Why short-term, high-impact manufacturing R&D is important for fuelling Australia’s innovation ecosystem


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Australia’s economy and critical to kickstarting the industry’s recovery and innovation ecosystem.

Dr Jason Coonan, IMCRC’s Chief Operating Officer, has been speaking with many SMEs in the past 18 months and knows that they are well aware of the importance and benefits of innovation, just not many of them are in a position to embark on large-scale, long-term projects right now.

In this article, he reflects on IMCRC’s activate program – a R&D funding initiate launched back in 2020 to help manufacturing SMEs gain a competitive advantage in the post COVID-19 world. Designed to enable short-term, high-impact collaborative research, the program has been well-received with IMCRC investing more than $2 million in 20+ innovative manufacturing and Industry 4.0 related projects spanning multiple industry sectors, including medical products, building and construction, clean energy and minerals.