National science agency, CSIRO, has chosen 10 deep-tech startups, including three of its own ideas, for its revived ON Accelerate program.
The program, which first began in 2015, was shut down in late 2019, having created 66 new companies, more than 500 jobs, and raising more than $110m in investment capital. This will be the 7th ON Accelerate.
With an increased focus on research commercialisation from the federal government, CSIRO has now revived the ON Accelerate program for universities and publicly funded research agencies, with the new program kicking off in early 2023 with 10 teams.
The program is designed to prepare and equip nascent teams for the hustle of deep tech startup life.
CEO Dr Larry Marshall, who steps down from the role in June next year after three terms, said CSIRO solves Australia’s greatest challenges with science.
“There is no greater challenge than our innovation dilemma – solve that and we can solve anything. CSIRO’s ON Program has become a world-leading innovation catalyst because it inspires Australia’s scientists to turn their science into real world solutions for our greatest challenges,” he said.
“ON recognises that innovation thrives on diversity and doing things differently. When you redefine old school paradigms of leadership, you can drive financial performance and reinvent industries.”
The 10 companies involved start with an immersion week in early February, before the full 14-week ON Accelerate program.
Teams will be partnered with experts and follow an individual development plan, helping to equip them with knowledge on everything startup founders and researchers need to know to become a market-ready venture.
Dr Marshall said the teams that complete the full ON Accelerate program will graduate with a solid business model, a clear path to commercialisation, and be a viable startup.
The 10 teams in the 2023 ON Accelerate are:
- DHI (Monash University), which is harnessing AI to improve regulation technology to better detect and report discrepancies of listed companies’ disclosures.
- Green Shield (Monash), which offers a class of materials that provide unique solutions for object camouflage, including radio frequency shielding.
- v2Algae (UTS), which is creating a new biotechnology specialty ingredient manufacturing segment for Australia. This team is partnering with another great company, one born out of CSIRO technology, v2food.
- Rainstick (James Cook Uni) is a northern Queensland startup combining indigenous knowledge systems and modern electrokinetics to encourage fungi and plants’ natural systems to grow faster and increase yield. It’s working with researchers at James Cook University.
- SpritzOM (Telethon Kids Institute) is working to develop a low-cost nasal vaccine to prevent ear infections. There are no approved vaccines that successfully targets the major pathogen responsible for the most common ear infections.
- Application Development (WEHI – formerly the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute), which has developed an information system to manage animals in research environments. Through venture creation, the team will deliver a solution that helps organisations working with animals improve their ethical treatment, lower the cost and improve efficiency.
- Thaum (ANU), is a startup team from the ANU Research School of Physics deep-tech incubator Momentum, is commercialising WhalePOD. WhalePOD’s disruptive vision capabilities help offshore industries implement harm mitigation strategies to protect marine mammals.
- Cognitag (CSIRO), which is helping tap into the phenomenal un-mined potential of Internet of Things connected devices. They’re working to make smart devices even smarter.
- Reduced Sugar Juice (CSIRO), which is working on naturally reducing the sugar content of juice drinks by up to 70 percent without negatively affecting their nutritional value.
- UpCell (CSIRO), which has developed a process technology for the super-efficient and scalable production of specialised performance proteins in food-appropriate quality, quantity and cost.