CSIRO ON Prime and why it’s a must for Canberra researchers

Are you a researcher looking to explore the impact of your work? Do you want to learn skills to attract resources and funding to your project?

Then look no further than CSIRO’s ON Prime Program. Occurring twice per year, the program is perfect for those wanting to gain confidence and skills to discover your perfect customer or partner and validate your market to enable you to take your research further. But get in quick –  this competitive program is closing for applications on Wednesday 14 February 2024!

Since 2015, the ON Program (which includes ON Prime and ON Accelerate) has helped more than 3,500 people from 52 Australian research organisations turn their science into real-world solutions. Alumni from the program have raised $358+ million in investment capital and secured $320+ million commercialisation grants. Focusing on building the skills of teams from universities and publicly funded research agencies, some notable alumni include researchers who are a part of teams from Quantum Brilliance, Wildlife Drones, Prism Neuro and Nomad Atomics, all companies formed and based in Canberra that are taking their innovation to the world.

You don’t have to be pursuing traditional commercialisation for this program to be relevant to you. Alumni have found the program useful in developing skills to find new industry partners and build stronger applications for funding like grants.

During the nine weeks of ON Prime, you will not only develop a deep understanding of who can most benefit from your research but also sharpen your skills to communicate with them. Say goodbye to blank faces when you’re explaining what your research is. Say hello to interested and positive conversations with potential industry partners and customers.

Some key outcomes from ON Prime for teams include:

  • Uplifting industry engagement skills and establishing new industry partnerships
  • Shaping the focus of your industry engagement
  • Improving clarity around the impact and focus of your research
  • Exploring new applications or sectors for existing technology
  • Testing assumptions before applying for grant or funding
  • Attracting new funding sources
  • Gaining market evidence to support internal strategic funding
  • Stress testing through market validation
  • De-risking commercialisation risks prior to investment stage

Throughout the program, you’ll have access to team coaching with your cohort facilitator between the fortnightly workshops. Additionally, you’ll benefit from one-on-one guidance from your assigned innovation mentor during the intervals between sessions. Expert facilitators will support you throughout to build the impact of your research so you can change the world.

Irene Zhen, Innovation Program Manager at the Canberra Innovation Network, is a facilitator for the program – so we know you will be in good hands. She says, “ON Prime is an excellent way towards making an impact with your research and a great way to test the waters with your project”.

To participate in ON Prime, you need a team of two to five people, with one person being a researcher at an Australian research organisation.

Not sure if you will have the time to commit? While ON Prime runs for 9 weeks, there will be in-person and virtual facilitated sessions over only six days, with homework in between.

Irene states “While there is a time commitment to this program, participants have found the dedicated time and focus useful to really develop their skills and make real progress towards their goals.”.

ON Prime15 is now open for applications and will close on February 14 2024. It is anticipated that the delivery for this round will run from April to June 2024. To be notified of all future rounds, please subscribe to the mailing list.