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Report front cover of report shows founder of SME, My Bestie Kitchen, a SME Connect participant, Newcastle, NSW.

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have often been called the backbone of the Australian economy, and for good reason. They employ 68 per cent of Australia’s population, account for 99.8 per cent of all our businesses, and contribute more than half of our GDP.

SMEs are prolific across Australia, and the potential for science and technology to power their innovation and growth is enormous.

We wanted to understand why some Australian SMEs collaborate on R&D with universities and research institutions (CSIRO included), and others do not.

We commissioned RMIT University researchers to undertake one of Australia’s largest ever surveys of SME leaders, conducting more than 800 interviews, in order to hear directly how and why they engaged with the R&D sector and what were the real and perceived enablers and barriers to collaboration. This report is the voice of those SMEs.

This report provides data-driven recommendations for how to increase SME-Research collaboration in Australia and clearly demonstrates the economic and technological impact of such relationships to businesses currently collaborating.

Download the report

The long form version of this report is also available, providing full analysis and data behind the findings. Please contact Dr George Feast, CSIRO SME Connect, to request a copy of this long form research analysis.

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