Since its launch in 2015, the ON program has grown from strength to strength attracting some of Australia's best and brightest in a bid to transform science and technology into real positive outcomes for Australia's future.

To continue the momentum the ON accelerator programs opened up nationally on 1 August, with new partnerships announced that will enable researchers from across Australian universities to fast-track their science and technology innovation through ON.

Twenty universities from across the country have so-far signed up as 'ON Partners' and through ON will have access to a structured experience to validate market opportunity and test business models to accelerate science and technology towards real world outcomes.

Under the two ON accelerators offered, researchers from each university will gain access to an extensive national network of mentors from across private industry and the investment community as well as business and commercial experts who can increase their entrepreneurial capacity and connect them with venture capitalists and investment funds to help convert their research to commercially viable outcomes.

Aussie universities have been wasting no time getting on board, with Macquarie University and Curtin University being the first two universities to take part in ON Accelerate, competitively securing two 'wildcard' spots. As part of the eleven teams who made up the ON Accelerate Cohort 2, they have just completed their three-month intensive course and recently showcased their innovations to a room of potential customers, partners and investors at the ON Accelerate demo night.

Macquarie University's team, 'Modular Photonics' pitched an impressive innovation for passive fibre-optic compatible technology that significantly increases data transmission capacity (10 times and more) and directly addresses the capacity crunch felt by many enterprises suffering due to ageing in-building fibre networks. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance and Innovation) at Macquarie University, Professor Peter Nelson said the ON experience is one of significant benefit and that they are proud to continue as a partner.

[Music plays and text appears: Welcome]

[Images flash through of people shaking hands, a hand holding an ON brochure and Nancy Schellhorn talking to the camera]

Nancy Schellhorn: If you have the opportunity to participate in ON, do it.  Jump in with both feet.

[Image changes to show Lloyd Niccol talking to the camera and Kate Cavanagh standing next to him and then the image changes to show legs walking past an ON sign]

Lloyd Niccol: If you love a challenge this is the perfect programme to get in.

[Image changes to show Leonore Ryan talking to the camera and then images flash through of people talking, a rotating camera, two Smart phones and Leonore Ryan talking to the camera again]

Leonore Ryan: It’s an amazing experience.  It is really tailored towards taking scientific discoveries and understanding how you can make them real life solutions.

[Music plays and text appears: ON powered by CSIRO]

[Image changes to show a copying type machine and then the image changes to show Martin Duursma talking to the camera and text appears: Martin Duursma, ON mentor]

Martin Duursma: In Australia we have a gap and the gap is really between Research and Commercialisation. 

[Images flash through of various groups of people talking and then the image changes to show a Smartphone being held in a hand]

The ON Programme is a very important step taking research teams and showing them how to commercialise their great ideas, their great I.P.

[Image changes to show Andrew Lamble talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Andrew Lamble talking to another male and text appears: Andrew Lamble, ON mentor]

Andrew Lamble: It gives them an opportunity to see the other side of research, that it has to be commercialised. 

[Image changes to show Andrew Bean talking to the camera and text appears: Andrew Bean, Team Vaximiser]

Andrew Bean: It’s about taking invention and getting it out there. 

[Image shows Lloyd Niccol talking in a group and then the camera zooms out to show Lloyd Niccol talking to the camera and text appears: Lloyd Niccol, Team Elumin8]

Lloyd Niccol: You’re exploring how you can build your own company and just go massive and it’s really nice just being able to think big and think how you can change the world.

[Image changes to show Rohan McDougall talking to the camera and text appears: Rohan McDougall, Curtin University, Director IP Commercialisation, Team ePAT]

Rohan McDougall.  The programme has really provided a structured format for thinking about the idea from a business perspective, how can you monetise technology? 

[Images flash through of groups of people talking and then the image changes to show Rohan McDougall talking to the camera]

Who are the customers?  These are the things that you go through in a very measured and structured way to really build a cohesive business opportunity.

[Text appears: # ONpitch]

[Images flash through of an ON brochure, people listening, Michael Withford talking to the camera and then Michael Withford with a female and text appears: Michael Withford, Macquarie University, Team Modular Photonics]

Michael Withford: I was originally cynical about the ON Programme because we were already selling products and so we thought we knew what it took to actually take our company forward. 

[Image changes to show Michael Withford talking to the camera and then the camera zooms out and shows Michael Withford on the stage and then the camera pans over the audience]

I was arrogant.  I did not know everything there was to know and this programme’s been great for me.

[Image changes to show Michael Withford talking to the camera and then the image shows Michael Withford with a female]

It’s supplied me with the tools I need to take our business venture forward.

[Image changes to show Nancy Schellhorn talking in to a microphone and text appears: Nancy Schellhorn, Team RapidAIM]

Nancy Schellhorn: I think the highlight for me is the way in which we engage with customers now. 

[Images flash through of the audience and Nancy Schellhorn talking to a customer]

Before ON we would talk to them about how we thought our science could help solve their problems.  Now we spend most of our time learning about their pain points. 

[Image changes to show Leonore Ryan talking to the camera and then the camera zooms out to show a group of people with Leonore Ryan and then the camera pans over the audience and text appears: Leonore Ryan, Team Cardihab]

Leonore Ryan: That discipline of going out and talking to your potential customers and understanding their needs has completely changed who we’re targeting and how we actually approach them.

[Images flash through of a female looking out over the audience from the podium, Rohan McDougall talking to the camera, a female at the podium and a male talking into the microphone]

Rohan McDougall: It also gave us the chance to talk to potential investors and get this to them at an affordable price but also at a price that we can make money.

[Image changes to show Lloyd Niccol talking to the camera and Kate Cavanagh standing next to him and then the image changes to show Martin Duursma at the podium]

Lloyd Nicoll: The best part of ON was really having access to great mentors and really good coaches. 

[Image changes to show Kate Cavanagh talking to the camera while Lloyd Niccol listens and text appears: Kate Cavanagh, Team Elumin8]

Kate Cavanagh: It is super exciting to get other people’s perspective on your business

[Image changes to show Martin Duursma talking at the podium]

and how you can make it grow.

[Images flash through of the audience clapping, Andrew Lamble talking to the camera, Andrew Lamble talking to a group of people and Nancy Schellhorn talking to a customer]

Andrew Lamble: My biggest highlight from the ON programme is seeing people learn from their mistakes, watching people pick themselves up and pivot to another place and drive to another agenda has been really exciting.

[Image changes to show Martin Duursma talking to the camera]

Martin Duursma: As a mentor we want to work with the next Google of the world right and hopefully one of these teams that we’re mentoring can make it big and we’d be part of that.  So it’s pretty energising.

[Text appears on screen: The Future Is ON powered by CSIRO, Apply to be part of ON today, oninnovation.com.au]


ON - Australia's sci-tech accelerator

"The ON accelerator is an invaluable tool to get our teams out of their comfort zone, into the market and testing hypothesises and assumptions around their research and product," Professor Nelson said.

"It's one thing to incubate great ideas, it's entirely another to connect those ideas with customers, suppliers and partners and establish the venture capital blocks to build opportunity and an outcome.

"That's where innovation happens. That is where impact happens and, for most in the pursuit of great science and research, that is what we want to be remembered for in decades to come."

After such an impressive ON Accelerate 2 showcase, there is no denying that the future holds exciting prospects for impactful Australian science and technology innovation and as more universities get involved, we're looking forward to seeing what the next round of applicants bring forward.

Applications for ON Prime, a national pre-accelerator, are now open to researchers from Australian universities and publicly funded research agencies. Apply now!

Interested in partnering with us?

It's not too late to join Australia's sci-tech accelerator - get in touch with us about opportunities.

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