CSIRO program to provide R&D support to cyber and digitech SMEs

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has announced a new round of its Innovate to Grow program which will equip small to SMEs in the cyber security and digital technology sectors with critical research and development (R&D) know-how to grow their businesses.

CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow program will provide the chosen SMEs with links to expert knowledge, resources, and mentors, which will overall help validate and develop their R&D ideas into potential commercial outcomes. Upon completion, eligible participants can apply to work with CSIRO’s expert researchers and access dollar-matched R&D funding through the Kickstart program.

Dr Marthie Grobler, Principal Research Scientist in human-centred cyber security at CSIRO’s Data61 strongly urged eligible businesses to consider applying to stay at the forefront of research impact in these critical sectors.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of Australia, and many have innovative business ideas and solutions that could help mitigate cyber security threats and deliver a positive impact to other Australian businesses and the economy,” Grobler said. “These businesses tend to face a myriad of challenges in bringing their ideas to life, namely investment of money, time and resources. This is where a program like Innovate to Grow, which is free to access, is so valuable for Australian businesses.”

The Innovate to Grow program has seen growing interest and success with each cohort that has opened in the past two years. CSIRO’s SME Connect Program Advisor Liz Crompton said this next iteration is no exception.

“The expansion of the cybersecurity program to include digital technology means that more SMEs across the sector will have the opportunity to take advantage of this free program,” Crompton said. “The program is giving SMEs the opportunity to develop their ideas into a real-world R&D project, leading to potential commercial outputs, revenue and/or employment growth.”

Australian companies working on innovative ideas incorporating cybersecurity or digital technology are invited to apply before 17 September. The program will commence on 12 October.

CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Cyber Security and Digital Technology program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund.