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Applications closed

Applications for this cohort have closed.

Register your interest for upcoming intakes

Innovate to Grow is a free 10-week virtual, self-paced learning program for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The program will help you explore how research and development (R&D) collaboration can advance your innovative project or idea.

This program is open to Australian SMEs working on innovative technologies or solutions in cyber security and/or digital technology.

Program detail

The program will help you refine your innovation idea and step you through how to turn this into a research and development opportunity. We provide tools and information to help you better understand what's involved in R&D collaboration, and key things you need to consider at each step of the process. You'll be able to apply this knowledge to advance your innovative technology or R&D idea.

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 (week commencing 2 October, approximately 3-4 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 three to four hours.

Week 1: Workshop (Official start date 12 October 2023, approximately 4.5 hours)

  • 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 4.5 hours.

Week 2-10: Self-paced innovation program

  • Participants will work through the online innovation program at their own pace, supported by a mentor and experienced innovation facilitators to develop and test their research idea and business case.
  • Fortnightly webinars for participant networking and guest speakers.
  • A final questionnaire is required at completion.
  • 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 cyber security or digital technology from the sub-sectors listed below.

  • Cybersecurity;
    • AR/VR/XR
    • Digital Identity
    • Digital Manufacturing
    • Digital Twins
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • ChatGPT/Large Language Models

Selection criteria (essential):

  • An Australian registered and operating business with an ABN and ACN/ICN (sole traders and partnerships are not currently eligible to apply)
  • A business classified as small to medium (less than 200 employees)
  • A business with an R&D idea to work on throughou the program related to cyber security and/or digital technology

Other considerations:

  • 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 sub-sectors and regions.

For further information please visit our FAQ’s.

Download the program flyer

What program participants are saying:

"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.

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