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By  Laura Jiew 10 July 2023 5 min read

Key points

  • Our ON Program helps researchers and scientists navigate the commercialisation process and bring their ideas to market.
  • Applications for the next round of ON Prime are now open to research teams from across Australia.
  • Here are four reasons to consider ON Prime or ON Accelerate in your research team's journey.

Since 2015, we've helped thousands of researchers from our organisation and Australian universities take their work from concept to market with the ON Program. This program aims to help researchers and scientists navigate the commercialisation process and bring their ideas to market. Here are four reasons your research team should consider getting involved in the ON Program.

ON Accelerate 7 Participants celebrate presenting their work at a recent showcase event.

ON Prime helps you think differently about your research

Dr Dana Bradford is a Principal Research Scientist at the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC), our digital health research program. Dana led the CONSULT Neurosurgical Tool team, which took part in the ON Prime 12 cohort.

She completed the nine-week ON Prime program with two CSIRO colleagues, Dr Daisy Hu and Dr Javier Urriola, Dr Marita Prior from Queensland Health, and supported by industry mentor, Dr Anna Liu from Amazon Web Services.

Dana said while her team broadly knew who the market was for their research, ON Prime allowed them to test their thinking and validate their assumptions.

“Participating in ON Prime offered us the ability to brainstorm our technology,” Dana said.

CONSULT is an advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) processing and presenting software that will allow clinicians to identify key white matter pathways. It will show when surgical plans may disrupt vision, motor functions, bodily sensation, or language.

CONSULT is an advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) processing and presenting software that will allow clinicians to identify key white matter pathways. It will show when surgical plans may disrupt vision, motor functions, bodily sensation, or language.

“Our team knew we were onto something with our neurosurgery tool CONSULT. It was developed by a previous postdoc, we really wanted to increase the Technology Readiness Level of our software. ON Prime proved to be a great pathway for our team to achieve this," Dana said.

“Through ON Prime, we were able to road-test ideas and the concept of our research project with an external audience. The experience gave us the opportunity to identify what works and what the technology and market application gaps are.

“We were particularly grateful for the time and invaluable expertise provided by our mentor. Completing ON Prime definitely equipped us with the ability to think outside of the box," she said. 

ON Accelerate enables your leap from researcher to CEO

Penny Harth, ON Program Manager, said there are two things that bring absolute richness to our ON Accelerate program. These are the calibre of participants and the diversity of innovation.

"Our ecosystem attracts an amazing array of diversity in thinking. We’re incredibly lucky to be so well supported by a strong network of mentors, as well as our investment community partners who form an integral part of the program," Penny said.

Penny Harth is Researcher Programs Manager for CSIRO's ON Program. Penny believes as Australia's national science agency, CSIRO has the unique ability to attract a wide range of diverse and highly promising innovative ventures.

The program helps participants move from being a researcher to being a leader of a successful startup venture. They are partnered with a curated team of experts and follow an individual development plan as they progress through the 15-week journey. Teams are able to access ongoing coaching post-program for up to six months.

Participants also have the opportunity to meet with investors from our innovation fund, Main Sequence, and members of Australia's deep tech venture capital community early in their ON Accelerate journey.

And finally, the ON Accelerate program offers several grant payments of up to $180,000 per team based on performance, aimed at fast-tracking their market traction during and post-program.

Access top-tier domain expertise, coaching and resources

The aim of our ON Program is to provide mentorship, resources, and funding to help turn cutting-edge research into successful start-ups or commercial products.

“Our team found the resources shared with us to be wonderfully beneficial. The resources provided were not only easy to follow, but extremely practical and can be applied on any research projects we undertake in the future,” Dana said.

“We were also extremely fortunate to be paired with an industry mentor who was not only generous with their time, but shared with us with their commercialisation expertise and business nous. We’re grateful for the mentorship provided.

“Above all, the program content and delivery was a fun experience, a great selling point of the program! Every researcher wanting to navigate the complex process of commercialisation and needing a place to start should consider ON Prime.”


Build on your commercialisation toolbox

For many participants, the ON Program has been transformational.

Researchers often list navigating roadblocks and obstacles to bring their ideas to market as some of the biggest challenges when facing the complex world of research translation and commercialisation. These barriers can include everything from securing funding and partnerships, to developing a viable business plan, to understanding any applicable legal and regulatory constraints.

Nick Rakis, Managing Partner and Business Designer at Accelio and long-time ON Program facilitator, said one of the main benefits for program participants is a fresh perspective on their work.

Nick Rakis, a long-time ON facilitator sees the program as a platform for researchers to build and develop their commercialisation toolbox.

“One of the most important lessons teams gain out of the program is importance of collaboration and a mindset shift when it comes to their research,” Nick  said.

“They come out at the end of the process and view their research in a new light with new insights into how it could be used to create real-world impact.

“Teams also form new relationships with other program participants that help them uplift and shape the focus of their industry engagement.”

So, what's next?

If you're a researcher with an interest in entrepreneurship and have an idea you believe has the potential to change the world, the ON Program can provide you with the support and resources you need to turn your idea into a reality. It doesn't matter whether you're just starting out or are well along the way, we want to hear from you.

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