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We are working with collaborators from across industry, research and government to co-design this mission. This summary reflects the mission in development and will continue to evolve.

Female and male researchers examining iPad in grass field with powerlines in background.


Double the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that engage with publicly-funded research and development (R&D) in Australia by 2025.


SMEs are the backbone of Australia’s economy. They make up 99.8 per cent of all our businesses, contribute to more than half our GDP and employ 68 per cent of our people. But now, more than ever, they are also the most vulnerable. Science and innovation are key enablers for businesses to adapt, reinvent and grow through times of disruption. Through investment in research and development (R&D) businesses are able to develop new products and services, improve systems and processes, create new partnerships and access new markets; however, many SMEs lack the resources to properly pursue these opportunities. The SMe mission in development aims to lower the barriers for SMEs accessing Australia's R&D expertise to better support their growth.

  • Growth of Australia's economy through the development of new products and services, the creation of high-skill and high-value jobs in an internationally competitive SME sector
  • Build sustainable and self-sufficient businesses and industries that can strengthen our sovereign capabilities

Mission focus

We will focus on three areas:

  • Amplifying high impact initiatives
  • Simplifying a complex ecosystem
  • Developing and upskilling


Initial milestones include:

Year 1

  • Coordinate and increase facilitation of existing SME R&D programs
  • Undertake research into Australia's SME and R&D ecosystem
  • Programs piloted, including Innovate to Grow

Year 2

  • New physical and virtual platforms
  • Training programs adopted
  • Community of Practice established

Year 3

  • Increased SME collaboration metrics
  • Publicly-funded research organisation culture change


The mission invites others to join the initial alliance of:

  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • NSW Treasury
  • NSW Regional Growth Development Corporation
  • QLD Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation
  • Defence Science and Technology Group
  • University of South Australia
  • Flinders University
  • University of Adelaide
  • RMIT University
  • Swinburne University
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • Practera

Partner with us to tackle Australia’s big challenges

To join us or learn more about the missions program, please contact us.

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