A NSW Government website

Let’s collaborate: SMEs Using Research to Drive Innovation

This reports examines the opportunities and challenges that arise when small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) collaborate with research organisations.

Let's Collaborate: with Professor Attila Brungs


Small and medium businesses that collaborate with research organisations often see increases in productivity, sales and business growth, supporting their competitiveness in a global economy.

Our report, Let’s Collaborate: SMEs using research to drive innovation, examines the opportunities and challenges for SMEs collaborating with research organisations.

Following the impact of COVID-19, collaboration is more critical than ever, and there are increased opportunities for SMEs to collaborate with researchers as a result of the pandemic.

In our report, we:  

  • explore the potential benefits of collaboration for SMEs and the different ways they can partner with researchers; 
  • analyse how New South Wales and Australia compare internationally on collaboration rates and commercialisation of research, and the potential economic and productivity benefits of lifting current collaboration rates;
  • provide insights on why there is a lack of collaboration between SMEs and researchers, and what good collaboration requires; and
  • provide seven recommendations for government and industry to incentivise academics, increase awareness for SMEs and bridge cultural differences.

We hope our report catalyses discussion on how we can increase collaboration in New South Wales and build on existing initiatives.