Free ten week R&D course on offer for critical mineral SMEs

Innovate to Grow is a free 10-week virtual, self-paced learning program for small- to medium-sized enterprises working on innovative technologies or solutions in the critical minerals sector in Australia.

Critical minerals titanium

The Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub is a collaboration between CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, and ANSTO. The ‘Innovate to Grow’ program, sponsored by the Hub, will offer a 10-week online program designed to equip SMEs with valuable business insights and means to leverage research and development (R&D) effectively to meet their business needs within the critical minerals industry.

The program caters to companies embarking on early-stage R&D or venturing into new ideas within the sector.

Lucy O’Connor, Manager of sponsor, the Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub, said SMEs play an integral role in driving innovation and enriching the diversity and resilience of critical minerals supply chains.

“Scaling up and commercialising critical minerals projects requires strategic collaboration to address technical challenges and drive sustainable growth and innovation in this sector,” Ms O’Connor said.

Participants selected for the program will gain access to expert facilitators and experienced researchers who will assist them in examining technical or business challenges, exploring R&D opportunities, and developing actionable R&D business and funding plans.

According to Ms. O’Connor, successful participants will not only advance their project ideas but also explore collaboration opportunities with R&D leaders at CSIRO, other science agencies, and universities. This networking aspect is seen as pivotal in growing the critical minerals sector.

API Management, which manages the Australian Premium Iron Joint Venture, went through the Innovate to Grow program in 2021.

Principal Scientist at API Management, Dr Alan Ooi, said the program provided the means to expand their knowledge of engaging with research organisations, prepare them for partnering with CSIRO - or other universities, and understand available funding options.

“The industry has big challenges, with lots of elements that need to come together, and CSIRO is playing a key part in our research and development goals,” Dr Ooi said.

“We would wholeheartedly recommend the Innovate to Grow program to other companies in the industry, especially to help them gain direction for their business opportunities.”

Interested SMEs are encouraged to apply for the program before the closing date of April 14, 2024.

To read more about Innovate to Grow and apply, go to the CSIRO website here.

Resources Industry Partners


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. Stay informed via our newsletters.