CSIRO offers free program to space SMEs

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The national science agency will support up to 25 small to medium businesses working in the Australian space sector with a new program that offers training, mentorship, and access to research facilities.

CSIRO on Wednesday opened applications for the new Innovate to Grow: Space program, a free 10-week online service delivered in partnership with the Australian Space Agency.

Designed to boost innovation and local space research and development, the program has previously been offered to agrifood and cybersecurity SMEs.

CSIRO is offering support to Australian SMEs in the growing space sector

CSIRO, which has been involved space projects for 75 years, will take between 20 and 25 SMEs working in the space sector in the new program.

It will link SMEs with CSIRO experts and those from the Australian Space Agency, assist with grant applications and provide access to CSIRO research facilities and infrastructure.

The sector is growing rapidly following federal and state government support, with several launch and launch facility licences granted in the last year and local companies raising millions in funding.

CSIRO Space Research Program Director Dr Kimberley Clayfield said collaboration will be key to growing Australia’s revamped space sector.

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

CSIRO research released earlier this year found Australian SMEs that collaborate with researchers are more successful overall than those which do not, and are much more likely to create new IP. The report is underpinning a push by the science agency to double the number of SMEs that engage with publicly-funded R&D in Australia by 2025

The Australian Space Agency was founded in 2018 as part of a push to grow the local sector. The agency has a goal to double local space jobs and grow the domestic sector to and $12 billion by 2030.

Applications for the Innovate to Grow: Space program are open until 22 November.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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