced manufacturing solutions can sign up to the free, 10-week online Innovate to Grow program, to support their commercial idea by building their R&D knowledge, with 25 spots available.
Upon completion of the program, participants may be able to access facilitation support, through CSIRO, to connect to research expertise nationally, along with dollar-matched R&D funding.
CSIRO’s Director of Manufacturing, Marcus Zipper said global supply chain disruptions highlighted the need to build Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability.
“Advanced manufacturing plays an important role in so many sectors, with manufacturing contributing about six percent of Australia’s GDP, from biomedical manufacturing to smart robotics and automation,” Dr. Zipper said.
“Building Australia’s advanced manufacturing capability is a key part of Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and much of this capability will be driven by SMEs, which make up 99.8 percent of all businesses in Australia,” he said.
Deputy Director of CSIRO’s SME Connect team, Dr. George Feast, said that to help businesses take their products or services to the next level, R&D was essential to better understand what opportunities might be presented to them.
“Even though we know R&D drives innovation, it can be an expensive undertaking for businesses, risky and time-consuming for those without the right guidance and support,” Dr. Feast said.
“Through this program, participants will be given help to refine a new idea they want to explore and better understand their idea’s business and scientific viability.
“They will also be exposed to industry knowledge, hear from innovation and industry experts, and work with an R&D mentor.”
The program is open to all companies, regardless of sector, who incorporate, or would like to incorporate, advanced manufacturing to improve their existing business operations.
“Even though collaboration is key in driving good R&D outcomes, research we released last year found that less than 15 percent of Australian businesses engage universities or research institutions when they are thinking of exploring new innovation opportunities – our goal through this program is to increase that percentage,” he said.
CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Advanced Manufacturing programme, begins 6 September and is available for up to 25 SMEs. Applications close August 22.
This program is being delivered in partnership with the CSIRO Lindfield Collaboration Hub and Investment NSW.