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National Innovation and Science Agenda is taking more new innovations from the lab to the marketplace

9 December 2016

Ten new science and technology innovations including new radar technology for the Australian Defence Force and a standardised cancer treatment for animals have been selected for the third round of CSIRO’s ON accelerator program.

Funded as part of the Turnbull Government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, ‘ON, powered by CSIRO’ is Australia’s sci-tech accelerator and is designed to fast-track great science and technology innovation from the lab to reality.

The ten teams announced today draw from Flinders University, Macquarie University, RMIT, The University of Newcastle, The University of Western Australia, the Defence Science and Technology Group and CSIRO.

The ten big innovations that will be fast-tracked through the 3rd round of ON Accelerate are:

  • Australian Silicon Photonics (RMIT): A low-cost, low-energy solution for datacentre operators to help them manage increased data volumes while reducing energy consumption and environmental impact;
  • Going for Gold (CSIRO): A safe and cost effective replacement for cyanide that will allow miners to recover more gold from the precious resource while protecting communities and the environment;
  • DentalAR (University of Western Australia): Augmented reality for dentists to improve patient treatment and reduce time spent in ‘the chair’; 
  • NutriThick (Flinders University): An easy to drink, non-dairy and non-animal supplement for highly bioavailable calcium based on Australian seaweed that could provide the boost needed by over 1 in 2 Australians that suffer from calcium deficiency;
  • RadVet (University of Newcastle): A standardised and effective treatment for skin cancer in animals;
  • Passive Radar (Defence Science and Technology Group): New passive radar technology that will allow the Australian Defence Force to maintain their situational awareness without advertising their presence;
  • DetectORE (CSIRO): A simple, cost-effective solution for detecting gold in the field that will transform work processes and increase efficiency and returns for geologists;
  • D-tech IT (CSIRO): New rapid video analysis technology that will allow species identification of fish at the ‘point-of-catch’ to enable safer fishing practices and endangered species protection;  
  • Green and Gold (CSIRO): A new technology that will increase capacity for production of renewable oils from plants to meet growing global demand for food oils, industrial chemicals and renewable fuels; and
  • LuciGem (Macquarie University): New medical technology that uses nano-sized particles of ruby and diamond to ‘light-up’ human systems to ‘see the unseen’ and improve patient diagnosis and treatment.  

The research teams will commence a 12 week program to commercialise their research, guided by mentors from industry, science and commercialisation in January 2017 and will culminate in a ‘pitch event’ to industry to secure further funds and partners for commercialisation in April 2017.

The Turnbull Government is also helping researchers to commercialise their discoveries and inventions through the $200 million CSIRO Innovation Fund, which was launched earlier this month.

The CSIRO Innovation Fund will invest in new ventures, some of which may be generated by CSIRO’s ON accelerator – and include exciting new projects such as those announced today.

ON is making significant inroads to connect and improve collaboration between our research agencies and universities, and between research and industry, to improve our global OECD research to industry collaboration ranking and increase positive outputs from research.

In the five months since CSIRO opened the accelerator to all Australian universities and publicly funded research agencies, it has exposed more than 200 researchers to the business and entrepreneurial skills required to understand the customer first, and how to deliver maximum national benefit from their research.

Research teams in ON have completed more than 3,000 customer calls with industries from health to mining and minerals, defence, technology and manufacturing to understand the customers’ challenges and how their sci-tech proposition can support.

The result has been much greater uptake and engagement from industry with the solutions research can deliver – 13 new partnerships or customer agreements signed and more than $1.5 million in external funds secured by ON graduates.

The combined impact of these big innovations is expected to be felt by all Australians in the form of new jobs, new ways to address some of our biggest social challenges and new opportunities to help industries who are transitioning to compete and grow.

For more information about CSIRO’s ON accelerator, visit: www.csiro.au/on

For more information on the CSIRO Innovation Fund, visit: www.csiro.au/innovationfund

Media contacts: Mr Hunt's office 02 6277 7070