Why all research teams should consider CSIRO’s ON Program

By Laura Jiew, CSIRO

Turrbal, Jagera and Yuggerah Country

Since 2015, CSIRO has helped thousands of researchers from within its own organisation and Australian universities to take their work from concept to market with the ON Program.

The ON Program is focused on helping researchers and scientists navigate the commercialisation process and bring their ideas to market.

ON Prime helps you think differently about your research

Smiling woman speaking on a stage in front of an audience with a red X in the background
Dr Dana Bradford said ON Prime allowed her team to test their thinking and validate their assumptions. Photo credit: TEDx Salon Sydney, 2018.

Dr Dana Bradford serves as a Principal Research Scientist at the Australian e-Health Research Centre, CSIRO’s digital health research program. Dr Bradford led the CONSULT Neurosurgical Tool team, which was part of the Prime 12 cohort at ON.

She recently completed the nine-week ON Prime program alongside teammates Dr Marita Prior, Daisy Hu and Dr Javier Urriola, supported by industry mentor Dr Anna Liu.

Dr Bradford said that while her team broadly knew who the market was for their research, ON Prime allowed them to test their thinking and validate their assumptions.

MRI image of a brain
CONSULT is an advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) processing and presenting software that will allow clinicians to identify key white matter pathways. It will show when surgical plans may disrupt vision, motor functions, bodily sensation or language.

“Participating in ON Prime offered us the ability to brainstorm our technology,” Dr Bradford said.

“Our team knew we were on to something with our neurosurgery tool CONSULT. It was developed by a previous postdoc, and we really wanted to increase the Technology Readiness Level of our software. ON Prime proved to be a great pathway for our team to achieve this,” she said.

“Through ON Prime, we were able to road-test ideas and the concept of our research project with an external audience. The experience gave us the opportunity to identify what works and what the technology and market application gaps are.

“We were particularly grateful for the time and invaluable expertise provided by our mentor. Completing ON Prime definitely equipped us with the ability to think outside of the box.”

ON Accelerate equips you with the skills to make the leap from researcher to CEO

Ms Penny Harth believes that as Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO has the unique ability to attract a wide range of diverse and highly promising innovative ventures.

Ms Penny Harth, Researcher Programs Manager for CSIRO’s ON Program, said there are two things that bring absolute richness to CSIRO’s ON Accelerate program: the calibre of participants and the diversity of innovation. 

“Our ecosystem attracts an amazing array of diversity in thinking. We’re incredibly lucky to be so well supported by a strong network of mentors, as well as our investment community partners who form an integral part of the program,” Ms Harth said.

To help program participants move from being a researcher to being a leader of a successful startup venture, they will be partnered with a curated team of experts and follow an individual development plan as they progress through the 14-week journey.

As part of the program, participants will also have the opportunity to meet with investors from Main Sequence, CSIRO's innovation fund, as well as other members of Australia’s deep tech venture capital community early in their ON Accelerate journey.

Want to know more?

Applications for ON Prime and ON Accelerate are open at various times. We encourage EMCR teams who are looking to drive impact through their research and technology to apply.

Be the first to hear the news and updates from CSIRO’s ON Program by subscribing to the mailing list, or reach out to the team via on@csiro.au


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