CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Space program applications are open

Innovate to Grow

Image credit: CSIRO.

CSIRO has opened applications for its new Innovate to Grow: Space program for SMEs working in the space sector, to accelerate growth in Australia’s burgeoning space industry. 

Supported by the Australian Space Agency, the program will support 20-25 SMEs through mentoring from leading space experts, access to world-class research facilities and infrastructure, and support to navigate grant application processes. 

Innovate to Grow: Space is a free 10-week training program designed to boost research and development by Australian small businesses in industries with high innovation potential, like space, agrifood, plastic waste, net zero and cybersecurity.  

Collaboration is key to growing Australia’s space industry, CSIRO Space Research Program director Dr Kimberley Clayfield said. 

“CSIRO works with leading global companies, international space agencies and small-to-medium businesses on a variety of space-related activities,” Clayfield said. 

“SMEs have a lot to contribute and when combined with our strong capabilities in Earth observation, robotics, advanced manufacturing and communications, the sky is no limit to what we can achieve together.” 

Newcastle-based Bestie Kitchen founder Amanda Falconer participated in the Agrifood round of Innovate to Grow: Space. 

“Innovate to Grow really made research accessible. Before the program, I thought there was no way that a tiny company like mine could work with CSIRO or a university. Now it has been demystified!” Falconer said. 

Following the program, Bestie Kitchen participated in CSIRO’s Kick-Start program, received Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) commercialisation funding and began scaled manufacturing from its new factory. 

According to CSIRO SME Collaboration lead Dr George Feast, the program built on rich foundations. 

“Innovate to Grow: Space is another example of how we’re working to develop innovative technologies and capabilities and support the growth of the Australian space industry,” Feast said. 

“With so many incredible opportunities on offer here and globally, we’re committed to helping SMEs understand how to best engage with a R&D partner and understand how to get the most benefit for their needs.” 

CSIRO has over 75 years of space-related experience and operates a range of facilities, research programs and industry development activities contributing to the Australian space sector. CSIRO is growing its space capabilities in a wide variety of areas with the aim of generating new innovations that will benefit our nation and help provide new opportunities for the space sector.  

The Australian Space Agency aims to support Australia to significantly grow its domestic sector from around 10,000 jobs and a market size of $3.9 billion to up to another 20,000 jobs and $12 billion by 2030, with further jobs and economy growth from spill over effects. 

CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Space is delivered using Practera’s online ed-tech platform and facilitation services. 

Applications are open until 22 November. For more information, click here.