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Image credit: CSIRO

Image credit: CSIRO

VR assisted learning, solar forecasting, screening for gut disorders with wearable tech among 10 ideas in latest round of ON Accelerate

Ten teams have been selected for the latest round of CSIRO’s (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) ON Accelerate, a structured, full-time accelerator that brings together the experience and expertise of established researchers, entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors.

In the 18 months since CSIRO opened the ON accelerator to universities and publicly funded research agencies under the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), it has graduated 200 teams of researchers with the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to fast-track great science and technology innovation from the lab to reality.

The 10 selected ideas to be fast-tracked through this round of ON Accelerate are:

  • Virtual reality technology that allows carers to learn by doing, safely – The University of Newcastle
  • A tool for preventing faults in power network assets before energy catastrophes hit – Curtin University
  • A solar forecasting system – CSIRO, Energy
  • An acoustic belt that uses the natural noises of the gut for health screening – The University of Western Australia
  • An on-the-go field tool for reliable and transportable water monitoring – James Cook University
  • A new pest detection system that cuts costs and time delays for Aussie prawn farmers – CSIRO Agriculture and Food
  • An alternative to the expensive and cumbersome ‘leaky gut’ test for suspected sufferers – CSIRO Health and Biosecurity
  • A new way to beat the current costs and delays in new drug development – Macquarie University
  • On the spot testing for elite athletes and their sport scientists – The University of Western Australia
  • A small wind turbine that can produce nearly twice the power than existing wind turbines of the same size – The University of Newcastle

The 10 successful teams were chosen by ON's industry mentor network and an expert judging panel of Liddy McCall co-founder of Yuuwa Capital, COO of Performance Assurance Ruth Marshall and Martin Duursma from CSIRO's Main Sequence Ventures, following a competitive two-day bootcamp.

The teams come from the University of Newcastle, Flinders University, Macquarie University, The University of Western Australia, James Cook University and CSIRO. These teams join successful graduates of the ON accelerator like Cardihab (smartphone apps and web portals to facilitate cardiac rehabilitation), Silentium Defence (passive radar systems) and ePat (assessing pain through facial recognition technology and non-facial pain cues). 

ON Accelerate4 will commence in February 2018 and will run for twelve weeks in hubs across the country, where teams will develop business planning, commercialisation and pitching skills.

The program culminates in 'ON Demo Night' where teams will pitch their innovations to an audience of industry experts, investors and potential partners for further funding and support for commercialisation.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Larry Marshall said that ON had uncovered science and technology solutions for some of Australia’s biggest challenges in energy, food and agriculture, water quality, wildlife conservation and health.

“The program is built on the shoulders of scientists who have made the leap into business, and likewise business people who have leapt into the world of science. Bridging the gap between science and business, ON delivers in a similar way to the prestigious US I-Corps program, which is probably the most successful accelerator in the world,” Dr. Marshall said.

He added, “The key advantage of ON is that it is backed by the national science agency, and almost every university has jumped in with us to support ON.”

Tony Tucker from the 'eDNA Field Pump' team at James Cook University in Townsville said ON had completely changed his view on commercialisation and the value in unlocking important Australian research. 

“When we came into Bootcamp, I was initially sceptical about what we could get out of the program, and wasn’t sure what we could actually achieve. But I'm completely won over by the ON program - I now know why this experience is so important. The feedback from the mentors and judging panel helped me see how we could have an even greater impact. We weren't thinking big enough. Now I know we can push our technology to even more applications for the world,” Mr. Tucker said.

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