National science agency CSIRO has chosen 10 deep-tech startups, including three of its own ideas, for its revitalization ON Accelerate program.
The program, which first started in 2015, was shut down at the end of 2019, after it created 66 new companies, created more than 500 jobs and raised more than $110 million in investment capital. This will be the 7th ON Accelerate.
With an increased focus on the commercialization of federal government research, CSIRO has now revived the ON Accelerate program for universities and government-funded research firms, with the new program launching in early 2023 with 10 teams.
The program is designed to prepare and equip emerging teams for the hustle and bustle of deep tech startup life.
CEO Dr. Larry Marshall, who will retire after three terms in June next year, said CSIRO is solving Australia’s biggest challenges with science.
“There is no greater challenge than our innovation dilemma – solve that and we can solve anything. CSIRO’s ON program has become a leading innovation catalyst as it inspires Australian scientists to turn their science into real-world solutions to our greatest challenges,” he said.
“ON recognizes that innovation thrives on diversity and doing things differently. When you redefine old-fashioned leadership paradigms, you can drive financial performance and reinvent industries.”
The 10 companies involved will start with an immersion week in early February, prior to the full 14-week ON Accelerate program.
Teams collaborate with experts and follow an individual development plan, gaining knowledge of everything startup founders and researchers need to know to become a market-ready venture.
Dr. Marshall said the teams that complete the full ON Accelerate program will graduate with a solid business model, a clear path to commercialization and be a viable startup.
The 10 teams in ON Accelerate 2023 are:
- DHI (Monash University), which uses AI to improve regulatory technology to better detect and report discrepancies in public company disclosures.
- Green Shield (Monash), which offers a class of materials that provide unique solutions for object camouflage, including radio frequency shielding.
- v2Algae (UTS), which is creating a new biotechnology specialty manufacturing segment for Australia. This team is partnered with another great company born of CSIRO technology, v2food.
- Rainstick (James Cook Uni) is a north Queensland startup that combines indigenous knowledge systems and modern electrokinetics to encourage fungi and the natural systems of plants to grow faster and increase yields. It collaborates with researchers at James Cook University.
- SpritzOM (Telethon Kids Institute) is developing a cheap nasal vaccine to prevent ear infections. There are no approved vaccines that successfully target the main pathogen responsible for the most common ear infections.
- Application development (WEHI – formerly the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute), which has developed an information system to manage animals in research environments. Through the venture, the team will deliver a solution that helps organizations that work with animals improve their ethical treatment, reduce costs and improve efficiency.
- Thaum (ANU), a startup team from the ANU Research School of Physics deep-tech incubator Momentum, is commercializing WhalePOD. WhalePOD’s disruptive vision capabilities help offshore industries implement harm reduction strategies to protect marine mammals.
- Cognitag (CSIRO), helping to tap into the phenomenal untapped potential of Internet of Things connected devices. They are working to make smart devices even smarter.
- Reduced sugar juice (CSIRO), which works to naturally reduce the sugar content of juice drinks by up to 70 percent without negatively impacting nutritional value.
- UpCell (CSIRO), which has developed a process technology for the super-efficient and scalable production of specialized performance proteins in food grade quality, quantity and cost.