FAQ: About eligibility
- Research into a new idea with commercial potential
- Developing a brand-new product or service with commercial potential to increase your customer base
- Testing a novel product developed by your company
Innovate to Grow applicants must meet the following essential selection criteria:
- An Australian registered and operating business with an ABN and ACN/ICN
- 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 and have an idea to work on throughout the program
- You must also be a business working in the sector of the advertised program or be working on an idea that fits the sector of the advertised program.
Please refer to the FAQ that defines R&D. Your idea must be relevant to the sector of the advertised program, and one that you believe is novel or new. You must also have an interest in pursuing the idea within your business, either now or soon.
Some examples may include:
- Exploring whether artificial intelligence can be built into your business
- Incorporating new manufacturing approaches into a prototype/product e.g. 3D printing
FAQ: About the program
Throughout the program, you can expect to engage with:
- Guest speakers from CSIRO, universities, sector experts and SMEs
- Mentors from CSIRO or universities
- Fellow SME participants
Preparing for the program (~2 hours)
Participants will be provided with an on-boarding session, pre-workshop videos, materials and questionnaires to assist in preparing for the program.
Week 1: Workshop (~4.5 hours)
The program's main compulsory component is a half-day virtual workshop. 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.
Week 2-10: Self-paced innovation program (2-3 hours per week)
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 with guest speakers are also included.
Key benefits of the program include:
- Personalised support and confidential feedback to help refine your idea and turn it into a viable research project
- A mentor to help connect you with the right research expertise and capabilities
- Opportunities to grow your network through key contacts in your sector
- Knowledge to help you make informed decisions as to whether the R&D project you've identified is right for your business and has a strong case to attract research partners.
FAQ: About the mentors
The mentors’ role is to meet with you virtually, understand your potential research idea and make introductions to researchers from either CSIRO or universities that may be able to assist you.
Mentors can also provide advice on the research process, such as how research is carried out by their organisation, how long it can take, and some of the steps involved.
Mentors will make themselves available for the 10 weeks of the program, so you are encouraged to make the most of their availability to meet during this time.
In some cases, the mentor is working in the right area to progress the idea with you and their team, so it will be the beginning of a longer relationship.
In other cases, mentors and participants with shared interests have continued to meet occasionally to discuss their projects and the latest in the field. This is optional for those who connect well and have interest in an ongoing connection.
FAQ: About the deliverables
Deliverables will include a set of templates that you will work on and submit for feedback, to help you develop your research idea into a potential project. These include:
- Innovation Challenge statement
- Innovation Value & Collaboration Options Statement
- High Impact Business Case
- Funding options statement
No, however the deliverables can help you get the most out of your Innovate to Grow experience. They are tools to effectively develop your idea, and to receive more specific expert feedback from the program facilitator.
FAQ: About NDAs
We encourage all businesses to be able to describe their business idea in a way that does not reveal confidential information. This is especially important when communicating with the wider group as part of the program.
In the later stages of the program, once you are connected with a researcher/research team and need to disclose more details, you should discuss with them whether an NDA may be required. They will coordinate this with you.
FAQ: About funding
There is no funding associated with the Innovate to Grow program. Throughout the program we will alert you to funding opportunities within CSIRO and elsewhere that you may be eligible to apply for.
Not necessarily, however the work (particularly the deliverables) you undertake during the program will help you turn your idea into a viable research project that can help you apply for either opportunity. It is important to note that both programs are subject to their own selection criteria and eligibility guidelines.
FAQ: After program completion
Participants are asked to fill out a survey 12 months after completing the program. Past participants may also be contacted occasionally with the following:
- Notifications of grants, conferences or events in your state and sector
- Access to new tools designed for SMEs
- To request your assistance as a guest speaker or for a quote for advertising new programs