Thursday, 12 September 2019 10:53

CSIRO awards funding to scientists to commercialise research

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With their awards (l to r): Dr Larry Marshall (CSIRO), Dr Jinghua Fang (AloxiTec), Dr Simon Gross (Modular Photonics), Dr Melony Sellars (Genics), Peter Jopling (Menzies Foundation) With their awards (l to r): Dr Larry Marshall (CSIRO), Dr Jinghua Fang (AloxiTec), Dr Simon Gross (Modular Photonics), Dr Melony Sellars (Genics), Peter Jopling (Menzies Foundation)

Australian scientists including an optics and telecommunications expert have been awarded over a quarter of a million dollars to commercialise their research by the CSIRO’s ON technology accelerator program and the Menzies Foundation.

Dr Simon Gross from Modular Photonics – a startup that manufactures glass chip micro devices that significantly increases data transmission rates - joined Dr Melony Sellars, a global shrimp expert and co-founder of Genics, and Dr Jinghua Fang, a materials scientist and founder of AloxiTec – in receiving the funding for their research programs.

Established to support Australia’s most talented science entrepreneurs in the early stages of commercialisation, the CSIRO’s Fellowship awards recipients with $90,000 to fully dedicate themselves towards their new venture and focus on making their enterprise goals a commercial reality.

“At ON, we believe that every sector of society – from philanthropy to academia and government – has a crucial role to play in supporting science, research and innovation in Australia,” said CSIRO ON Program Executive Manager David Burt.

“This Fellowship program is an example of our deep commitment to unearthing research in science and steering it towards commercialisation.

“Each recipient was chosen based on their entrepreneurial capacity and the immense potential of their ideas. I look forward to following the journey of these incredible scientists as they shape the future for Australia and the world.”

“The Menzies Foundation believes philanthropy can play a unique role in sparking discovery and innovation in Australia,” said Menzies Foundation CEO Liz Gillies.

“We are passionate about investing in our country’s future science leaders and giving them the runway to ensure that their research has an impact in the world. We look forward to sharing their entrepreneurial journey.”

Here’s the full profile of the three scientists awarded by the CSIRO:

• Dr Melony Sellars, a global shrimp expert and co-founder of Genics, a startup securing global food production through smart pathogen detection and breeding selection. Melony and her team are working on solving real-world problems through developing and applying novel biotech solutions to revolutionise today’s farming practices to deliver global food security for the future. The company is currently conducting trials around the world.


• Dr Simon Gross, a leading optics and telecommunications expert and CTO of Modular Photonics. This startup manufactures a series of glass chip micro devices that significantly increases data transmission rates. Simon and his team’s award-winning technology offers solutions for upgrading and future-proofing legacy multimode fibre networks.


• Dr Jinghua Fang, a materials scientist and founder of AloxiTec. 45 per cent of fresh produce is wasted every year, resulting in a significant cost across the value chain, especially in Australia’s export market. AloxiTec is hoping to reduce this wastage, creating specialised packaging to extend shelf life and improve the freshness of fresh produce without refrigeration and chemical contamination.

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