Public Sector Innovation Fund

The Public Sector Innovation Fund provides up to $400,000 to support projects that test new approaches to solving complex policy challenges and delivering public value.


Need Commercialisation or Research Funding?

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By supporting innovative projects, the Public Sector 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

Stage 1 provides an outline of the public sector challenge being addressed and the proposed solution so that the department can evaluate the proposal’s alignment with the government’s priorities.

Initial applications are considered by the department on a continuous basis. Applicants will usually be contacted by the department within four weeks of their application submission.

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

Application Stage 2 – Project Business Plan

The Public Sector Innovation Fund is a competitive process and only a small number of projects will be invited to progress to Stage 2.

Projects that demonstrate a strong alignment with the selection criteria will be invited to work with DPC to develop their project further. This may include actively collaborating on the Project Business Plan (which includes project design, budget and scope) or identifying potential project partners and new linkages that will broaden the impact of the project.

When a project is approved to proceed to Stage 2, DPC collaborates with the applicants to develop a comprehensive Project Business Plan that provides a clear implementation plan for the project. The Project Business Plan is then assessed by a Selection Panel with reference to the Fund’s assessment criteria. Based on this assessment some projects will be recommended to the Special Minister of State for 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, 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 behavioural insights, design thinking, co-design or evidence driven decision-making
  • the use of new tools and technologies like mobility, cloud storage and computing, data analytics, modelling or visualization.

Projects may be an extension of an existing program or idea but must demonstrate significant enhancement or adaptation to be successful.

3. Value

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

Project 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.

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


Public Sector Innovation Fund Recipients

The Public Sector Innovation Fund supports a broad range of collaborative projects that test new approaches. Here are some examples of projects that have received funding.


  • Ask Izzy mobile website – a range of enhancements were made to the Ask Izzy mobile website to improve service accessibility for Aboriginal Victorians.
  • Family violence accommodation register – an online refuge register tool was developed and rolled-out. It allows Safe Steps to better track the capacity and utilisation of refuge accommodation for Victorian women and children at risk of family violence.
  • Arc app – an existing tool (SmartSafe+) was redeveloped to better empower women to leave violent relationships and access the justice system.
  • States of Change: innovation learning program – 10 Victorian Government teams completed a tailored curriculum for project-based learning focused on creating impact.
  • Family Violence Intervention Order online – this simple, convenient and secure online application makes it easier for Victorian victims of family violence living in designated regions to seek protection through the courts.
  • Immunisation behaviour change – four trials tested ways to improve youth immunisation rates in Victoria through behavioural science.
  • Innovation platform – a digital home for Victorian public servants to share, connect and learn around innovation news, case studies, toolkits, events and groups.


  • CivVic Labs – up to 48 startups will have the opportunity to work with Victorian Government departments and agencies to co-design innovative solutions to public sector problems (challenges).
  • Streamlinefines – increasing the quality and efficiency of applications for enforcement review submitted to Fines Victoria on the ground of special circumstances (including intellectual disability, mental illness or disorder, serious alcohol or drug addiction, and homelessness).
  • Bridge condition based monitoring – a new fibre optic technology solution is being trialled, to deliver more efficient and effective bridge management while improving safety and limiting user disruption.
  • YourCase – YourCase is a web app that allows family violence victim survivors to track, document and interact with their court proceedings digitally.
  • Great Ocean Road Bushfire Evacuation Decision Support System – a Decision Support System (DSS) is being created to predict and plan for bushfire evacuations, and to compare evacuation to other risk management options, such as infrastructure improvements to roads and bridges to reduce risks.


Latest News

28 October 2019 – VR technology helping people swim and survive

A new water safety program developed by Swinburne University and Life Saving Victoria, designed to prevent drownings, uses 360-degree, lifelike and interactive videos to place kids inside virtual rips and teach them how to “escape” and survive.

It was hoped the technology — applied through head-mounted displays — could also be used to help migrants learn to identify, avoid and survive potentially deadly currents and rips in Aussie oceans, Swinburne researcher Paola Araiza-Alba said.

The virtual reality education program could also be used by Australians living hundreds of kilometres from the sea, providing them with the skills to spot and get out of rips when they were at on beach holidays.


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