Researcher placements through the Innovation Connections Program

We facilitate researcher placements and projects to help small and medium businesses overcome technical challenges and implement new innovative solutions.

We provide research facilitation services to help SMEs collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential and identify knowledge gaps that are preventing business growth.

CSIRO’s Dr Niall Finn helped Textor Technologies accelerate their growth through innovative material science.

Innovation Connections offers eligible Australian SMEs an opportunity to improve their competitiveness by building relationships with Australian research organisations.

We facilitate financial assistance in the form of an Innovation Connections grant worth up to $50,000 to support projects involving:

  • engagement of a publicly-funded research organisation to undertake research activities
  • placement of a researcher in the business to develop and implement a new idea with commercial potential
  • access to research infrastructure
  • access to other forms of research capability, as determined by a business research needs assessment.

Innovation Connections projects are up to 12 months in duration, and businesses are required to make a cash contribution that matches the value of the grant.

Eligibility - who can access Innovation Connections?

SMEs which:

  • have an annual turnover or operating expenditure between $1.5m and $100m (or a minimum turnover of $750,000 in remote regions)
  • have an Australian Company Number (ACN) or an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have traded for at least three years and are financially solvent; and
  • operate in one of the five growth sectors covered by the Australian Government's Industry Growth Centres Initiative:
    • Advanced manufacturing
    • Food and agribusiness
    • Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
    • Mining equipment, technology and services
    • Oil, gas, and energy resources, OR
  • provide enabling technologies and services (e.g. ICT) to one of the growth sectors listed above.

Innovation Connections supported by the Australian Government through its Entrepreneurs' Programme.

To find out more, contact our SME team.

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