Turning ON Australia’s Science & Technology Accelerator

How to build a nationally available accelerator to support publicly funded science & technology research make real-world impact faster

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Liza Noonan

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Outcomes and impact of the case
In FY 2015/16 - before Federal Govt funding was made available - ON was established to exclusively support CSIRO research teams.
In its first 12 months it delivered:
o 5 ON Primes for 41 teams and 234 people
o 2 ON Accelerates for 20 teams and 98 people
With the following impact:
o 11 teams received follow on incubation funding from CSIRO
o 2 teams have spun out of CSIRO
o 1 team has received a significant government grant for experimental development
o 1 team has sold a commercial license of their technology

Since July 1st 2016 ON has
o Signed partner agreements with 22 Australian Universities & 1 PFRA to officially be part of the ON ecosystem – this is 50% of the eligible catchment.
o Each partner organisation has assigned an ON Program coordinator to build awareness of the ON offering and also motivate teams to apply
o Launched its first ON Prime for the new expanded network receiving 160 entries
o Offered 40 teams from 18 research organisations a place in ON Prime -
o Delivery of 5 ON Primes will commence in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Brisbane from September 20th

The best testimonials for ON’s impact are the researchers and industry mentors involved in the program. These testimonials – all available on the ON website – include:

Andrew Bean, CSIRO Research Team Leader,
ON Accelerate 1 - Team Vaximiser:

“At the start of ON we had a proof of concept idea but we didn’t know what its’ value was. Flu vaccines are grown in eggs and using clever biology we’ve developed an egg that maximises vaccine production. What ON did for us was to test that, to go out there and validate it. It really gave us the impetus to develop it and expand it into a true product area where we could then interact with industry and that’s the phase we’re at right now. We’re hoping to get the numbers that we need to go into industrial trials with some of the largest vaccine producers in the world.”

Professor Michael Whitford, Research Leader at Macquarie University
ON Accelerate 2 – Team Modular Photonics
“I was originally cynical about ON because we’re already selling products and so we thought we knew what it took to actually take our company forward. We are the only game in town that has an integrated chip solution that is compact and affordable. Before I came in the ON program we actually had a fairly rigid and single minded business model in place. What the ON program has done for us is actually get us out there, out of our comfort zone, talking to the industry and in the process of doing that we’ve actually developed a new product line. This would not have happened without the ON program. We’re actually already on track to make our first million dollars in sales”

Andrew Lamble, Co-Founder Envizi, Australian Alliance to Save Energy
ON Mentor
“I’ve learnt a lot from ON but I think I’ve also brought some experience and some grey hair that’s really helped the younger people and the scientists who don’t think as commercially as perhaps myself with a commercial background. It gives them an opportunity to see the other side of research, the other side of innovation and technology and to see the scientists embracing that has been a pleasure to watch. Having ON is critical because there is so much going on in Australia around innovation and there is so much opportunity for us to create new industries and new export revenue for the country and CSIRO are embracing that and innovation is going to allow us to play on that global stage.”