CSIRO equips SMEs in cybersec & digitech sectors with R&D tools

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO is offering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the cybersecurity and digital technology sectors critical research and development (R&D) know-how to grow their businesses, with the opportunity to participate in its free 10-week virtual program.

Under the newest round of the Innovate to Grow program, coordinated by CSIRO, small businesses will be linked to expert knowledge, resources, and mentors to help them validate and develop R&D ideas that could lead to commercial outcomes.

On completing the program, eligible participants can apply to work with CSIRO’s expert researchers and access dollar-matched R&D funding through the Kickstart program.

“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,” Dr Marthie Grobler, principal research scientist in human-centred cyber security at CSIRO’s Data61, 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 participated over the past two years, the agency said.

“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,” CSIRO’s SME Connect Program adviser Liz 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.”

This program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund.