Do you have a business idea that could potentially change the industry? Make a difference with CSIRO Kick-start, a program that supports innovation and encourages creative thinking.
About the program
This financial incentive is aimed at Australian startups and small businesses in need of funding and research expertise in order to develop and test novel products with strong commercial potential.
Through the Kick Start program the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) offers matched funding of up to $50,000.
Funding recipients and the relevant CSIRO research team will negotiate the final budget, payment arrangements and project scope, with the Kick-Start program acting as facilitator.
CSIRO can help cover some of the costs of the project, including:
- Researchers’ salary
- Administrative and overhead costs
- Travel fare and accommodations, if applicable
- Access to external facilities, service providers, or contractors
- Operating consumables
Only 20% or less of the project budget can be allotted to the last two items combined.
However, CSIRO Kick-Start does not cover the following:
- Infrastructure costs
- Capital works expenditures
Aside from providing matched funding, CSIRO also maintains meaningful engagement with SMEs from start to finish, assisting with the application process and helping ensure positive outcomes.
The agency’s small to medium enterprises (SME) Connect Team works alongside grant recipients in identifying key research activities and project scoping. The team will also introduce Australian businesses to researchers with relevant knowledge and expertise.
Projects under the CSIRO Kick-start project must be for less 12 months. Applicants must also be able to provide matched funding.
CSIRO Kick-Start success stories
Bio-Gene, an Australian biotechnology company dedicated to developing a new class of environmentally friendly insecticides, received matched funding of $50,000 in 2017 under the CSIRO Kick-Start program.
The company has patented two innovative products, Qcide™, a natural-based oil product extracted from native eucalyptus, and FLAVOCIDE™, a chemical product developed to mimic the properties of Eucalyptus extract.
Both products have been shown to be effective against insects that damage crops, livestock, and public health, particularly mites, fleas, and mosquitoes that carry the Zika and Dengue viruses. The products are also non-toxic, and are effective against insects without them developing a natural resistance to the insecticides.
Bio-Gene has raised over $7.1 million in funding to date.
Another CSIRO beneficiary, TomCar Australia, was among the first recipients of matched funding. The company was founded in 2005 and brought its first product to market in 2012.
After conducting $100,000 feasibility testing, the company developed prototypes for an electric vehicle with CSIRO throughout 2017, with a planned product launch in 2018.
Who can tap the program?
If there’s a novel product idea you want to test out, you may be eligible for the program. Minimum requirements include:
- Australian Company Number (ACN)
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration
- Less than $1.5 million annual turnover in the current and last two financial years
- Company registration of less than three years
Applicants must be able to show that they can produce their share of the project’s funding. They may also apply for a second round of matched funding after completing the first one.
Do you qualify for CSIRO Kick-start? Find out by talking to a grants specialist at Pattens. We offer professional advice on more than 1,000 government grants and incentives for Australian SMEs.