Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions about the CSIRO Innovation Fund.

CSIRO is establishing an innovation fund to invest in the development of early stage technology opportunities from the Australian public research sector. This initiative is part of the Australian Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda .

How will the CSIRO Innovation Fund be managed?

The CSIRO Innovation Fund will be managed as an early stage technology venture fund and as a separate legal entity to CSIRO. The Fund will, however, be managed by a subsidiary company of CSIRO which is ultimately accountable to the CSIRO Board and will also be subject to the regulatory processes that oversight venture funds, for example Innovation and Science Australia . The CSIRO Innovation Fund will have its own governance and decision-making structure, including an investment committee that will include independent members.

How will it be funded?

The CSIRO Innovation Fund comprises a commitment of $70 million in government funding and $30 million revenue from CSIRO's WLAN programme and, commencing in 2017, will be seeking additional private sector investment to take the capital up to a target total value of $200 million.

What private sector investment will contribute to the CSIRO Innovation Fund?

The Fund's capital raising from the private sector will commence in 2017. Investment in the Fund will only be open to 'wholesale investors' (that is, professional investors and companies that manage investments in opportunities), not to retail or 'mum and dad' investors.

It is important to note that CSIRO and the Fund do not presently hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and have a limited authorisation under the licence of a third party to provide certain general financial product advice to wholesale clients in connection with the CSIRO Innovation Fund.

What will the CSIRO Innovation Fund invest in?

The CSIRO Innovation Fund will invest in start-up and spin off companies, and SMEs engaged in the translation of research generated in the Australian publicly funded research sector.

Who can apply to the CSIRO Innovation Fund?

The Fund will be open to investment proposals from CSIRO, Australian universities, Australian publicly funded research agencies, and SMEs bringing forward a proposal in partnership with one of these eligible organisations.

What does 'publicly funded research agencies' mean?

An Australian publicly funded research agency is an organisation that is owned or controlled by the Commonwealth, or an Australian state or territory government, and primarily carrying out research and development activities; and it is:

  • providing services, or making facilities available, in relation to science or technology
  • training, or assisting in the training of, persons in the field of scientific or technological research, or
  • collecting, interpreting or publishing information relating to science or technology.

As well as CSIRO, Australian publicly funded research agencies include Australian Antarctic Division , Australian Astronomical Observatory , Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies , Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation , Australian Institute of Marine Science , Bureau of Meteorology , Defence Science and Technology Group , Geoscience Australia , National Measurement Institute .

When will the CSIRO Innovation Fund start to accept applications?

The leader of the CSIRO Innovation Fund investment team commenced in early 2017 and other members of the Investment Managers team are currently coming on board. The CSIRO Innovation Fund will have a simple process for receiving proposals and more information on that will be available shortly. It is anticipated that the Fund will commence operations in mid-2017.

Who will make up the CSIRO Innovation Fund team?

Following a rigorous recruitment process, Mr Bill Bartee was appointed leader of the CSIRO Innovation Fund Investment Managers team. Phil Morle, Mike Zimmerman, Martin Duursma and Mike Nicholls joined the team in June, 2017.

How do I contact the CSIRO Innovation Fund?

More information about the CSIRO Innovation Fund is available on the CSIRO Innovation Fund website and the CSIRO Innovation Fund can be contacted via the online enquiry form.


Please note that CSIRO does not presently hold an Australian financial services licence and has a limited authorisation under the licence of a third party to provide certain general financial product advice to wholesale clients in connection with the CSIRO Innovation Fund. By providing the information on this website relating to the CSIRO Innovation Fund, CSIRO is not intending to, and is not, providing financial product advice. Nothing in this document is intended to provide, or imply, any recommendation or opinion about an investment in any financial product. CSIRO recommends that prospective investors in financial products consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions relating to any financial product.

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