Understanding how the ON experience works

CSIRO, as Australia's national science agency, are tasked with powering a wide reaching, national accelerator for the benefit of the Australian people. CSIRO's ON coordinates with external organisations that specialise in accelerating ventures based on scientific research, to deliver and facilitate ON accelerator experiences.

Launchcamp, ON Prime and ON Accelerate are designed to complement each other and are supplemented with a variety of experiences and opportunities over a given cycle including access to new networks through sponsored events and ON networks like Women in Innovation and Tribe.

Our core offering

ON Prime is an open and collaborative program for existing sci-tech projects as well as new technologies and projects that are still in development. The program helps teams to ensure they are working on the right problem, provides frameworks to create and test assumptions about their idea and provide recommendations towards next steps. It can be considered a 'pre-Accelerator'.

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, recurring sales with both new and existing customers. This implies that teams will have a demonstrable prototype of their product or service and have secured any appropriate intellectual property rights. It is expected that teams applying for ON Accelerate would have conducted significant engagement with their potential customers and be able to demonstrate what they learned throughout, including what the total addressable market is and what competition exists.

Occasionally we will run accelerator experiences that are tailored to a specific theme or challenge to address - more information will be made available on the website when these opportunities arise. For example, we  offered tailored ON Primes for science and technology projects like Australia's national security, defence and Northern Australia challenges.

You don't need to go through ON Prime or Launchcamp to be eligible for ON Accelerate if your idea proposition is at Investment Readiness Level (IRL) Stage 3.

Not 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.

Get ON-board

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.

Each session of ON Accelerate is delivered in various locations that best suit the make-up of that set of teams (a Cohort).

We anticipate that each round of ON Prime will continue to be delivered in various locations simultaneously across the country to meet demand.

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.

ON Accelerate teams receive an OPEX budget of $15,000 at the commencement of the program to assist team members with any required travel expenses.

Let's talk money

Up to $5,000 is available to ON Prime teams as a performance bonus throughout the program.

High performing teams in ON Accelerate have the opportunity to receive a bonus of up to $10,000 alongside their OPEX budget.

Going through any accelerator program is life changing. Participants develop market insight, business acumen, networks and entrepreneurial capability, with long-term career benefits. The long term benefits from ON could bring you a 'wealth' you never knew possible!

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.


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 will be 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 2-3 people per team on average 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 12 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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