Australia’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) launched with much fanfare in 2015 is winding down with projects and funding drying up.
The latest casualty is CSIRO’s ON Accelerator programme which is to be closed as NISA ‘expires’ on 30 June 2020.
The ON programme aimed at supporting teams of researchers from publicly funded research organisations to take their ideas out of the lab through products and services through commercialisation.
ON has trained more than 1,440 researchers from 40 universities and research institutes, 600 CSIRO staff and 200 from industry, government and the community.
Fifty two new companies were created resulting in 226 new jobs.
Participants attracted more than $30.4 million in commercialisation grants and 13 companies raised a total of over $36 million of investment capital.
Funded by the innovation agenda to the tune of $20 million over four years, two final ON programs remain to be completed: the 7th ON Prime, and 6th ON Accelerator rounds.
These will culminate in a final Demo Day on 7 May 2020, where ON teams will share their research and developing companies with their peers and potential investors.
The innovation agenda was the brainchild of prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, but the government lost interest after only a year when the agenda failed to cut through with the public.
Since that time Australia’s R&D effort has flagged, with national spending falling below 2.0 per cent of gross domestic product.
By Peter Roberts – AuManufacturing.com.au
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