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CSIRO Kick-Start Program


This program aims to help Australian start-ups and small SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) access funding to undertake research, development, or testing activities with CSIRO. It is a targeted program, which forms part of CSIRO’s strategic commitment to deepen its direct support for Australian technology start-ups and SMEs in areas of national growth priorities.

The program forms part of the wider CSIRO SME Connect program, which provides facilitation and matched funding services to eligible SMEs with a turnover or expenditure of up to $100 million. SME Connect’s Kick-Start Program Manager, along with other members of the SME Connect team, take a customer first approach and will assist in:
- Connecting the business to the best CSIRO research expertise, utilising the national CSIRO network of facilitators and contacts.
- Expediting the application process and helping with project design, if required, to ensure the project meets customer needs and expectations.
- Maintaining end-to-end engagement – remaining in communication with both researchers and businesses during the course of, and after completion of, the project, to ensure expectations are met, and knowledge transfer is smooth and effective.

Vouchers between $10,000 and $50,000 are available on a dollar-for-dollar matched funding basis.

Eligible companies are able to apply for a second Kick-Start project, after completion of their first, providing the total funding provided by SME Connect under the Kick-Start program does not exceed $50,000.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants include business that must:
- Be registered, and have their primary place of business, within Australia.
- Have an Australian Company number (ACN).
- Be a for-profit, non-tax exempt company which is registered for GST.
- Have an annual turnover and operating expenditure of less than $1.5 million, in the current and each of the two previous financial years.
- Have been a registered company for less than three years.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects must:
- Include one of the following activities:
a) Research into a new idea or discovery with commercial potential
b) Development of a novel or improved product or process
c) Testing of a novel product, developed by the company, to inform research and development activities
- Be delivered by CSIRO business units and/or facilities. This currently includes:
a) Agriculture and Food
b) Data61
c) Energy
d) Health and biosecurity
e) Land and water
f) Manufacturing
g) Mineral resources
h) Oceans and atmosphere
i) Services
j) Astronomy and space science
k) Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
l) National facilities and follections
- Be less than one year in length.
- Have a mutually agreed budget and scope of work.

  • Start-up
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business Support
Documentation Uploaded
Guidelines 2019-11-13 Download
Expression of Interest Form 2019-11-13 Download

Use these documents as a guide only - always get the latest direct from the Administrator

Status Open
Closing Information
This program is open on an ongoing basis.

Funding Type Voucher
Min.Funding $10,000
Max.Funding $50,000
Co-contribution Yes 1:1
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Start-up / Establishment
Innovation and R&D
Minimum Expenditure
Company $1.5M
Who Can Apply?
General - Non-Industry Specific
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Program Administrator
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit