CSIRO launches program to innovate health and medtech SMEs

Australia’s national science research agency, the CSIRO, has announced the launch of a free program aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the health and medtech sectors grow and develop new products and services.

According to data from the CSIRO, Australia is home to more than 1,000 companies working in the medtech and pharmaceutical sectors alone. Many of these businesses are SMEs that struggle with the transition from research and development (R&D) to a viable product.

The agency has now opened applications for the 10-week Innovate to Grow program, which promises to arm SMEs with the knowledge and tools to better identify and understand their R&D opportunities, as well as to develop actionable business plans to advance their innovative idea.

Michelle Armistead, CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow coordinator, said the program presents a “great opportunity” for businesses looking to turn an idea into a viable research and development opportunity and can, she added, provide invaluable connections to industry experts.

“With assistance from experienced researchers and innovation experts, participants in the program will work with a mentor to examine their technical and business challenges, explore their research and development opportunities, learn tips for partnering with research organisations and develop strong funding applications,” Armistead said.

“After completing the program, eligible participants may be able to access continued support through the CSIRO, such as being connected to national research expertise or dollar-matched R&D funding to keep moving their ideas forward.”

Susie Nilsson, biomedical manufacturing research director at the CSIRO, added that support for these growing businesses to pursue new treatments and technologies would also serve to boost economic growth and help people live healthier and more productive lives.

Innovate to Grow: Health and Medtech is open to SMEs working in the following sub-sectors:

  • Health & Nutrition
  • Digital Health
  • Botanical pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals
  • Diagnostics, Biosensors & Biomedical Devices
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Drug Discovery
  • Vaccines & Biologic Therapeutics