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Applications for the next  Cyber Security intake have now closed. Applications for the next intake will open 24 October 2022.

Register your interest

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and text appears on a blue screen: “Innovate to Grow” is CSIRO’s online learning program for SMEs, delivered in partnership with Australian edtech start-up Practera]

[New text appears: It helps SMEs develop their R & D skills by bringing together companies, industry-specific researchers, and innovation experts]

[New text appears: Here is what recent participants have to say about “Innovate to Grow”]

[Image changes to show Hamish Shaw talking to the camera and text appears: Hamish Shaw, Bellata Gold]

Hamish Shaw: Yeah, nobody knows their product like SMEs. They have to or they don’t survive. So, we all run around with 50 ideas in our heads about how to do things better.

[Image changes to show Jo Lane talking to the camera and text appears: Jo Lane, Sea Health Products]

Jo Lane: Often you go, “Oh yeah, this is what I’m going to do” but we actually need to break it down step-by-step in how much is it going to cost, what resources do you need, is this actually a realistic concept.

[Image changes to show Amanda Falconer talking to the camera and text appears: Amanda Falconer, Bestie Kitchen]

Amanda Falconer: Doing the “Innovate to Grow” programme really made that accessible to me and demystified that. And it also gave me some tools and rigour around trying to develop a research programme and work out the funding sources for that.

[Image changes to show Hamish talking to the camera]

Hamish Shaw: We had great exposure to, along the way to several experts and those contacts I think will be invaluable going forward. I do feel they’re the sort of people, if I drop them a line they’d give me 15, 20 minutes, and certainly heading you in the right direction could save you months.

[Image changes to show Amanda talking to the camera]

Amanda Falconer: There was exposure to peers, people in businesses that I probably wouldn’t ordinarily come across who were having experiences, not the same as mine, but still things that I could learn from.

[Image changes to show two Emerging High Growth graphs on a web page and then the image changes to show a Research Engagement model web page]

Jo Lane: What I found most valuable was opportunities to talk with other participants and hear about their challenges.

[Image changes to show Hamish talking to the camera]

Hamish Shaw: We were very lucky it was CSIRO; I think they were sort of at the centre of everything.

[Image changes to show Amanda talking to the camera]

Amanda Falconer: It certainly paid back my time ten-fold I think.

[Image changes to show a Collaboration & Funding Options web page and then the image changes to show a pie graph and information about Businesses of Tomorrow on a web page]

Jo Lane: It’s been a great experience and opened my eyes to, you know, really anything is possible.

[Image changes to show Hamish talking to the camera]

Hamish Lane: I think the programme is a fantastic idea.

[Image changes to show Jo talking to the camera]

Jo Lane: I would definitely recommend it.

[Image changes to show Amanda talking to the camera]

Amanda Falconer: I think it’s an awesome opportunity and I encourage you to apply.

[Music plays and image changes to show a blue screen and text appears: Find out more about “Innovate to Grow” at]

[Image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text on a white screen: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

Hear from previous participants of the program

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Innovate to Grow: Cyber Security is a free 10-week program for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to further their R&D opportunities related to cyber security solutions. Applications have now closed for the next intake. Applications for the next intake will open open 24 October 2022, with the program starting in December 2022. Register you interest.

The Innovate to Grow program is a self-paced and virtually-delivered program to boost innovation performance of SMEs in high priority sectors.

The course will provide 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.

You will also be exposed to industry knowledge, hear from innovation and industry experts and work with a sector or R&D mentor. Throughout the course, you will also work alongside other like-minded SMEs and build your networks.

Turn your R&D idea into a reality

This program is perfect for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) currently working in cyber security who are either:

  • interested in progressing their research and development (R&D) opportunities
  • are in the early decision-making stages about engaging in an R&D project with a research organisation but are not quite sure where to start.

As part of Innovate to Grow, you will be exposed to research and development opportunities, industry knowledge, and will hear from innovation and industry experts and work with a sector or R&D mentor. You will also work alongside other like-minded SMEs and build your networks.

Program detail

Participants will develop actionable business plans and strategies to assist with identified R&D needs through a structured, time-efficient development process.

The program is self-paced and is delivered in three phases.

Phase 1: Program preparation

  • 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.

Phase 2 (Week 1): Half-day workshop

  • The program's main compulsory component is a half-day workshop covering the program concept. 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 four hours.

Phase 3 (Week 2-10): Self-paced 60-day online 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 to hear from experts in your sector, R&D tax agents and get to know your fellow participants.
  • Time commitment is approximately 2-3 hours per week.

Key program outcomes

High-quality outcomes: 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 paired with a cyber security researcher to help connect you with the 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.

Content outline

  • Identifying your innovation opportunities.
  • Refining your value proposition.
  • Understanding the R&D viability.
  • Helping you build your business case.
  • Providing guidance on how to prepare a strong funding application.

Who can attend

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

  • Network security
  • Application security
  • Human centric security
  • Data integrity and privacy
  • Incident management and response
  • Agriculture-related cyber security
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Quantum security

Selection criteria (essential):

  • An Australian registered and operating business.
  • A business classified as small to medium (less than 200 employees).
  • A business currently, or in the early stages of, exploring R&D opportunities for their business.

Other considerations:

  • Currently working in the cyber security sector (or have identified a new opportunity relevant to cyber).
  • Any other information provided to support your application.
  • Have a clear need to develop your skills in R&D.

Please note: We often receive many more applications than the 25 places available. 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 sub‑sectors and regions.

What program participants are saying

“It's been a good program and I would recommend it to those that can create the time. The process and templates have been great in giving us some structure to approaching R&D and I feel this was most useful for us and would be so for others in our position."

Jared Cunningham, Director, Ravin

"The perfect solution in the current times. Innovation can provide a path out of the current COVID induced slump and reposition Australia as a smart nation into the future. Nobody knows their product/markets and how to improve them like SME's, they just don't have the resources to develop them. This course taps that knowledge rich base and links with the resources."

Hamish Shaw, GM Bellata Gold Milling

"I believe the program is a great way to distil and crystalize a specific project scope. Regardless of funding opportunities the ability to narrow down the scope of a potential project is extremely valuable."

Chris Pistilli, Lead Consultant, Synergy Managed

"I found the program rewarding, enjoyable and thought provoking.  It may not be a good fit for every organisation but for those looking to understand more about developing a process of innovation and learning how to engage with research institutes it was very useful."

— Julian Fay, Chief Technology Corporation, Senetas

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

Innovate to Grow is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund Grant Opportunity Program.

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