CSIRO’s ON program is Australia’s national science and technology accelerator, aimed at supporting teams of researchers from Australia’s publicly funded research organisations to take their ideas and research out of the lab and into the world through products and services through commercialisation.

The program coaches Australia’s publicly funded researchers to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and commercialise their science. ON also delivers ongoing post-program coaching and support services to alumni who demonstrate entrepreneurial potential.

To date, ON has trained over 1440 researchers from 40 Australian universities and research institutes in addition to 600 CSIRO staff. Nearly 200 additional participants have come from outside of research, including industry, government and the community. 

There have been 52 new companies created resulting in 226 new jobs. ON participants have attracted over $30.4 million in commercialisation grants and 13 of the 52 new companies formed have raised a total of over $36 million of investment capital.

It was created in 2015 as part of CSIRO’s Innovation Catalyst strategy, and in 2016, it received $20 million over four years under the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which is due to expire on 30 June 2020. 

The program is winding up, with two final ON programs to complete: the 7th ON Prime, and 6th ON Accelerator rounds, culminating in the last Demo Day on 7 May 2020, where the last of the ON teams will share their breakthroughs and burgeoning companies with their peers and potential investors.

The ON program has made a significant and substantial difference to the culture of Australia’s research community, and CSIRO will continue to support initiatives to drive returns for Australia from our world-class research.

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Jenna Daroczy

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