CERI gains growth funding

Mark Beyer | Business News

Monday, 9 July 2018

CERI founder and chairman Charlie Bass.

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation in Nedlands recorded two notable achievements last week, winning a state government grant and graduating its second cohort of budding entrepreneurs.

CERI, which was established by mining and technology entrepreneur Charlie Bass, was one of six tech groups to be awarded state government grants worth $430,000.

It will use the funds to expand its activities to include regional visits and further develop its team mentoring and expert-in- residence programs.

That will build on the work of international expert-in-residence, Jung Park, who visited from the US to kick-start the ‘Concept to Creation’ program earlier this year.

Concept to Creation is a 14-week course for university researchers and other innovators seeking to learn about developing a commercial enterprise.

Sessions included topics such as team formation, developing a lean business canvas, intellectual property, financing, negotiating, and presentation.

The participants graduated from the program last Thursday with presentations to an audience of potential customers and collaborators.

The winner of the people’s choice prize was ImmuMat, which was established by University of Western Australia clinical oncologist and associate professor, Joost Lesterhuis, and aims to use immune materials to treat cancer.

Ace Tutors has developed a tutor-student matching app, while Laconik is using agricultural technology to improve the use of nitrogen fertiliser – a product on which farmers in Western Australia spend $300 million each year.

Led by UWA Business School’s Paul Bergey, Crystal Clear Solutions International is commercialising its Lightboard – a modern version of the whiteboard that uses ‘face to camera’ online teaching to enhance the online learning experience for students.

CERI chief executive Carolyn Williams said its programs were designed to cultivate a change of thinking and a perspective outside of academia.

“By providing WA researchers with entrepreneurial support, training and a multi-disciplinary environment, we are nurturing the belief that they can really take their research from the labs to the world and make a real difference,” Dr Williams told Business News.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly announced on Friday that the government had assessed 20 applications for its new grants program before selecting six recipients.

The program allows for government to collaborate with the private sector and leverage its expertise to support innovative job creating projects.

Successful bids required a 1:1 co-investment and were judged on criteria that supported WA job creation and economic diversification.

The six recipients, including CERI, work in areas such as agtech, digital technology and coding.

CY O’Connor ERADE Village Foundation Inc has established a project to connect agribusinesses with experts to solve agriculture sector challenges.

Food, Fibre and Land International Group plans to develop a hub for hemp growing and research.

Curtin University has gained funding to expand a week-long innovation program.

KinChip Systems is developing a digital technology that uses an algorithm to deliver personalised support for families of children with health or developmental challenges.

Spacecubed Innovation has a project to build coding capabilities for female entrepreneurs based in the regions.

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