New research on public sector innovation labs

Innovation units, labs and teams are becoming increasingly important within the public sector, as demonstrated by the number of new units that have been established in recent years. To better understand the key characteristics of public and social innovation units — and the different areas and approaches they are working on — The Policy Lab at the University of Melbourne is conducting the first large-scale survey of public and social innovation units/teams in Australia and New Zealand.

Update: the full report on survey results is now available (April 2018) here.

The survey was carried out online until 25 February 2018. We invited all innovation units in Australia and New Zealand that work on public policy or public service design to take part. This included non-government organisations that work with government on policy or public service innovation as well as units or teams based within the public sector (at all levels of government).

We will be sharing results, first with participants, then publicly on this web page, once they are available.

The Policy Lab’s public sector innovation labs research project 2017/18 is supported by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, and in conjunction with other partners — the Public Sector Innovation Branch in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and the Auckland Co-Design Lab.

This project will map the numerous PSI units in Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions, investigate the varying ways they are working with/in government; and examine the challenges and opportunities they face in contributing to policy innovation and reform at different jurisdictional levels.

If you are interested in hearing more about the project, please get in touch with us at