New energy concepts among CSIRO ‘ON’ innovations

A smaller, more powerful wind turbine and a solar forecasting system are some of the emerging technologies that will be fast-tracked though the national sci-tech accelerator, ‘ON, powered by CSIRO’.

Ten teams have been selected for the latest round of ON Accelerate, a structured, full-time accelerator that brings together the experience and expertise of established researchers, entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said 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.

“Establishing ON was about bringing the Australian research sector closer to Australian industry – creating a pathway to help our scientists turn their excellent science into real-world solutions,” Dr Marshall said.

“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.

“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.

“This collaboration across the innovation system is allowing us to deliver game-changing innovations for Australia and the world.”

Selected 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.

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 big ideas to be fast-tracked through this round of ON Accelerate include:

• 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