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Applications for the next advanced manufacturing intake are now closed. Please register your interest for future intakes.

Manufacturing is critical to a modern Australian economy, contributing about six per cent of Australia’s GDP.

With global supply chain disruptions in recent times, building Australia’s manufacturing capability across many sectors is a key part of Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

What is the Innovate to Grow Advanced Manufacturing program?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are at the heart of Australia's advanced manufacturing, from biomedical manufacturing to low-emissions energy materials.

However, many businesses find research and development (R&D) to explore new opportunities a daunting prospect and hard to navigate.

Innovate to Grow is a free 10-week virtual, self-paced program open to SMEs working in any of the advanced manufacturing sub-sectors below, that will give you the skills to harness the power of R&D to help you explore an idea for your manufacturing business.

If you are not sure if you fit into one of these sub-sectors, please reach out to our program coordinator.

Program detail

This next intake is aimed specifically at SMEs working on advanced manufacturing solutions.

The program will help you refine your innovation idea and step you through how to turn this into a research and development opportunity.

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 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 include expert talks, AusIndustry R&D tax advice, and time to get to know your fellow participants.
  • 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 paired with a manufacturing 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.

Who can apply

Small to medium-sized businesses who are:

  • interested in understanding more about research and development (R&D)
  • 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.
  • working in the following areas of advanced manufacturing including:
  • digital solutions (IoT, AI, simulation and modelling)
  • additive manufacturing (3D printing processes and materials)
  • advanced materials (nano-materials, functional materials, polymers and composites)
  • smart robotics and automation
  • quantum technology
  • mechatronics design and engineering (devices and systems)
  • biomedical manufacturing (biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics)

Selection criteria (essential):

  • 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.

Other considerations:

  • Please note we will also consider applications of businesses, regardless of sector, who have an idea to introduce an advanced manufacturing capability into their existing business operations e.g. Agricultural businesses looking to explore AI digital advanced manufacturing solutions for their business.
  • Any other information provided to support your application.
  • Have a clear need to develop your R&D knowledge.

Available places

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

"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. This program is being delivered in partnership with the CSIRO Lindfield Collaboration Hub and Investment NSW.

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

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