CSIRO has revealed a groundbreaking accelerator program for late-stage startups and innovative small to medium-sized enterprises, focusing on circular economy technologies. In collaboration with the Indian government’s flagship innovation program, the initiative called the India Australia RISE Accelerator, aims to facilitate cross-border expansion opportunities between Australia and India, with a projected total value of approximately $19 million until June 2026.
Unveiling the India Australia RISE Accelerator Program
On Tuesday, CSIRO unveiled a new accelerator program catering to late-stage startups and small to medium-sized enterprises specialising in innovative circular economy technologies. This initiative, conducted in collaboration with the Indian government’s flagship innovation program, aims to facilitate cross-border expansion opportunities between Australia and India.
The program, known as the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator, is anticipated to be valued at approximately $19 million throughout its duration until June 2026. The inaugural cohort is set to commence in the coming year, offering participants grants of up to $75,000 and travel opportunities over a nine-month period.
This initiative is a partnership with the Indian government agency NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission.
Technology Development for Circular Economy Challenges
Businesses are required to develop technology solutions addressing one of four circular economy challenge statements. These solutions should encompass new or reimagined products that reduce waste, digital or data-driven innovations minimising inputs, or advancements in material design, engineering, and manufacturing.
Originally announced in March as the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge, RISE emerged following the first Australia-India Annual Summit held across multiple Indian cities. The Australian federal government has committed $9.5 million to the program, with the Indian government co-investing and matching contributions in the remaining two rounds.
To participate, Australian businesses must have an annual turnover below $20 million and their technology developed to at least technology readiness level 7. Companies at technology readiness levels 5 or 6, with proven solutions in laboratory testing conditions, will be considered if there’s clear potential for rapid advancement through expansion into India or Australia.
RISE Accelerator’s main objective, according to program director Tamara Ogilvie, is to support startups with mature technologies in expanding into India and Australia. The nine-month program will help startups navigate early steps in new regions, establish connections, and build credibility in international markets.
Global Collaboration and Cultural Literacy
Pramit Dash, lead of the Atal Innovation Mission’s RISE Accelerator, emphasised the program’s role in supporting businesses to validate and adapt their technology and research overseas. It offers a genuine opportunity for startups from Australia and India to collaborate with industry and researchers in their target markets, fostering cultural literacy and meaningful bilateral industry and research collaborations.
This circular economy initiative complements other collaborations with India, including the International Space Investment India grants program and the ongoing Australia-India strategic research fund, which has been active since 2006, providing grants for joint applications between Australian and Indian partners.
Applications for the RISE program close on January 7, 2024.
The India Australia RISE Accelerator program is ready to bring new ideas and collaborations, helping both Australia and India move forward together towards a more sustainable future.
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