For SMEs who have conducted collaborative research projects previously, we facilitate the placement of early-career researchers into businesses for longer-term research projects.

The SIEF STEM+ Business Fellowship Program provides funding support to enable Australian SMEs to undertake longer-term research projects with early-career researchers from Australian research organisations.

Direct Nickel accelerated their business growth through a collaboration with CSIRO that improved a nickel separation process.

The program places early-career science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals as researchers-in-residence with businesses for two to three year projects. The program aims to build deeper connections and collaboration between researchers and SMEs, accelerating the adoption of new ideas and technology, and helping SMEs grow into larger and more profitable organisations. It will also create a cohort of researchers capable of addressing national challenges.

Our SME research facilitators work with businesses and research organisations to establish projects and facilitate financial assistance in the form of a SIEF STEM+ Business grant of up to $105,000 per annum to support projects involving:

  • the placement of early career researchers from Australian publicly-funded research organisations and Australian universities with SMEs
  • development and implementation of new ideas with commercial potential.

Businesses are required to make a cash contribution that matches the value of the STEM+ Business grant.

Eligibility – Who can access SIEF STEM+ Business?

Australian SMEs:

  • who have demonstrated the capacity and capability to benefit from engagement with the research sector through Innovation Connections, Researcher-in-Business or equivalent projects
  • that would be eligible for Innovation Connections or equivalent programs if they applied.


This program is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) .

To find out more, contact our SME team.

Interested in this solution for your organisation?

We offer services and contract-based research to clients in business, industry and government.

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