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CSIRO Announces New Cohort of Deep-Tech Founders

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has announced the 10 deep-tech game changers from Australia’s universities and research community selected to develop their high-potential innovative ventures through the ON Accelerate program.

CSIRO’s Chief Executive stated that the ON program has been part of transforming Australian innovation since 2015. He noted that CSIRO’s ON Programme 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.

The programme recognises that innovation thrives on diversity and doing things differently. When the old-school paradigms of leadership are redefined, financial performance and reinventing industries can be driven, he added.

Since its establishment in 2015, the ON Programme has seen the formation of 66 new companies, raising more than AU$110m in investment capital and creating more than 500 jobs. The CSIRO CE stated that he is excited about the potential for this cohort to continue to create the new industries Australia needs to thrive in our innovative future.

The 10 teams moving to the next stage of ON Accelerate are:

  • DHI, connected to Monash University, is harnessing AI to improve regulation technology to better detect and report discrepancies in listed companies’ disclosures.
  • Green Shield, also from Monash University, offers a class of materials that provide unique solutions for object camouflage, including radio frequency shielding.
  • Originating out of the University of Technology Sydney, the v2Algae team is creating a new biotechnology speciality ingredient manufacturing segment for Australia. This team is partnering with another great company, one born out of CSIRO technology, v2food.
  • A northern Queensland start-up that combines indigenous knowledge systems and modern electrokinetics to encourage fungi and plants’ natural systems to grow faster and increase yield was also chosen. The start-up is working alongside researchers at James Cook University.
  • The SpritzOMteam from Telethon Kids Institute is working to develop a low-cost nasal vaccine to prevent ear infections. There are no approved vaccines that successfully target the major pathogen responsible for the most common ear infections.
  • The Application Development team at WEHI 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.
  • A start-up 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, a team from CSIRO is helping tap into the phenomenal un-mined potential of the Internet of Things connected devices. They’re working to make smart devices even smarter.
  • CSIRO’s Reduced Sugar Juice team is working on naturally reducing the sugar content of juice drinks by up to 70% without negatively affecting their nutritional value.
  • CSIRO’s UpCell team has developed process technology for the super-efficient and scalable production of specialised performance proteins in food-appropriate quality, quantity and cost.

The successful teams will complete immersion week in early February, before undertaking the full 14-week ON Accelerate programme. The teams will be partnered with a curated team of experts and follow an individual development plan, helping to equip them with knowledge on everything start-up founders and researchers need to know to become a market-ready venture. Teams that complete the full ON Accelerate programme will graduate with a solid business model, a clear path to commercialisation and be a viable start-up.


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