Circular Economy Innovation Fund – Round 1

Last updated: 13 September 2022

Prior to 1 July 2022, this fund was named the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund.

These opportunities are aligned to the principles of:

  • designing out waste
  • maintaining product and material value over a longer period of time.

There are two streams within the Innovation Fund:

  • Stream 1: Food Innovation
    For collaborative partnerships that identify opportunities and apply innovative circular economy business models and practices for food waste or for the food sector
  • Stream 2: Collaborative Innovation
    For collaborative partnerships that identify, develop and/or scale-up innovative circular economy business models and practices. The projects need to address systemic barriers with innovative thinking and practice.

View the program guidelines.

Information bulletin
For our responses to questions not addressed on this page or in the guidelines, view the Information bulletin.

Status: Applications closed
Closing date: Monday 15 February 2021, 12:23 pm
Total funding available: $75,000 to $450,000

$1:$1 (minimum). Co-contribution can be made as cash or in-kind. Up to 80% of the applicant’s co-contribution can be in-kind.

Available to: Research institutions, Businesses, Charities, Industry groups and associations

Eligible applicants

The application must include at least two organisations.

In such a group application (known as ‘collaborative partnership’), the main organisation responsible for delivering the project is the lead applicant, and the others are the project partners.

To be the lead applicant, you must be one of the following:

  • business
  • industry group
  • research institution
  • charity.

To be a project partner, you can be from the above categories or one of these:

  • other not-for-profit organisations
  • government
  • local government.

You must also:

Eligible projects

The Innovation Fund will support collaborative partnerships about innovative and commercial solutions that deliver the following for Victoria:

  • increased access to circular economy products and services for businesses and consumers
  • increased materials efficiency across sectors and supply chains
  • increased duration of product and material lifecycles and maintenance of product and material value
  • new circular business models and/or materials markets
  • new local jobs and increased circular economy skills in the workforce
  • reduced materials to landfill and other waste destinations
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

For Stream 1: Food Innovation, the project must deliver on at least one of the following:

  • reduce food waste (for example, ingredients, food products)
  • redistribute food to people to prevent waste
  • make new products from food waste (for example, plant-based textiles, vitamin supplements, ingredients and meals, animal feed).

Other requirements for both Streams 1 and 2 include:

  • the project must start by August 2021 and be completed by May 2024
  • more than 50% of project activities must be in Victoria.

The projects may be focused on:

  • improved capacity and investment in circular economy initiatives
  • implementation of circular economy business models
  • improved take-up and adaptation of digital technologies
  • design-led changes to achieve circular outcomes
  • material efficiency and productivity.

Funding limits

Stream 1: Food Innovation
Grant amount per project: $75,000 to $150,000

Stream 2: Collaborative Innovation
Grant amount per project: $150,000 to $450,000

Co-contribution is required.

Application process

  1. You must read the program guidelines, which contain the assessment criteria and other important information.
  2. Read and accept the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions.
  3. Read and understand the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.
  4. To apply you’ll need to register an account with Smarty Grants. Once you’re logged in, click on Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund to apply.

For our responses to questions not addressed on this page or in the guidelines, view the Information bulletin.


Applications open Friday 20 November 2020
Applications close Monday 15 February 2021
Projects must start by Sunday 1 August 2021
Projects must be completed by Wednesday 1 May 2024


Recycling Victoria (PDF, 1.7MB) a is a ten-year policy and action plan to transform how our economy uses materials. The policy will assist business to generate less waste through:

  • innovation and design
  • using recycled materials in products
  • considering impacts across product life cycles
  • exploring new circular economy business models.

This will create value for Victorians through increased access to:

  • circular economy products and services
  • new local jobs
  • increased circular economy skills in the workforce.

Circular economy

The Recycling Victoria policy defines circular economy as:  

“A circular economy continually seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption, while enabling economic growth through more productive use of natural resources.

It allows us to avoid waste with good design and effective recovery of materials that can be reused.  

It promotes more efficient business models that encourage intense and efficient product use, such as sharing products between multiple users, or supplying a product as a service that includes maintenance, repair and disposal. 

The value people obtain from the resources used to create goods and services increases.  

It transforms our linear economy mindset—take, use and throw away—and fosters innovation and productivity that invigorates existing businesses and creates new ones, delivering more jobs and more growth for local, regional, state and global economies.”

Want to know more? Get in touch with...

Grants Support Representative
Sustainability Victoria