7 December 2015

CSIRO fund to support Australian start-ups

As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda released today by the Australian Government, CSIRO will establish an innovation fund to invest in the development of early stage technology opportunities from the public research sector, to increase their translation into commercial opportunities to be taken up by Australian industry.

The Government announced it will provide $70 million over 10 years to a CSIRO-managed innovation fund aimed at bringing to market early stage commercial opportunities based on excellent science.

This will be supported by an investment of new revenue from CSIRO's WLAN licencing and CSIRO will seek private sector investment to form a fund of approximately $200 million.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the fund will be a bridge to de-risk science and meet industry 'half way' with a 'beta', an investable proposition that industry can more comfortably take to market.

"When the customer isn't buying the product the entrepreneur doesn't waste time blaming the customer - they change the offer," Dr Marshall said.

"This commitment will enable us to get some of our great science to market much more rapidly.

"Having a fund focused and administered close to the sources of invention and research is ideal for generating the innovation Australia needs.

"The fund will bring intense focus to high growth potential opportunities and at the pace that markets demand."

Part of the Government's National Innovation and Science package is the announcement of $5 million per year to expand CSIRO's accelerator program to include other publically funded research organisations, accelerating a broad range of research for commercial adoption.

In addition to this CSIRO has received $25m per year increased funding dedicated to its data science efforts through Data61.

Data61 has a mission of unleashing the potential in Australian industry, specifically focusing on cybersecurity, data analytics, a data research network to link business with researchers, and improving the data literacy of Australian business.

The fund and accelerator are intensive hands-on operations focussed on deal creation and lifting scientists' abilities in the fundamentals of customer first, product market fit and value creation by innovation.

These opportunities will help improve translation of publically funded research into commercial outcomes, increase digital capability and stimulate innovation in Australia.

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  • Mr Huw Morgan

    Manager Media Liaison · Communication

    • Phone:
      • +61 8 8303 8857
      • +61 417 834 547 (Alternative)

    Email: Huw.Morgan@csiro.au

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