$20M in extra support for small business innovation

Up to 750 small and medium businesses will have access to extra support to help them turn great Australia ideas into thriving new businesses.

CSIRO is boosting its successful SME Connect program with an expanded $20 million in new funding for small businesses with big ambitions and great ideas.

The program connects SMEs to research expertise, facilitates access to funding support, world-class facilities, training, and links them to the Australian research sector.

By doing this, businesses across sectors such as technology, manufacturing, health, and biosecurity can accelerate their growth and scale. 

The suite of SME Connect programs include: 

  • CSIRO Kick-Start: an initiative for innovative Australian start-ups and small businesses, providing funding support and access to CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities to help grow and develop their business. 
  • Innovate to Grow: a free, 10-week online program designed to help SMEs progress their research and development (R&D) ideas. 
  • RISE Accelerator: provides support to startups and SMEs who are working on innovative technology and are considering overseas expansion between India and Australia. 

The flagship program of SME Connect, CSIRO Kick-Start, has supported more than 280 company-led research and development projects since its inception in 2017, with alumni companies holding a market value exceeding $2 billion.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic and CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Doug Hilton visited the successful Kick-Start program alumni Goterra in Canberra today to witness the groundbreaking progress achieved through its collaboration with CSIRO researchers. 

Goterra’s modular, autonomous waste management system uses insects and robotics to consume food waste.

For more information, visit https://www.csiro.au/sme

Quotes attributable to the Hon. Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science:

“Goterra is a great Aussie business built on great Aussie ideas and support from CSIRO’s small business programs.

“With today’s announcement, up to 750 more small businesses will get their chance to work with CSIRO to commercialise their ideas.

“We’re a pro-industry, pro-manufacturing, pro-jobs government which is really important for making these sorts of investments.

“Our Future Made in Australian plan, whether it’s our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund or our $392 Industry Growth Program, means there’s support for businesses big and small to make more things here.”