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SME Connect programs
Innovate to Grow Generation STEM Links CSIRO Kick-Start RISE Accelerator
Free online training course to understand how R&D can benefit businesses. A business internship for NSW STEM undergraduates or equivalent students. Connects start-ups and small with CSIRO research expertise and capabilities to pursue R&D activities. Supports Australian and Indian late-stage start-ups and SMEs to advance their cross-border expansion opportunities
Open to SMEs working in relevant intake sector NSW STEM businesses with >5 employees <$1.5M in turnover OR <3 years trading $20M in turnover / < 10 years trading
10 week program Minimum 200h program Up to 1 year project 9 months
Opportunities to sponsor a program available NSW STEM university or VET/TAFE organisations CSIRO only Industry partners and research organisations across Australia and India
  $2,500 grant 2 x up to $50K up to $75,000 grant

Request more information on SME programs

[Image appears of text “CSIRO” in the foreground and a person going down stairs can be seen in the background]

[Image changes to show Simon Hanson talking on a Smartphone, and then the image changes to show Simon talking to the camera, and text appears: Simon Hanson, Director, SME Connect CSIRO]

Simon Hanson: We’ve got great businesses in Australia, great researchers.

[Image changes to show Simon and Dr George Feast sitting on an outdoor bench in conversation, and the camera zooms in on close views of them in conversation]

The challenge has always been to actually bring them together to do productive collaborations, productive projects.

[Images move through of Simon and George getting up from the bench, George talking to the camera, views of George and a female walking through a building, and sitting at a table, and text appears: Dr George Feast, Deputy Director, SME Connect – CSIRO Connect]

Dr George Feast: SME Connect is CSIRO’s dedicated team that assists these Australian small to medium sized businesses connect with R&D.

[Images move through of George and the female in conversation at a table, Dr Megan Sebben talking to the camera, and Megan and a male looking at a noticeboard, and text appears: Dr Megan Sebben, Program Manager – Kick-Start, CSIRO]

Dr Megan Sebben: The programme exists to help Australian companies that have a scientific or technical challenge that they need some help with.

[Camera zooms in on the male, and then on Megan, and then the image changes to show Megan talking to the camera]

And we can provide them dollar matched funding that’s going to help them advance their business.

[Images move through of a rear and then facing view of Simon and a female walking down a corridor, Simon and the female sitting at a table and talking, and then Simon talking to the camera]

Simon Hanson: Our facilitators actually sit down with companies and researchers, make sure that they understand each other. Researchers have their own language, businesses have their own language.

[Image changes to show George talking on a Smartphone]

We bring them together.

[Image changes to show views of Simon talking to the camera]

Dr George Feast: It’s really great for SMEs because they get access to the best research for them.

[Images move through of people in a Zoom meeting]

And for researchers it’s really cool because we provide a way of bringing great ideas, great companies to them.

[Images move through of Megan in a meeting with clients]

Dr Megan Sebben: The benefits the companies get is they get to build a relationship with that research team.

[Image changes to show Megan talking to the camera, and then images move through to show Simon putting on a headset and talking on to a female on the computer screen]

They can undertake the piece of work often more quickly, or more cheaply than if they needed to raise all the capital themselves.

[Image changes to show a rear view of Simon talking to a female on the computer, and then the image changes to show Megan talking to the camera]

And they’re working with an organisation of experts and bringing that expertise into their business early on.

[Image changes to show George talking to the camera, and then the image changes to show a rear view of a male and female looking at plants, and looking at a spider image on a Smartphone screen]

Dr George Feast: If you’re a small to medium sized business, you know, you can come to us.

[Image changes to show George talking to the camera, and then images move through of the male and the female looking at a Smartphone, and then a spider image on the Smartphone screen]

We’ll find some researchers, and there might be, kind of, small optimisations that we can do that can reduce costs or improve processes in your business.

[Image changes to show Simon talking to the camera]

Simon Hanson: It means growing companies.

[Images move through of George and a female in a lab in conversation]

It means exports. It means employment. It means vibrant industries.

[Image changes to show Megan talking to the camera, and then the image changes to show the CSIRO logo on a white screen, and text appears: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

Dr Megan Sebben: So, if you are an Australian business you can reach out to us at any time to have that conversation and you never know where it’s going to take you.

[Music plays]

Hear from Simon Hanson, Director SME Connect, Dr George Feast, Deputy Director SME Connect and Dr Megan Sebben, CSIRO Kick-Start Program Manager as they share what CSIRO does for start-ups and SMEs and why it matters for Australia.

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