Quarter-of-a-million dollars for scientific entrepreneurs

A partnership between CSIRO’s ON accelerator program and the Menzies Foundation will produce a 12-month fellowship for scientific entrepreneurs.

Three fellowships, worth $90,000 each, will enable scientists to translate their research to commercial outcomes, particularly those projects that are in the early stages of commercialisation.

While entrepreneurs in the beginning phase of their projects often have to turn to other sources of income to sustain themselves and their ideas, these fellowships will allow a singular focus on the design and execution of a venture.

“The Fellowship is about supporting the nation’s talented science entrepreneurs in the early stages of commercialisation to turn their ideas into the industries of the future,” said ON program executive manager, David Burt.

Funding from the fellowship will go towards the individual’s wage, prototyping, equipment costs, travel, and corporate overheads.

“We’ve seen some exceptional entrepreneurs coming out of the ON Program, and we’re excited to join with the Menzies Foundation to further support these outstanding entrepreneurs. This fellowship is a one-of-kind opportunity for early-stage scientists, and we can’t wait to watch the awarded fellows flourish,” said Burt.

ON is an arm of Australia’s science and research organisation that is focussed on taking innovative research and linking it to a commercial outcome with the prospect of growth. Since 2015, the accelerator has encouraged scientists and researchers to use their skills for a broad outcome.

For 40 years, the Menzies Foundation has leveraged the passion of leaders to pursue complex issues. The Foundation targets those whose work can inspire further change in three priority areas; entrepreneurship in science, leadership in our schools, and guiding Australia’s response to complex global legal issues.

“The Menzies Foundation and the ON Program have a longstanding commitment to supporting Australia’s science entrepreneurs. We’re thrilled to be able to support the inspirational scientists and academics making a profound difference to the world we live in,” said Menzies Foundation CEO, Liz Gillies.