February 21, 2024

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Fostering Circular Economy Startups Across India and Australia

Image credit: aim.gov.in/rise.php

NITI Aayog, in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, initiated the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to bolster circular economy startups from both countries, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Startups and small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and Australia working on circular economy technologies and solutions will benefit from a new accelerator programme designed to open new doors to explore opportunities between the two countries. This initiative offers vital support to innovative tech ventures eyeing expansion across borders between the two nations.

Image credits: RISE Accelerator Program Launch, Atal Innovation Mission Official, YouTube

The nine-month accelerator programme enables Australian and Indian innovators and industry partners to tackle shared national and global challenges. The programme focuses on environment and climate technologies. The first round will focus on startups and SMEs with an innovative business model, technology, and/or resource ingenuity that will support India’s and Australia’s transition to a circular economy.

Mr Manpreet Vohra, High Commissioner of India to Australia said, “In the dynamic landscape of international relations, the strategic partnership between India and Australia stands as a testament to our shared values, economic interests, and geopolitical objectives that bind the two nations together. The RISE Accelerator will not only strengthen diplomatic ties but also pave the way for collaborative efforts across various domains.”

“RISE Accelerator stands as a pioneering multi-year bilateral programme, uniquely crafted between India and Australia, dedicated to addressing the shared challenges of both economies. Focused on the overarching theme of environment and climate technology, RISE provides a platform for startups to innovate solutions that transcend global challenges,” said Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

Tamara Ogilvie, CSIRO’s RISE Accelerator programme director said the programme focuses on startups and SMEs that have mature technologies and a desire to expand between India and Australia.

“Over the nine-month RISE Accelerator programme, we’ll help startups navigate early steps in a new region, fast-track connections to the right partners, customers and talent, and build credibility to succeed in international markets,” Ms Ogilvie said. “For the first round of RISE Accelerator, we’re calling for startups and SMEs developing innovative business models, technologies, and or resource ingenuity to support India’s and Australia’s transition to a circular economy.”

Pramit Dash, AIM’s RISE Accelerator lead said the Australian and Indian startups would be well supported to validate and adapt their technology and research overseas. “This is a real opportunity for startups from Australia and India to work with industry and researchers in their target market. As well as developing cultural literacy, participants will develop meaningful bilateral industry and research collaborations.”

The first round of the programme aligns with CSIRO’s Circular Economy for Missions initiative, which is focused on creating a sustainable future built on waste innovation. Heinz Schandl, CSIRO’s Circular Economy for MissionsLead said that it is important to design materials and products with a zero-waste mindset.

“A circular economy means products are designed in such a way that they can be used again, or even multiple times, to maximise their value,” Dr Schandl said. “We hope this programme will help to accelerate technologies and solutions to grow economies, create jobs and reduce waste.”

There is no charge for startups to participate in the programme, which will be delivered virtually, with several opportunities to travel between Australia and India. Participating startups may also be eligible for up to INR 40,00,000 in non-equity grants. Applications for the RISE Accelerator programme are open now and will close on Saturday 7 January 2024.


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