About ON

CSIRO, as Australia's national science agency, have been tasked with delivering a wide reaching science accelerator for the benefit of the Australian people. We coordinate experienced, expert, external Facilitators and Mentor to deliver and facilitate ON programs. We are co-funded by CSIRO and the Australian government.

As Australia's national accelerator, we are dedicated to offering ON accelerator experiences across the country. To date we've delivered ON experiences in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Adelaide, Newcastle, Toowoomba and Perth.

Participants develop market insight, business acumen, networks and entrepreneurial capability, with long-term career benefits.

IP - the big question

Naturally you're going to wonder about the IP - what's the catch? We're here to tell you that you won't need to worry, as all IP remains the property of the team or your business unit/sponsoring institute. All ON participants sign agreements before an ON accelerator commences that has provisions for background IP protection and non-disclosure. Our experienced and trusted mentors and facilitators that you'll be working with also have agreements in place, to safeguard your valuable big ideas. Unlike other Accelerator programs, we don't take any IP or points. Consider ON the 'not for profit' accelerator of choice.

ON Prime

ON Prime is a program for emerging and pre-existing projects, as well as the exploration of new technologies and projects for development. Prime helps teams ensure they are working on the right problem, provides frameworks to create and test assumptions about their idea with customers, and provides recommendations towards next steps. It can be considered a 'pre-Accelerator' program.

We endeavour to run ON Prime in every major city where there is demand, i.e. when enough teams are successfully selected to support delivery in a certain location. If you are required to travel outside of your 'home' location to participate in ON Prime (e.g. because you are a 'remote' member of your team or because there isn't a program running in your location) ON will provide an operating budget to help cover your travel costs. Your operating budget will typically extend to cover return flights for all five ON Prime sessions as well as one nights' accommodation for the first session. Ground transfers and additional expenses are not included.

Performance bonuses are available to ON Prime teams throughout the program and at Prime Finals with the awarding of our state Facilitators Awards.

ON Accelerate

ON Accelerate is designed for teams that have significant traction with their idea and target market. This may be in the form of contracts for paid or unpaid trials, or at the most advanced stage, with recurring sales with both new and existing customers. We like teams to have a demonstrable prototype of their product or service and have secured any appropriate intellectual property rights but it is not always necessary for selection into the program. Teams applying for ON Accelerate should have already had extensive engagement with their potential customers, and be able to demonstrate what they know, including what the total market is and what competition exists.

Despite an emphasis on commercialisation, it's not expected that every team in ON Accelerate will spin-out from their sponsor organisation. It may be that only a few of the teams each round achieve that outcome however the benefits of participation and learning will feed back into current and future projects and career development.

ON Accelerate teams receive an OPEX budget at the commencement of the program to assist the team with any required travel expenses as they travel as part of the Accelerate cohort across capital cities. High performing teams in ON Accelerate have the opportunity to receive a bonus of up to $10,000 alongside their OPEX budget.


All applications that are submitted are first validated by their sponsoring institute, prior to progressing through to the Evaluation stage. This is to ensure that each team has the full support of their sponsoring institute to participate in the program.

After validation, a comprehensive online evaluation process is undertaken by a panel of external science leaders and commercial experts. Applications are judged per the eligibility criteria and are evaluated against evidence of impact potential, market opportunity, competitive strength (technology readiness level and IP position), team strength (diversity, ability to be coached, multidisciplinary, cross-organisation) and evidence of traction.

A shortlist of teams is made from the evaluation process. For ON Accelerate, the shortlisted teams are invited to participate in a two-day selection Bootcamp event where teams will be provided with training and coaching simulating the accelerator experience. At the conclusion of the selection Bootcamp, the teams will pitch to a panel of external judges for a spot in the Accelerator.

Approximately eight to ten teams progress through into each ON Accelerator, to ensure training and access to mentors is of a high standard.

Successful applicants are notified approximately two weeks after the application period has closed.

Your idea may be a great idea, however not successful for selection. Don't feel discouraged as you will be provided with valuable feedback and learnings to help you continue to progress your idea. Depending on demand we will be running ON programs a number of times each year and you are welcome to reapply each time.

The Commitments

We expect a minimum of 2 people, up to a maximum of 5 people per team, to commit to the full ON experience.

ON Prime is a part-time accelerator with approximately five face-to-face sessions (six days in total) over eight weeks. ON Accelerate is a full-time accelerator with approximately 30 per cent of the 15 week program being delivered face-to-face.If you have concerns about being able to commit to the full experience because of work commitments, talk to us.

Time is one of the biggest impediments of ON participation – particularly in ON Accelerate. We can connect you to one of the fifty+ teams who have already completed the ON accelerator experience to share strategies on how to manage the time commitment.

Why you should choose ON 

Teams who participate in ON have an opportunity to:

  • refine their value proposition, and take it to the next level
  • fully investigate the potential of their customer and market
  • maximise your IP and work towards commercialisation prospects
  • access ON's extensive mentor network of practicing entrepreneurs and investors, leveraging their coaching and connections
  • develop entrepreneurial thinking and capability
  • leverage facilitated pitching opportunities to engage interested and relevant investment funds
  • learn so many new skills and meet new people nation wide
  • become part of the nation's biggest innovation alumni, our ON Tribe community.
  • Be supported by a nationally recognised and longstanding organisation, the CSIRO.

If you have any more questions or would like to be involved, please get in touch with the ON team at on@csiro.au.

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