MTPConnect podcast: CSIRO Kick-Starts R&D for Start-ups like Singular Health to Commercialise Innovations

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02 November 2022

Five years on, CSIRO’s Kick-Start program continues to support early-stage start-ups and small businesses facing barriers through R&D support.

Over 200 companies have benefited from Kick-Start support by having access to CSIRO’s research and capability through an innovative voucher scheme.

One such company who participated in the program is WA-based medical imaging company, Singular Health. CEO, James Hill, says they they’ve been working with CSIRO’s Data61 team, skilled in artificial intelligence, to develop their software product which computerises 2D CT scans into 3D segmentation. The AI-powered software has helped cut down thousands of hours of manual work. They were able to achieve this result by matching Singular Health’s software developers with CSIRO’s experienced AI researchers.

“One of the key benefits was working with Data61. We ended up effectively having an outsourced R&D team of six PhD team members who all had extensive knowledge of medical imaging and who'd worked on other projects. We were able to communicate our needs and communicate what we were trying to do. And then work collaboratively with that outsource team,” Mr Hill said.

CSIRO’s Kick-Start Program Manager, Dr Megan Sebben, says the program is broad, runs all year round, and projects are capped at 12 months’ duration. They facilitate end-to-end support, including connecting businesses with a relevant CSIRO researcher and matched funding. Depending on CSIRO resources and capabilities, various types of projects can apply. Most of all, the CSIRO is keen to leverage their teams’ expertise and knowledge to help Australian companies innovate and commercialise new medical products.

“We're really passionate about working with those early-stage small businesses. The outcomes from the program speak for themselves and listening to James today reiterates even further how important it is that we engage with these companies early on, get that expertise that they might not yet be in a position to have, either in-house, or perhaps it's not part of the long-term strategy, but it it's going speed up their pathway moving forward,” she said.

Find out more on the MTPConnect Podcast as hosts Caroline Duell, Director Media and Communications, and Dr Tracey Wilkinson, MTPConnect’s Director of Stakeholder Engagement Western Australia explore CSIRO’s Kickstart opportunity and how the program helped Singular Health develop their innovative AI-powered medical imaging.

Check out the CSIRO website for more information on how to apply!