Thursday, 28 November 2013

A new Brand. A new way to think about Canberra.

Canberra prepares for the next 100 years.

CBR logo

Building on the momentum and success of Canberra’s Centenary year, the ACT Government has revealed a new city brand that will carry the story of Canberra into the next 100 years.

The project aims to shift perceptions of Canberra and to encourage more people to engage with Canberra as a place to live, work, learn, visit and invest.

Canberra is a place to stimulate your senses, engage your mind and fire your imagination. Big ideas emerge, circulate and grow here, thanks to unique links between leading thinkers in business, government, education and research.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the brand is a platform to tell all aspects of the Canberra and region story.

“When we started thinking about the lasting legacy from our centenary year, it became clear that we really needed to capitalise on the community and city pride that has emerged over the last 12 months,” the Chief Minister said.

“Early on in the year we got a real sense that people were feeling not only more connected to their city but were feeling really proud to call Canberra their home.

“This is not about just giving Canberra a new logo. Our city ‘brand’ has to be a collective idea – and a collective advocacy – about who we are and what we have to offer – a brand which truly represents what Canberra is all about.”

The brand architecture and visual identity is the product of a 15-month brand development process led by Generation Alliance and Coordinate. It involved extensive research, community consultation, strategy development and graphic design.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker said the new brand represented Canberra well.

“Innovation and education are major elements of Canberra’s brand. It’s important that we position our city as a national and international destination for education and research, creating jobs and building a more vibrant culture,” Professor Parker said.

A further three months of community and stakeholder engagement will take place before the detailed program will be revealed in March 2014.

To learn more about Canberra’s brand and understand the journey about how it was created please visit External Link - opens in new window and use #CBR to join the conversation on Twitter.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Aspen Medical recognised nationally for exporting excellence

Local company Aspen Medical External Link - opens in new window was last night recognised for its exporting excellence, taking out the Health and Biotechnology category at the 51st National Export Awards External Link - opens in new window.

Aspen Medical was founded in Canberra in 2003 and delivers world-class healthcare in remote, challenging and under-resourced environments. Since commencement, the company has operated in the Pacific region, South East Asia, UK, USA, Canada and the Middle East.

In 2012-13 Aspen Medical’s exports grew by 16 percent to $44 million. Exports now account for close to 20 percent of the business’ worldwide turnover, which more than doubled from last year.

Aspen Medical being recognised as Australia’s leading exporter in the Health and Biotechnology category is a significant achievement and acknowledges the company’s hard work.

Their win puts the ACT exporting community on the national stage and reinforces the ACT’s continued ability to foster and develop strong exporting companies.

This is the second time that Aspen Medical has been recognised at the National Export Awards having won the Large Services Award in 2011. That year the company was also awarded for its contribution to the ACT exporting community, being inducted into the ACT Export Hall of Fame.

The win caps off a successful few months for Aspen Medical who in October was named Innovation Champion 2013 by Adelaide Research & Innovation External Link - opens in new window. That award recognised the company’s pioneering work in developing modelling tools to better assist decision making in the provision of Aero-Medical Evacuation services across the oil and gas industry.

Festival of Ambitious Ideas

The Festival of Ambitious Ideas held on 6 November 2013 featured the stories of 12 of Canberra's most innovative businesses and inspiring projects. It is a fast-paced event where presenters have only 5 minutes to tell their story.

Organiser of the the Festival of Ambitions Ideas, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre  External Link - opens in new window, has put together this quick video sharing some of the audiences thoughts on the event.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Local entrepreneurs share their vision for Canberra

It’s been 100 years of Canberra, so now is time to imagine the future for Canberra in the next 100 years.

Join some Canberra's successful entrepreneurs and hear their vision for Canberra.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Local business excellence recognised

PayMe, named 2013 Canberra Business of the Year

Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr last night recognised a number of local Canberra businesses for their success and achievements with the presentation of the 2013 Canberra BusinessPoint Awards.

The awards, which are managed by the ACT Government's business advisory and mentoring service Canberra BusinessPoint External Link - opens in new window, showcase the range and depth of successful businesses operating in the Canberra region.

They showcase the innovation and ingenuity of ACT companies who have taken the astute step of seeking assistance through Canberra BusinessPoint.

On the night Minister Barr presented awards to 6 category winners from a range of different industries. 

The category winners were:
  • Web and Mobile –
  • Clean and Green – Envirolove
  • Bricks and Mortar – Autolyse
  • Creative and Design – Handmade Canberra
  • Micro-Enterprise – Ontong Patafta Bernal Football Academy
  • High Growth – PayMe

High Growth category winner PayMe went on to be the overall winner of the awards, named the 2013 Canberra BusinessPoint Business of the Year. The Canberra business provides specialist payroll services to contractors throughout Australia primarily in the information technology, administrative, and oil and gas sectors. Find out more about PayMe External Link - opens in new window.

The ACT Government is committed to supporting business and growing the economy.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalist of this year’s Canberra BusinessPoint Awards.

Find out more about the 2013 Canberra BusinessPoint Awards External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Multinationals expand in Canberra

Two multinational companies, Lockheed Martin and MBDA, have recently expanded their businesses in Canberra.

Global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin External Link - opens in new window opened their Security Intelligence Centre in Kingston in a move that highlights ours and the nation’s reputation as a highly educated workforce and robust technology industry.

The centre is the next step in Lockheed Martin’s international expansion of its cyber-defence network.

Raydon Gates, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia said “The establishment of this newest centre is just the next phase in our commitment to Australia’s cyber-security, technological and economic evolution”.

The Centre, which is Lockheed Martin’s fourth centre worldwide, builds on more than $10 million worth of investment in consolidating Lockheed Martin’s operations in Canberra into a single facility. It also enhances Australia’s reputation for a highly competitive information communication and technology (ICT) industry and a highly educated, highly skilled workforce. ICT spending across the country is projected to reach $63 billion in 2013, one of the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sondra Barbour, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) business said: “This new Centre is an investment in technology, expertise and talent for increased innovation throughout our Lockheed Martin team".

Following its decision to make Australia the hub of its Asia-Pacific operations, missile developer MBDA External Link - opens in new window also recently opened an office in Canberra.

Andy Watson, MBDA Australia Managing Director said: “We are looking at the potential of expanding our industrial activities in Australia and this will require a network of industrial partners with whom we can work to provide through-life solutions, for certain products that we feel are highly relevant to Australia’s current and future requirements”.

Find out more in Austrade’s Investor Updates External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Digital Canberra Challenge – Round One Competitors announced

Digital Canberra Challenge Logo

After a number of great submissions from Canberra's ICT innovation community, the Digital Canberra Program Board has selected the best two to for a head-to-head competition.

Over the coming months they will partner with the ACT Government to develop their ideas into 'proof-of-concept' prototypes.

Team 1: Design Managers Australia

Design Management Australia (DMA) is a Canberra-based specialist service design agency working with private, public, community and volunteer organisations.

For the Digital Canberra Challenge, DMA will be joined by local user-centred designer David More, digital strategist James Peek and Wellington NZ business designers Empathy.

Team 2: DigiACTive

DigiACTive is a team of bright young  students emanating from the Australian National University. Their combined  expertise spans Engineering  Computer Science/Arts  and  Software Engineering .

The students met through the ANU Computer Science Students' Association, of which one of the students, Andrew Donnellan, is President.

Find out more about the chosen teams on the Digital Canberra website External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Canberra businesses showcase their creativity

What would you do if you had only 5 minutes to ignite the audience? Twelve local Canberra innovators took up that challenge at Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre’s External Link - opens in new window Festival of Ambitious Ideas.

Held on 6 November 2013, speakers on the night included Ken Kroeger, Managing Director and CEO of Seeing Machines, Denis Jorgensen, CEO of Uber Global and Adrian Faccioni, Managing Director of GPSports. With only 5 minutes to ignite the audience, the speakers shared their story, their highlights and their challenges and left some parting tips for the budding entrepreneurs in the audience.

Adrian Faccioni, Managing Director of GPSports speaks to the audience

Anna Pino, Chief Executive of Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre told StartupSmart External Link - opens in new window the event was launched to combat the idea Canberra wasn’t creative. 

“One of the issues start-ups have in Canberra is people think we’re not a very innovative city, but there is a lot of activity,” Ms Pino says. 

“Events like these are vital for a community like Canberra where even the locals misunderstand what’s going on here and all the incredible activity.”
“We had no idea there were so many great projects going on here that had almost no visibility beyond their own team. We’re hoping to connect people so they can network and set up collaborations,” Ms Pino continued.

One of those showcasing their ideas was Amber Stanley who displayed her ‘Think. Create. Innovate ACT’ augmented reality exhibition.  The exhibition, which uses portrait photos and her new augmented reality app to promote some of her fellow entrepreneurs, debuted to large audiences earlier in the year at the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards and Floriade.

Ms Stanley’s exhibition was made up of ten custom designed, glowing spires, each containing a removable portrait of an entrepreneur. When you download the free app and hover your device's camera over the portrait, a 'hologram- like' of a mini entrepreneur pops up and tells you about their secrets to success. Find out more about the augmented reality tool External Link - opens in new window.

Watch this video to see the augmented reality display in action:

This was the second event of its kind, with the first being held earlier this year. While the Festival of Ambitious Ideas is not an investment pitching competition, Pino says one of the start-ups in the March event has received angel investment from someone who saw them pitch on the day.  

The Canberra start-up community is well-placed to work with one of Australia’s largest clients, the federal government. Pino says the event is designed to encourage this connection.

“We see Canberra as an incubator in itself, with high quality graduates coming out of our institutions and one of the world’s biggest customers right here on your doorstep,” Pino says. 

“If you can sell something to government and make it work, you’re off to an excellent start. Nurturing that relationship is really important for us.” Read more in StartupSmart’s ‘Canberra start-ups to showcase creativity at Festival of Ambitious Ideas’ External Link - opens in new window.

Crowd at the Festival of Ambitious Ideas 

Amber Stanley's augmented reality spires at the Festival of Ambitious Ideas

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

ACT International Student Ambassadors - Representing Canberra on a global level

23 Faces, 26 Languages, 23 Countries, 5 Educational Institutions, brought together in 1 City.

Check our this video showing the countries represented in the 2013 ACT International Student Ambassador Program. The video has been produced by the ambassadors.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Business ideas that don't cost the earth

ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo
10am – 4pm
Thursday 14 November 2013
Rydges Lakeside

Looking to make your business more sustainable? Head along to the free ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo this November and learn about the latest energy and water efficiency products and services, better waste management, as well as advice on creating a healthier work environment.  At the Expo you will also be able to discuss you needs with the ACTSmart team and find the right sustainable solutions for your business.

Businesses that attend the expo and are signed up to an ACTSmart Business program (including those who sign up on the day) have the chance to win $1,000 in prizes*.

Find out more about the ACTSmart Business programs External Link - opens in new window.

This year’s ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo also includes a range of free seminars on key industry topics and the latest industry trends. View the seminar program External Link - opens in new window. Bookings are required as seats are limited at each seminar. To book, complete the online registration form available on the ACTSmart website External Link - opens in new window.

Following the Expo, from 4pm -6pm a free networking function will be held. Attendance at the networking function is limited. To book email

To find out more about the ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo including the seminars and networking event visit the ACTSmart website External Link - opens in new window.

*Terms and conditions available at External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

International Student Ambassadors graduation

Congratulations to our 36 ambassadors who graduated from the ACT Government’s International Student Ambassador program on Friday 25 October 2013!

Watch our video of the 2013 ACT International Student Ambassadors Graduation ceremony and hear what some of the Ambassadors had to say about the program:

The ambassadors, who began the program in March this year, come from 19 different countries including Canada, China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. They have been studying at ACT tertiary institutions including the Australian National University (ANU), University of Canberra, Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), UNSW Canberra and the Australian Catholic University.

Throughout their time as ambassadors the students attended a range of cultural, social and sporting events, as well as some more formal sessions covering politics, history, business and innovation.

The ACT International Student Ambassador Program, an initiative of the ACT Government’s Global Connect program, aims to leverage the international student experience in Canberra as both an international education marketing tool and as a skills network that can promote the ACT economy. It aims to ensure that international students feel welcome in Canberra and to build on the growing number of advocates or ambassadors for studying, living and working in Canberra.

This is the forth group of ambassadors to go through the program with the students now joining an alumnus of other ambassadors that can actively promote Canberra as an education and learning destination to the world.

To find out more visit the ACT International Student Ambassador Program websitExternal Link - opens in new window.

Group of graduating ACT International Student Ambassadors

Monday, 4 November 2013

Business Connect November Newsletter

The November issue of the Business Connect Newsletter is now available. Find out about:
  • An upcoming event to make your business more sustainable.
  • ACT International Student Ambassadors graduation.
  • Winners of the ACT Telstra Women's business awards.
Plus more!

View the Business Connect November Newsletter.

The November newsletter is now available!