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FAQ: Eligibility

Only Australian businesses that meet the following eligibility criteria can apply:

  • Have an annual turnover and operating expenditure <$1.5million, in the current and each of the two previous financial years OR have been a registered company for less than three years.
  • Have an ACN and are registered for GST.
  • Must be able to provide matched funding.

Yes, please feel free to reach out to one of our Kick-Start facilitators to discuss your proposed project.

Yes, if your company has been registered for less than three years and is registered for GST, it is eligible. However, please keep in mind that the Kick-Start program is suitable for organisations looking to engage with scientific research and development services to help deliver a specific piece of innovation for your business. Please reach out to one of our Kick-Start facilitators if you have any questions.

Yes, if you are sure your company is eligible for the program, you can submit an Expression of Interest via email. Please make sure to describe in detail the research components of the project in section B2. If you need any help with this, feel free to contact one of our Kick-Start facilitators who will be more than happy to walk you through it!
- If you are not sure if your company is eligible for the program, we highly recommend you contact us by phone or email to discuss your project idea and assess its suitability for the program as well as confirm your eligibility. Please note that businesses must be able to demonstrate a clear path to market for their project. After contacting us, your business may be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (although if you have previously engaged with CSIRO this may not be necessary – we will let you know if this is the case).
We accept applications from any sector, however, we analyse project proposals on a case-by-case basis that match CSIRO’s research capabilities. CSIRO has R&D expertise in a broad range of areas. You can find more information at Research - CSIRO. If you are unsure if your project would match one of CSIRO’s research capabilities, please feel free to contact one of our facilitators.

No, unfortunately not. The CSIRO Kick-Start program was established to connect start-ups and small businesses with world-leading research services and capabilities at CSIRO. You must have an active business registered for GST with a clear path to market.

In some instances, CSIRO may be able to provide expertise where machine learning, artificial intelligence or deep technology may be involved. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with general app or web development.

No, unfortunately not, offerings such as market research, including exhaustive patent landscape searches, are outside of the Kick-Start Program’s scope.

Yes, this is an eligible activity.

Note: It is usually necessary to have an appropriately large dataset. Please contact the CSIRO Kick-Start team to discuss your specific requirements.


No, unfortunately not, the CSIRO Kick-Start program is unable to provide introductions nor promote third party services/products.

Yes, this is an eligible activity for the Kick-Start program.

Note: developing a new process or material which requires rigorous testing and method optimisation is nominally a multi-year proposition and may lie outside of the scope of the Kick-Start Program. Please contact us to discuss whether your requirements would align with the spirit and scope of the Kick-Start program.

  • Depending on the level of complexity and development activities, this could be considered as a research project. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
  • General guidance: If the prototype can be developed using commercial services, then it would not represent an eligible activity. Only projects which require bona fide research services will be considered.
  • Note: operational expenditure limits apply as per the Kick-Start funding guidelines.

FAQ: Application Process

Yes, please make sure you have read and understood the program guidelines and funding limitations.

Note: if you are uncertain, please feel free to contact the team to discuss your requirements.

  • The first step is to review the program guidelines to assess your eligibility. If you’re company is eligible, you can submit an Expression of Interest via email.
  • If you’re not sure, please get in touch with the Kick-Start team either by phone or email. We can have a chat with you to discuss your proposed project, whether you are eligible for the program and discuss any other requirements. We can then advise you whether you should submit an Expression of Interest. If you have previously worked with CSIRO an Expression of Interest may not be required – we will let you know if this is the case.
  • After you have submitted an Expression of Interest form, we review this within five working days.
  • We will then organise a meeting to discuss your proposed project.
  • Once we’ve reviewed your Expression of Interest, we will look to match you with a suitable CSIRO researcher within two to six weeks - this may take longer if there is information missing in the Expression of Interest.
  • Following this, we will invite you to submit a full Kick-start application together with your assigned CSIRO researcher.

Yes, please feel free to reach out to one of our Kick-Start facilitators if you have questions.

Once a project application has been submitted, the next step will be the approval process. We will review your application and advise you of the outcome within five working days (if the application is fully completed). If successful, CSIRO will provide a formal contract that should be signed by both yourself and the relevant CSIRO delegate. Following this, you will be invited to pay the agreed value and the project can start!

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a match for all projects. If we don’t have the correct expertise, or if CSIRO researchers do not have capacity to take on new projects, then we won’t be able to progress the application further. However, the Kick-Start team will do their best to find a match for you. We will provide an outcome of the matching process as early as possible.

If the Kick-Start team is unable to find a suitable researcher with the appropriate skills to deliver on your project, you will be notified as soon as practicable and where possible provided with suggestions on alternative options to fulfil your needs.

No, Kick-Start Expression of Interest forms can be submitted all year round.

The greater the detail that can be provided, the easier it is for our team to match your request with suitable CSIRO researchers, so please be as thorough as possible.

Please outline any patents that have been applied for or are held in your Expression of Interest form (if applicable).

An Expression of Interest should be approximately two to three pages in length and a full CSIRO Kick-Start application should normally be around four pages, ensuring that you provide enough detail for each question. The more detail you can provide, the easier it is for us to identify a suitable researcher.

Yes, we do not share this information with anyone outside the organisation. The Kick-Start facilitators will review your Expression of Interest and may also forward it to potential CSIRO scientists/engineers when identifying a suitable researcher.

Applications, and any additional documents provided, will be reviewed by professional scientists/engineers at multiple stages during the application process.

FAQ: Kick-Start Projects

Kick-start projects can be up to 12 months in duration.

You can apply for up to two Kick-Start projects subject to researcher and funding availability, however, they cannot be performed simultaneously. You must complete one Kick-Start project and then apply for a second one, provided you still meet the eligibility criteria.

IP is negotiated on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on the nature of the work being undertaken. In most cases, new IP generated in the project will be assigned to the company. Other IP arrangements may be negotiated between the business and the CSIRO commercial team if, for example, the projects utilise CSIRO background IP or technologies IP arrangements will need to be discussed during the project scoping process.

Yes, research activities that require the involvement or study of humans or animals must undergo ethics review and receive approval before the commencement of any activities or collection or receipt of data. CSIRO has a Research Ethics Team that can assist in preparing ethics applications. We can provide you with more information on this as part of the application process.

FAQ: CSIRO Facilities

No, the Kick-Start team can find suitable facilities for your project. However, you are welcome to list CSIRO facilities or scientists that you have connected with before.

Yes, it may be possible to organise a site visit with your research team, this is done at the discretion of the lead researcher, please contact them to discuss your requirements.

Unfortunately this is not part of the Kick-Start Program, please contact CSIRO Enquiries for more information.

FAQ: Voucher

No, the CSIRO Kick-Start program does not provide seed funding, but rather, a voucher to cover part of the project costs within CSIRO.

Up to $50,000 is provided as a voucher for project delivery.

Yes, there are several voucher limited expenditures related to the engagement of external services, where required, which are limited to 20 per cent of the total project cost. Please refer to the guidelines for a full list of voucher limited expenses.

Your business will need to provide the same value of Kick-Start voucher granted to your project, which is known as matched funding. Your business may need to pay other expenditures that exceed the 20 per cent limitation of external expenses. Please refer to the guidelines for a full list of voucher limited expenses.

Testing activities may be eligible if informing the ongoing R&D of a product. Please note, this does not include testing for accreditation or certification.

Please note: CSIRO offers a range of testing services. You can find more information here or please contact CSIRO enquiries to connect with an appropriate member of staff.

No, this is ineligible.

No, any contributions made towards the project cost, after the addition of the Kick-Start voucher, must be cash contributions.

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