RISE Accelerator to elevate Indian and Australian startups

A partnership between Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, and India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the program encourages small to medium startups to expand their business across the two nations.

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A new initiative from Australia’s CSIRO and India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under NITI Aayog seeks to attract small to medium-sized startups (SMEs) to expand business across the two nations.

The India-Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator program will provide grants of up to $75,000 (INR 4 million) for SMEs with mature tech-based innovations to fast-track their cross-border social and economic engagement.

Six to eight startups headquartered in Australia will be chosen for the nine-month program, which will commence in 2024.

CSIRO RISE Accelerator program director Tamara Ogilvie said the program will help startups succeed in international markets.

“Over the nine-month RISE Accelerator program, we’ll help startups navigate early steps in a new region, fast-track connections to the right partners, customers and talent, and build credibility to succeed in international markets,” Ms Ogilvie said.

Successful projects must be at a Technology Readiness Level of 7, meaning they can successfully demonstrate a prototype in the field.

The initiative is the latest development in Australia and India’s long history of successful technology and innovation collaborations. It follows the announcement of the third round of Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership (AICCTP) grants in August.

AIM’s RISE Accelerator lead Pramit Dash is looking forward to supporting even more innovative startups to reach the next level, economically and cross-culturally.

Leaders from AIM and CSIRO stand together for a photo at the Gurugram Startup20 summit.
The RISE Accelerator was launched at Startup20 earlier this year. (Source: Startup20)

“This is a real opportunity for startups from Australia and India to work with industry and researchers in their target market,” Mr Dash said.

“As well as developing cultural literacy, participants will develop meaningful bilateral industry and research collaborations.”

The RISE Accelerator program aims to encourage businesses to engage with clean energy and waste innovation.

CSIRO’s Circular Economy for Missions Lead Dr Heinz Schandl said this involves designing materials and products with a zero-waste mindset.

“A circular economy means products are designed in such a way that they can be used again, or even multiple times, to maximise their value,” Dr Schandl said.

She hopes the program will help support India and Australia’s transition to a circular economy and strengthen effective environment and climate technologies.

“We hope this program will help to accelerate technologies and solutions to grow economies, create jobs and reduce waste,” she said.

The RISE Accelerator program was launched in July at the Startup20 summit in Gurugram in the northern Indian state of Haryana as part of the nation’s wider G20 Summit.

There is no cost for startups to participate in the program which will be held virtually, with opportunities to travel between Australia and India.

Applications are open until 7 January.

Find out more about the RISE program on their website.

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Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy is an emerging journalist and theatre-maker based in Melbourne.

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