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VR assisted learning, solar forecasting, screening for gut disorders with wearable tech among 10 ideas in latest round of ON Accelerate

VR assisted learning

Ten teams have been selected
for the latest round of CSIRO’s (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation) ON Accelerate, a
structured, full-time accelerator that brings together the experience and
expertise of established researchers, entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors.

In the 18 months since CSIRO opened the ON accelerator to
universities and publicly funded research agencies under the National
Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), it has graduated
200 teams of researchers with the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to
fast-track great science and technology innovation from the lab to reality.

The 10 selected ideas to be fast-tracked through this
round of ON Accelerate are:

  • Virtual reality technology that
    allows carers to learn by doing, safely – The University of Newcastle
  • A tool for preventing faults in
    power network assets before energy catastrophes hit – Curtin University
  • A solar forecasting system –
    CSIRO, Energy
  • An acoustic belt that uses the
    natural noises of the gut for health screening – The University of Western
  • An on-the-go field tool for
    reliable and transportable water monitoring – James Cook University
  • A new pest detection system that
    cuts costs and time delays for Aussie prawn farmers – CSIRO Agriculture and
  • An alternative to the expensive
    and cumbersome ‘leaky gut’ test for suspected sufferers – CSIRO Health and
  • A new way to beat the current
    costs and delays in new drug development – Macquarie University
  • On the spot testing for elite
    athletes and their sport scientists – The University of Western Australia
  • A small wind turbine that can
    produce nearly twice the power than existing wind turbines of the same size –
    The University of Newcastle

The 10 successful teams were chosen by ON's industry mentor
network and an expert judging panel of Liddy McCall co-founder of Yuuwa
Capital, COO of Performance Assurance Ruth Marshall and Martin Duursma from
CSIRO's Main
Sequence Ventures
, following a competitive two-day bootcamp.

The teams come from the University of Newcastle, Flinders
University, Macquarie University, The University of Western Australia, James
Cook University and CSIRO. These teams join successful graduates of the ON
accelerator like Cardihab (smartphone
apps and web portals to facilitate cardiac rehabilitation), Silentium Defence (passive radar
systems) and ePat (assessing
pain through facial recognition technology and non-facial pain cues). 

ON Accelerate4 will commence in February 2018 and will run
for twelve weeks in hubs across the country, where teams will develop business
planning, commercialisation and pitching skills.

The program culminates in 'ON Demo Night' where teams will
pitch their innovations to an audience of industry experts, investors and
potential partners for further funding and support for commercialisation.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Larry Marshall said that ON had
uncovered science and technology solutions for some of Australia’s biggest
challenges in energy, food and agriculture, water quality, wildlife
conservation and health.

“The program is built on the shoulders of scientists who
have made the leap into business, and likewise business people who have leapt
into the world of science. Bridging the gap between science and business, ON
delivers in a similar way to the prestigious US I-Corps program, which is
probably the most successful accelerator in the world,” Dr. Marshall said.

He added, “The key advantage of ON is that it is backed by
the national science agency, and almost every university has jumped in with us
to support ON.”

Tony Tucker from the 'eDNA Field Pump' team at James Cook
University in Townsville said ON had completely changed his view on
commercialisation and the value in unlocking important Australian

“When we came into Bootcamp, I was initially sceptical about
what we could get out of the program, and wasn’t sure what we could actually
achieve. But I'm completely won over by the ON program – I now know why this
experience is so important. The feedback from the mentors and judging panel
helped me see how we could have an even greater impact. We weren't thinking big
enough. Now I know we can push our technology to even more applications for the
world,” Mr. Tucker said.

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