Future National ICT Industry Platform Program

The Future National ICT Industry Platform Program is intended to promote the NICTA Purposes by enabling a series of grants to fund substantial scale research activities (Digital Initiatives) and projects on a collaborative basis that addresses those challenges (Projects), in the field of information and communications technology (ICT).

Acting as a catalyst for the development of networks and clusters is a key NICTA purpose, which is therefore a key aim of the NICTA Gift to SIEF. CSIRO Data61 is the largest data innovation group in Australia, and connects a network of organisations across academia, corporations, start-ups, Commonwealth, State and Territory government agencies, investors and entrepreneurs focused on data-driven innovation for Australia but with global context. CSIRO Data61 is an essential part of the Future National ICT Industry Platform Program to leverage that networked approach in the conduct of Digital Initiatives, and to maximise efficiencies and reach in connection with the Program.

Selection Process

Digital initiatives under the Program are to be developed and proposed by CSIRO Data61 or the Program Advisory Council (PAC). The Trustee will publicise approved Digital Initiatives and seek Project proposals to address these Digital Initiatives; applications for funding for Research Projects to address a Digital Initiative is to be by invitation only through CSIRO Data61.

Digital initiatives and projects may be selected and approved at the discretion of the SIEF Trustee (after considering advice from the PAC), based on the extent to which a proposed Digital Initiative/Project meets the following criteria:

Digital Initiative criteria

  1. (Threshold). The Digital Initiative can be addressed through Research;
  2. (ICT). The Digital Initiative is aligned with the NICTA Purposes and is proposed with the support of CSIRO Data61;
  3. (Australian based / global scale).The Digital Initiative is aimed at creating one or more new Australian technology-based industries, or Australian based technology platforms, that can reach global scale;
  4. (Clarity). The Digital Initiative and its intended outcomes are clearly scoped, including by specifying what is within and outside of scope, and the successful achievement of the challenge outcomes is measurable; and
  5. (Feasible). The Digital Initiative outcomes can be achieved having regard to the level of funding available under, and the timeframe of, the Program (and any additional contributions that are likely to be made to the challenge),and the capacity and capability of CSIRO including Data61 and any other collaborating organisations to generate those deliverables.

Project Criteria

  1. (Threshold). The funded project constitutes Research;
  2. (Alignment with the approved Digital Initiative). The way in which the project addresses the relevant challenge is clear, including by specifying the way in which the project, together with other proposed projects or approved projects, will address the challenge;
  3. (Clarity). The project and its intended outcomes are clearly scoped (including by specifying what is within and outside of scope), and the achievement of those intended outcomes is measurable;
  4. (Outcome focussed). The intended outcomes of the project are highly tangible in nature, are aimed at solving a technical problem, or a problem in applying those outcomes to a domain or commercially, and are considered feasible having regard to the expertise and track record of CSIRO Data61 and the other collaborating organisations. The project outcomes must be appropriately split into outcome oriented milestones;
  5. (Time-bound). The project has a duration of not more than 3 years;
  6. (Review) where necessary, At least 2 expert reviewers have been nominated to provide additional advice to, and at the discretion of, the Program Advisory Committee (PAC);
  7. (Additionality / acceleration). The project would or could not otherwise be funded by CSIRO Data61 and the collaborating Eligible Organisations in the normal course of their businesses, and/or the project accelerates outcomes, that would otherwise not be achieved within a timeframe to address the relevant challenge; and
  8. (Funding). The funding requested from the Program is available and is reasonable having regard to the relevant challenge and the intended outcomes of the project.
  9. (Collaborative). The project involves CSIRO Data61 as the lead participant, and includes one or more third parties as collaborators (who may or may not also co-invest in the project), selected by CSIRO Data61, inline with the following criteria:
  1. (Fit). CSIRO Data61 and the other collaborating organisations will collectively contribute the resources, capability and expertise, capacity, facilities, and intellectual property that are necessary or desirable to achieving the intended outcomes of the project;
  2. (Speed). CSIRO Data61 and the other collaborating organisations will make their respective contributions to the project in the timeframes required by the project;
  3. (Efficiency). The arrangements between CSIRO Data61 and the other collaborating organisations are, to the extent possible,simple and maximise efficiencies – where a collaborating organisation is not a party to a funding agreement with the Trustee, CSIRO Data61 will be responsible for ensuring that arrangements are consistent with the funding agreement; and
  4. (Credibility). The other collaborating organisations have a demonstrated track record and reputation relevant to the project and/or CSIRO Data61 and the other collaborating organisations have a history of collaborating effectively

Funds from the Program may only be received by CSIRO (including through CSIRO Data61) and Australian Eligible Organisations.

Program Advisory Council (PAC)

The Trustee has established a Program Advisory Council (PAC) to advise and make recommendations in relation to proposed Digital Initiatives and Projects; the Trustee must give due regard to the recommendations of the PAC but is not bound by any such recommendations.

The PAC is composed of persons with recognised high levels of expertise and experience in the field of ICT or in the use or application of ICT in other scientific areas; they are independent experts in the areas of science, engineering, industry, education or innovation. The PAC members are:

Mr John Paitaridis – Chairman, Australian Information Industry Association
Ms Michelle Price – CEO AustCyber
Dr Simon Barry – Acting Director, CSIRO Data61

Digital Initiatives Funded

Initiative Name Collaborators SIEF funds for projects addressing the Digital Initiative (duration) Status
Pilot 1a Food Provenance Data61 $3.07M

(4 months)


Read the Executive Summary.

1b Supply Chain Integrity Data61 $3.350M

(9 months)


Read the Executive Summary.

2 Energy Data61; Sydney Uni; UniSA $1.584M

(10 months)


Read the Executive Summary.

3 Data Driven Cities Data61; ANU; UTS; UWA; UniSA; Monash; Swinburne; Wollongong $5.142M

(10 months)


Read the Executive Summary.

4 Genomics Data61; ANU; UniSA $1.59M

(8 months)


Read the Executive summary

5 Supply Chain Integrity Phase 2 Data61; CSIRO Agriculture and Food; CSIRO Land and Water $4,576,188

(13 months)

In Progress

Read the summary