2023 was a standout year for APR.Intern. As we close out the year, 85+ internships will have been executed, a 50 percent increase on 2023. It was also the most productive year outside the four years of the National Research Internship Program (NRIP), and indeed 2023 saw more internships than the first full year of the fully funded NRIP program (2017).

In a great sign of support from businesses and organisations, and validation of APR’s value proposition, 40 percent of internships in 2023 came from organisations new to the program. Since October alone great new opportunities have been created by Beca, the Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group, the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre and Quickstep, a leading global manufacturer of composite solutions for the Defence and commercial aerospace industries.

APR collaborates closely with, and deeply values, its relationships with its university partners. This year alone APR has collaborated with an astonishing 25 different universities across Australia. July was an outstanding example of APR’s national reach, with internships executed across four states and one territory.

Most universities now know our systems and, more importantly, trust our people to deliver valuable outcomes for their students, university stakeholders and their industry partners. And, in many cases, APR introduces new industry partners to universities.

The strength of APR’s university collaboration is also evidenced by the support for APR university subscription model. Launched in 2022, universities pay a flat subscription fee, based on their HDR cohort size, for a range of dedicated services delivered by APR. In 2023 three new universities signed on to the model: The University of Sydney, The University of Wollongong and ACU.

APR has also modified the subscription model for 2024 to ensure the program is accessible to all universities, especially smaller and regional institutions. APR is a not for profit and its ethos is to bring brilliant, rich experiences to students and great value to industry partners, and we don’t want the subscription fee to inhibit universities and their students taking part in the program. To that end APR has significantly reduced the subscription fee for 2024.

APR partners with a range of organisations to bring talented research interns to specific market segments. This year APR concludes its program with MedTech and pharma industry growth centre MTP Connect. Since 2020, APR has placed 80 interns into innovative companies from large corporates such as CSL to companies like Genetic Signature who have taken multiple internships and employed several. In many cases, these opportunities would not have been available if not for the MTP Connect grant provided to these companies.

In 2024 we look forward to working with our Defence partners, DSI (Vic), DSC (WA), DST, as well as Fleet CRC, AIR Hub at Swinburne University and our latest partner The NSW Space Research Network.

By the end of 2023, APR will have placed 40+ interns using the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (Wise) grant from the Department of Industry Science and Resources. This is an outstanding start to a three-year program and just under half of all interns placed by APR in 2023 have been female STEM PhDs.

Finally, APR will reach a major milestone in December 2023. Fittingly, one of our longstanding clients, Telstra, will take APR’s 1000th intern (and their 25th)!

After such a solid year in 2023, the APR team is looking forward to extending this success in 2024.