CSIRO has launched a free online innovation program for agrifood startups

- September 19, 2023 2 MIN READ
Drone, farm, agriculture, agtech
Photo: AdobeStock
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is offering a new online learning program for free for startups focused on innovation in agrifood.

The ‘Innovate to Grow: Agrifood’ program runs for 10 weeks from November and is designed to help early-stage companies assess how they can advance their technologies, solutions and ideas through research and development (R&D).

The program will begin 2 November and is available for a limited number of SMEs working across the following sub-sectors: complementary proteins; meat and meat processing; agriculture; aquaculture; livestock; beverage and/or fermentation; and food product manufacturing.

The program is bolstered by CSIRO’s Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission and Future Protein Mission, which both aim to ramp up production and revenue for the sector.

Dr Ryan McAllister, Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission Lead, said small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will play a pivotal role in transforming the agrifood sector and the program will equip them with the tools to do that.

“This initiative represents a step toward modernising how supply chains support agricultural exports, with programs such as Innovate to Grow set to equip SMEs with the insight required to play a part in achieving this mission,” he said.

“Our mission is centred around helping producers get their products into discerning markets that are willing to pay a premium for Australian quality and safety, fortified with trusted data that upholds our national brand.”

Dr Monika Szabo, CSIRO’s SME collaboration manager, said the program will help companies translate their ideas into viable commercial opportunities and understand how R&D can benefit their business.

“Over the course of this program, CSIRO and industry sector experts will equip you with the skills to assess the viability of your innovation, build a business case and prepare a strong funding application,” she said.

The ventures involved may also be able to access facilitation support, through CSIRO, to connect to research expertise nationally, along with dollar-matched R&D funding.

Expressions of interest for CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Agrifood program close on October 15. Learn more or apply now.