Collaborate to Innovate program

Collaborate to Innovate supports SMEs to take their first step in a collaborative relationship with a research institution.


There is a lot to gain from industry and researchers working together to deliver a new frontier of innovation in equipment, technology and services.

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have the capability to develop transformational innovation in the energy and resources sectors, but are often apprehensive when it comes to taking the first steps in engaging with research institutions.

The project, a collaboration between the NSW Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub, NIER, the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme (EP) and Austmine (as an Industry Partner to EP) aims to provide a supporting pathway for SMEs that are considering research collaboration.

The Collaborate to Innovate program provides:

  • Opportunities to showcase SME innovation in the Resources sector
  • Communication of the research collaboration opportunities and processes offered by NIER
  • Access to the facilities and of the Innovation Launchpad through the Knowledge Hub
  • Identification of SMEs eligible for, and interested in, engaging with NIER to undertake collaborative research
  • Development of specific capabilities within participating businesses to better equip them to undertake research collaboration with NIER, and commercialise innovative products and services.


On Wednesday 26 February 2020 a free workshop was held at the Advanced Technology Centre University of Newcastle, Callaghan to give businesses a better understanding of the benefits of effective collaboration, and the pathways available to get results. Participants heard from the following speakers:

The speakers addressed a range of issues including:

  • Methods of engagement – what will work best for your business?
  • Key success factors and lessons learned from other SMEs
  • Key drivers influencing the resources sector, and what it will take to capitalise on future trends
  • Developing and commercialising new products and services for maximum impact
  • Government services and support that will assist your engagement with a research institution

Case Studies



Resources Industry Partners


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