Up to $400,000 is available from the Public Sector Innovation Fund to support projects that test new approaches to solving complex policy challenges and delivering public value.


Need Commercialisation or Research Funding?

Call 1300 658 508


Public Sector Innovation Fund

The Public Sector Innovation Fund is a grants program designed to drive new, more effective solutions to complex policy and service delivery challenges in Victoria.



By supporting innovative projects, the Innovation Fund seeks to:

  • Create opportunities for new partnerships between government and other organisations
  • Strengthen the innovation capability in the Victorian public sector by facilitating experiential learning
  • Promote project outcomes and solutions across the public sector to encourage inter-departmental collaboration and networked responses to solve complex policy challenges
  • Share the outcomes of projects and propagate new approaches, tools, and methodologies (e.g. new procurement approaches, new tools to drive behaviour change, and new collaboration platforms) across government.


Stages of Application

There are two stages in the Public Sector Innovation Fund application process:

Application Stage 1 – Initial Application

Prospective applicants can submit an initial application online. The application is designed to provide the department with an outline of the public sector challenge being addressed and the proposed solution and to evaluate the fit of the proposal with the government’s priorities and public  sector reform. Initial applications are considered by the department on a continuous basis. Applicants will be contacted by the department within two weeks of application submission.

Selected applicants will be invited to discuss the proposal further with a departmental representative to determine the merit and feasibility of the project.

Application Stage 2 – Project Business Plan

Projects that are assessed as having a strong fit with government priorities or public sector reform will be invited to work with the department to develop the project more fully. This may include actively collaborating on project design, budget and scope, or identifying potential project partners or new linkages that will broaden the impact of the project.

The department will collaborate with applicants to develop a comprehensive Project Business Plan that provides a clear implementation plan for the project. The Project Business Plan will be assessed by a selection committee with reference to the Innovation Fund Assessment Criteria, and applicants notified if their project is recommended for grant funding.



The Public Sector Innovation Fund supports innovative projects within the public sector. Projects must be led by a Victorian government department, agency or statutory body, but can involve a mix of collaborating organisations, including businesses, research, not-for-profit and community organisations.


How to get the Public Sector Innovation Fund grant?

In order to get the Public Sector Innovation Fund you need to align your project with the following four criteria.

1. Strategic fit

Public Sector Innovation Fund projects must clearly target a current or emerging need in the Victorian public sector or in an area of Victorian government service delivery.

Stage 1 applications must have the endorsement of the relevant Director or Executive Director (or equivalent). If the project is selected to progress to Stage 2 it also requires endorsement from the relevant Deputy Secretary or equivalent.


2. Innovation

To be innovative, Public Sector Innovation Fund projects should creatively apply new knowledge, technologies, methodologies or processes to improve the effectiveness or quality of outcomes for citizens and/or the public sector. Examples include:

  • novel approaches to policy design and service delivery using design thinking, co-design or evidence driven decision-making
  • the use of new tools and technologies like mobility, behavioural insights, cloud storage and computing, data analytics, modelling or visualisation.

Public Sector Innovation Fund projects may be an extension of an existing program or idea, but must demonstrate significant enhancement or adaptation to be successful.


3. Value

Public Sector Innovation Fund applications should identify the value of the project proposal. This value may include quantifiable improvements through more effective services, cost reduction and avoidance, or efficiency that increases service throughput. Value may also include qualitative benefits for citizens by delivering better services to the right people at the right time.

Projects may also include secondary benefits, such as building public sector innovation capability and creating opportunities for new partnerships between government and other organisations.


4. Potential to scale or replicate

Public Sector Innovation Fund applications should clearly identify the opportunities for project solutions, platforms, or learnings to be replicated or shared across the public sector.

Projects that are applicable to very specific, narrow contexts and lack potential to have meaningful impact on a larger scale are less likely to be successful.

Public Sector Innovation Fund applicants must identify any barriers to future implementation and strategies for overcoming these barriers if the project is successful.


Need Commercialisation or Research Funding?

Call 1300 658 508


More Information



CivVic Labs Accelerator – $2,500,000

The Andrews Labor Government will invest $2.5 million to run Australia’s first accelerator designed to help startups gain access to government procurement

The program aims to increase the success rate of early-stage startups and help fuel their growth by providing the capital and in-kind resources required to work with government agencies.

CivVic Labs Accelerator will support 16 startups in an intensive program. Startups will be selected according to their ability to address challenges faced by government.

Melbourne Health Accelerator (MHx) program – $450,000

The Royal Melbourne Hospital will receive grant funding of $450,000 towards the Melbourne Health Accelerator (MHx) program.

Australia produces some of the world’s best medical research but often lags behind other countries in translating this into better patient outcomes and commercially viable ideas. Health technology startups also have little opportunity to collaborate with frontline health professionals who best understand the healthcare challenges.

As an Australian first, MHx will work with clinicians and researchers as they develop new technologies to tackle some of the most pressing and emerging challenges facing our healthcare system today.

The program will also cultivate commercially viable answers to complex healthcare challenges, by connecting health professionals and leading medical research experts with health technology start-ups.

MHx builds on an initial pilot conducted at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2016, which involved around 40 hospital staff and 15 health technology startups, including Virtual Healthcare who were able to identify applications for their digital education platform, MySurgery, in neurosurgery and chronic disease management.

The project is being jointly funded by the Labor Government’s $11 million Public Sector Innovation Fund and the Department of Health and Human Services.

A number of grants have been awarded since the Fund’s launch in December 2015 for projects including Monash University’s project to boost the immunisation rates of secondary school students, and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre’s development of online Family Violence Intervention Order applications.

Code for Australia – $365,000

Code for Australia will receive $365,000 to place three teams from their Innovation Fellowship into selected departments for six months.

The challenge calls on Victorian Government departments and agencies to nominate problems or processes that could benefit from more innovation and open collaboration with industry experts.

Three problems will be selected for Code for Australia teams, made up of designers, programmers and user-experience experts, to create new tools or streamline processes that will make government information more open and accessible online, and improve the delivery of government services.

The new Code for Victoria Innovation Challenge is the largest Australian government engagement with the Fellowship program to date. The Labor Government previously engaged with Code for Australia through GovHack and the recent Budget Hack event.

The project is funded under the $11 million Public Sector Innovation Fund, the Labor Government grants program designed to drive new and more effective solutions to policy and service delivery challenges.

Innovation Fund grants have been recently awarded to the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre to enable real-time access to crisis accommodation information and to the Neighbourhood Justice Centre to implement a safer online Family Violence Intervention Order application process.

Bio-Nexus – $457,000

A new cybersecurity trial is being launched in Victorian hospitals, aimed at keeping them safe from hackers.

The Cyber-Nexus is a security device that protects medical equipment in hospitals, such as heart rate monitors and intravenous pumps, from being compromised or taken over by cybercriminals.

Earlier this year the United Kingdom’s NHS was crippled by a global ransomware attack, with connections between computers and medical equipment brought down and patient records, appointment schedules, phone lines and emails inaccessible as a result of the virus.

To prevent something similar happening in Victoria, the government will fund a pilot with Western Health to trial 400 Cyber-Nexus anti-hacking devices developed by Israeli firm Bio-Nexus.

The $457,000 project is being funded by the Victorian Government’s $11 million Public Sector Innovation Fund.

“When Victorians find themselves in hospital the last thing we want them to have to worry about is technology breaking down due to cyber attacks — all we want them to worry about is getting better,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“This project is about using the latest technology to keep our hospitals safe from malicious threats from hackers.”

The trial is expected to run for around six months and will include the installation of the devices, staff training, two tests and analysis of results.

This investment in protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attacks complements the work being done by Victoria’s Cyber Security Centre, which houses the $30 million Cyber Security Growth Centre, the CSIRO’s Data61 and Israeli cybersecurity training company CyberGym.

A number of grants have been awarded since the fund’s launch in December 2015 for projects including Monash University’s project to boost the immunisation rates of secondary school students and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre’s development of online Family Violence Intervention Order applications.