Our national SME Connect team connects Australian small to medium sized businesses with Australia's research sector, facilitating and enabling innovation-driven partnerships through funding, support and resources.

Introducing SME Connect

With experienced facilitators located across the country, SME Connect acts as a single point of contact for SMEs to interact with the Australian research sector, using their national network to locate the very best research capability to meet each SME's individual needs, whether that be CSIRO or other research organisation.

Our team works with SMEs to understand their business needs and identify research-opportunities, facilitates connections into the research sector and is on hand to manage the partnership from start to completion.

Since 2015, we've helped more than 500 Australian SMEs grow and gain a competitive advantage by accessing cutting edge research expertise and facilities through our programs.

How we can assist your business

Through the Australian Government's Innovation Connections program, CSIRO Kick-Start vouchers and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund's STEM+ Business Fellowship program, we are able to offer three levels of matched-funding grants for research projects and researcher placements that cater to SME businesses of all sizes.

SME Connect funding programs
MATCHED FUNDING 2 × UP TO $50K 2 × UP TO $50K
(+ $30K GRADUATE)
UP TO $115K PER ANNUM
PROGRAM CSIRO KICK-START INNOVATION CONNECTIONS STEM+ BUSINESS
SME ELIGIBILITY <$1.5 MILLION OR
< 3 YEARS TRADING
$1.5M–$100M AND
> 3 YEARS TRADING
COMPLETED KICK-START OR INNOVATION CONNECTIONS PROJECT
PROJECT LENGTH UP TO 1 YEAR 2–12 MONTHS 2–3 YEARS
RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS CSIRO ONLY ALL PUBLIC RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS ALL PUBLIC RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS

We focus on streamlining the engagement process between SMEs and research organisations, and provide assistance at all stages of the collaboration process from start to finish.

We help SMEs by:

  • defining the business problem to be solved, and/or identifying the research opportunity
  • locating the right research capability to meet those needs
  • facilitating the project scoping and design
  • accessing and applying for grant funding
  • assisting with project agreements and contracting.

To find out more, contact our SME Connect team. Further information on Innovation Connections can be found through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and STEM+ through our dedicated Metcalf STEM+ Business Manager.

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