Support for SMEs eyeing critical minerals industry

Massive Sulfide Nickel Ore Rock. | Newsreel
A new program can helps SMEs expand into the critical minerals industry. | iStock

Businesses looking to expand into the critical minerals industry can now access a free insights program.

The CSIRO is encouraging small to medium enterprises to apply for the 10-week online Innovate to Grow program to help them acquire insights and strategic plans to leverage research and development (R&D) pathways.

Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub Manager Lucy O’Connor said SMEs played 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.

“This program is designed to help SMEs navigate the complex landscape of R&D within the critical minerals sector and build new collaborative projects with the support of technical experts.”

The program is designed for companies embarking on early-stage R&D or those venturing into new ideas within the critical minerals sector.

Successful participants will be given access to expert facilitators and experienced researchers, who will help them examine their technical or business challenges, explore R&D opportunities, and develop actionable R&D business and funding plans.

“Participants will work through the self-paced materials and engage with researchers and industry experts, to advance their project idea and discuss collaboration opportunities with R&D leaders at CSIRO, other science agencies and universities,” Ms O’Connor said.

“Their professional networks will also receive a boost as they will connect with peers in their cohort, sector-specific mentors, and with CSIRO, ANSTO and Geoscience Australia, which combined have the largest mineral resources R&D capability in the world.”

Applications close April 14, 2024. Learn more and apply on the CSIRO website.