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Applications for this program are now closed.

Innovate to Grow is a free 10-week virtual, self-paced learning program for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to investigate new R&D opportunities related to the Agrifood sector in Western Australia.

This program is open to businesses working in one of the sub-sectors listed below. If you are not sure if you fit into one of these sub-sectors, please reach out to our program coordinator.

The course provides tools and information to help you better understand what's involved with R&D and key things you need to consider at each step of the process. You'll be able to apply this knowledge to advance your innovation journey.

Program detail

This program is open to Western Australian based SMEs currently working in the Agrifood industry, or those working in other areas looking to offer new technology or solutions that could be applicable to the Agrifood industry.

The program will help you refine your innovation idea and step you through how to turn it into an R&D opportunity. You will also be exposed to industry knowledge, hear from innovation and industry experts and have access to networking opportunities with researchers and R&D mentors.

It's a great opportunity to work alongside other like-minded SMEs and build your networks.

Course outline

The course will help you to:

  • identify your innovation opportunities
  • refine your value proposition
  • understand the R&D viability
  • help you build your business case
  • provide guidance on how to prepare a strong funding application.

The program is made up of virtual webinars and self-paced learning as follows.

Preparing for the program (approximately 2 hours)

  • Participants will be provided with an on-boarding session, pre-workshop videos, materials and questionnaires to assist in preparing for the program.
  • Time commitment is approximately two hours.

Week 1 : Workshop (Official start date 4 April 2023, approximately 4.5 hours)

  • The program's main compulsory component is a half-day workshop. Participants will hear from CSIRO industry and research experts as well as relevant industry SMEs. Key topics include trends within your industry sector, a panel discussion with collaborating SMEs, and current funding opportunities for R&D.
  • Time commitment is approximately 4.5 hours.

Week 2-10: Self-paced innovation program

  • Participants will work through the online innovation program at their own pace, supported by CSIRO experts and experienced innovation facilitators to develop and test their research ideas and business cases.
  • Fortnightly webinars including networking and expert insights into your industry.
  • Final wrap-up session.
  • Time commitment is approximately 2-3 hours per week.

Key program outcomes

  • Personalised support to refine your idea: We'll step you through the process of turning your idea into a viable research project.
  • Confidential feedback: All submissions through the program portal will receive prompt expert feedback.
  • Mentor: You will be provided with a mentor from CSIRO or a university to assist you with understanding the program deliverables and connecting you to relevant specialists.
  • Build your network: You will build key contacts in your sector, including researchers at CSIRO and universities, domain experts, funding professionals and other SMEs.

Who can apply

This program is open to any SME participants working in Agrifood from the subsectors listed below.

  • Meat and meat product manufacturing
  • Agriculture and fishing support services
  • Aquaculture
  • Livestock
  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Food product manufacturing
  • Other

Selection criteria (essential)

  • An Australian registered and operating business with an ABN and ACN/ICN.
  • A business operating in WA.
  • A business classified as small to medium (less than 200 employees).
  • Currently working in the Agrifood sector or have identified a new opportunity relevant to Agrifood.

Other considerations

  • Currently, or in the early stages of, exploring R&D opportunities for their business and have an idea to work on throughout the course.
  • Any other information provided to support your application.
  • Have a clear need to develop your knowledge in R&D.

Please note

CSIRO awards places to businesses based on the strength of their application, and a clear interest and capacity to pursue research and development. We also include participants from a variety of industry subsectors and regions.

Program flyer

What program participants are saying

"[Innovate to Grow] really made research accessible. Before the program, I thought, there was no way that a tiny company like mine could work with CSIRO or a university. Now it has been demystified!"

— Amanda Falconer, Founder of Bestie Kitchen

CSIRO Innovate to Grow is delivered using Practera’s online ed-tech platform and facilitation services.

Innovate to Grow: Agrifood WA is supported by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

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