Collaborate and innovate

Your business can innovate by joining forces with partners in different industries, or with researchers locally or globally.

Collaboration can give your business an advantage in the market by providing access to the latest research, technology, or experts in the field. By forming partnerships, your business gains knowledge and the potential to grow.

Open innovation in business

Open innovation is a business model that encourages you to collaborate with external partners. It recognises that no one business can have all the expertise and own all the best ideas. Solutions to technical challenges could already exist in non-competing sectors.

Open innovation can include:

  • seeking access, licensing and use of existing knowledge or technology, and collaborating on joint research projects
  • research and collaboration with partners such as university groups and key suppliers
  • partnering with other companies (either competitors or non-competitors)
  • out-licensing technology to non-competing groups.

Collaborate locally

Tips on how to collaborate locally:

  • Collaborate locally with researchers for new ideas and solutions
  • Find open source communities that generate innovations such as cloud computing, and online communities at the forefront of digital design. Likewise, keep an eye on app stores for new product ideas
  • Research crowd funding platforms relevant to your business
  • Build valuable contacts and networks that in turn build your commercial success
  • Invest in the time to plan and bid for contracts and tender
  • Develop consistent processes for each collaboration
  • Be prepared to share your skills, knowledge and expertise.

Collaborate globally

The success of the global economy comes from businesses that recognise the value of research and innovation. Rapid progress in science and technology is transforming business models and disrupting methods of business.

There are many resources for innovative businesses to grow globally, and there is no better time to get ongoing support for research and innovation.

The business benefits of international collaboration include:

  • sharing business international knowledge, changes and expertise
  • establishing networks in export markets
  • increases competition in the innovation process
  • benchmarks Australian research quality and expertise globally
  • allows Australian researchers and business' access to global funding
  • provides international sources of inspiration and new ideas.

Tips on how to collaborate internationally:

  • Find networks and partners internationally that you can collaborate with. This could include connecting with businesses at trade shows and conferences.
  • Find new export markets and seek out opportunities to partner with international business. You'll need to make sure you meet exporting requirements and regulations and that you have a solid export plan in place.
  • Read about International Science Collaboration at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
  • See how the R&D Tax Incentive offsets a company’s cost of doing eligible research and development, while creating new industries and driving growth.

Find out more

  • Read the story of AW Bell becoming a successful exporter to the international aerospace industry. After nearly 60 years in the domestic market, their story is one of a family business thinking locally and acting globally.
  • See our business-research collaboration page for links to websites that support building partnerships.
  • Find out about the Incubator Support program that assists Australian start-ups develop the skills to compete in international markets.
  • Read about Australia’s Global Innovation Strategy to advance industry, science and research collaboration.
  • Learn how to protect your ideas with the Australian IP toolkit for collaboration.
  • Visit Austrade for information on conducting in international business, attracting foreign direct investment and seeking global research openings.


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