CSIRO assists SMEs working in renewables

Wednesday, 29 May, 2024

CSIRO assists SMEs working in renewables

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has opened up its latest ‘Innovate to Grow’ program for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) working in renewable energy. This includes the following sub-sectors:

  • Energy storage
  • Electrification
  • Energy modelling and integrated systems
  • Carbon management
  • Renewable energy
  • Renewable heat
  • Sustainable fuels
  • Other

Since launching in 2020, the Innovate to Grow program has equipped over 600 SMEs with the knowledge and tools to explore research and development (R&D) opportunities, and to develop actionable R&D business and funding plans.

The new Innovate to Grow: Clean Energy program is the result of a partnership between CSIRO and Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (TRaCE).

Successful applicants will receive access to a free online program where they will be guided through their technical or business challenges by expert facilitators and experienced researchers.

Fionna Millikan, Head of Business Development from Green Gravity, participated in CSIRO’s 2023 Innovate to Grow: Energy program. She said the practical advice helped her business to generate new opportunities.

“The program was very practical and hands-on. [Our facilitator] Tony was an excellent steward and mentor, provided valuable advice and connected me with potential research partners,” Millikan said.

The program is driven by the conviction that SMEs play a crucial role in driving innovation, especially in the renewable energy sector.

Professor Emmanuel Mastio, Executive Director of TRaCE, said SMEs, scaleups and startups are key to building sovereign supply chains on Australia’s path to a clean energy economy.

“We need to bring our universities into the fold and see a shift in our approach where SMEs and industry are provided greater support to commercialise their innovations and de-risk investment at speed,” Mastio said.

“At TRaCE, we are extremely focused on emissions reductions and our path to net zero. We jumped at the opportunity to extend our ecosystem of support through CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow program’s Clean Energy series.”

CSIRO’s Director of Energy, Dr Dietmar Toubier, said Australia is well positioned to establish itself as a global leader in clean energy.

“We have all the ingredients here in Australia for the critical energy minerals that are required to power the clean energy transition,” he said.

“There’s an International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis that shows Australia can have the lowest-cost clean energy of all OECD countries — we want to help achieve that.”

Applications close on 23 June 2024. For more information, or to apply for the ‘Innovate to Grow’: Clean Energy program, click here.

Image credit: iStock.com/Galeanu Mihai

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