A strong and growing economy is essential for us to meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future. Our economy will grow, and we will create jobs and wealth, by accelerating our innovation sector and building on our strengths in higher education and service exports.
The ACT Government, through our renewed business development strategy, is continuing to put in place practical policies that create the right business environment and use our competitive strengths to accelerate innovation, creating jobs for Canberra.
One of the three strategic priorities outlined in the business development strategy is accelerating innovation. As part of this we are providing additional funding to the CBR Innovation Network to support potential high growth businesses including the establishment of the new business incubator program, the KILN incubator.
KILN is a business program that aims to support budding Canberra entrepreneurs through a range of services including coaching, mentoring, business advisory and office space.
Today marks the opening of the 2015 competitive funding round of the CBR Innovation Development Fund. The Fund has been designed to support a range of initiatives aimed at developing capability and investment across the ACT’s innovation ecosystem.
The Fund will offer $700,000 for initiatives that build the capacity and capability in the innovation ecosystem, demonstrate sustainable economic growth and promote local job development. In the 2016–17 funding round the amount will be increased to $1.45 million.
It is a working example of the Government’s commitment to diversification of Canberra’s economy by creating the right business environment, accelerating innovation to create wealth and jobs and supporting investment in future growth areas.
The higher education and research sector contributes $2.7 billion a year to our economy and creates 16,000 full time equivalent jobs for the Canberra community. This is why the Government has funded a number of innovation programs such as the Innovation Connect grants, which will be delivered in conjunction with ANU and UC’s Discovery Translation Fund.
Canberra’s higher education sector has made a strong commitment to the CBR Innovation Network and recognises that a dynamic innovation ecosystem will assist these institutions to achieve their goal of turning research into commercial outcomes.
We only have to look at successful Canberra companies such as FEI Australia, SmartWard, Enabled Employment and Aspen Medical to see that innovation is vital to strengthening and diversifying the Canberra economy.
My goal is to create more companies like these, which is why the government has decided to back innovation.
This article was originally published by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at www.andrewbarr.com.au.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
Monday, 20 April 2015
Entry 29 has brought together 30 of Canberra’s programmers, technologists and designers to hold a three day digital technologies community event, hs.hact.io, for 130 ACT High School students over 17-19 April 2015.
The hs.hact.io event is a project-based learning approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines and entrepreneurship. The event is designed for students at all levels of experience. Beginners receive mentoring and support from Canberra’s tech community as they develop their first website, mobile app, video game, 3D animation, or 3D printed object. More advanced students are using the three days to form teams, build something cool, and compete for more than $7,500 in cash prizes.
ACT teachers and schools are getting behind the event with Canberra Grammar School providing its new Snow Centre building as the venue for the inaugural event.
“We need more events like hs.hact.io which allow students to engage in practical projects beyond the
classroom. At Canberra Grammar School we are proud to support this event which is an ideal use of our new Snow Centre building – emphasising collaboration, teamwork, and community,” said Information and Software Technology Teacher Matthew Purcell.
Event Lead and General Manager at the Entry 29 tech startup co-working space Matt Stimson is passionate about developing ACT Youth and getting them into technology and entrepreneurship.
“You ask enough developers how they became passionate about technology and it often involves positive experiences and support during their formative years. A large component of this event exists for high schoolers interested in tech and unsure of how to get started with it,’ he said.
The hs.hact.io organisers raised over $17,500 in their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to cover the event costs and prizes. The crowdfunding effort goes towards running not only this event, but funding the development of materials to rollout the concept nationally to satellite venues in 2016.
“This inaugural event is going brilliantly and we’re already thinking of how to grow it and run a similar event for Primary Schools,” Stimson added.
The CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) reserved the major sponsorship opportunity within hours of the hs.hact.io campaign launch.
“I only wish there were opportunities like this when I was going through school. We are extremely proud to be involved with hs.hact.io we could not be more excited to support youth in the ACT. This event could be the start of an amazing journey for hundreds of Canberra’s youth,” said CBR Innovation Network Chief Executive Dr Sarah Pearson.
NICTA’s Digital Careers Office and Cogito Group, winner of the ACT Telstra Business Award in 2014 for Startup of the Year, have also joined as event sponsors. Canberra startups like Madefor.me and game studios Cardboard Keep and Whalehammer Games have also come aboard.
More event information is available at www.hs.hact.io .
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has outlined plans to establish a Small Business Research Partnerships Program which will see a proportion of government procurement funds allocated to working with our innovative local businesses.
The program, which was announced as part of the Chief Minister's speech to the Canberra Business Chamber 2015 ‘State of the Territory’ Luncheon, will see a proportion of government procurement funds allocated to working with our innovative local businesses.
The Chief Minister said "The program will allow our smart small businesses to assist government through practical and innovative solutions to common problems that can then be sold to other clients outside of the territory".
"Similar models have been highly successful in the United States. I am confident that smart procurement can stimulate our small business sector and make the ACT a global leader in providing innovative services to government."
Sarah Pearson, Chief Executive of the CBR Innovation Network, says government and business will benefit from this initiative.
“Programs like this will help the ACT government get solutions that meet their specific needs, typically at lower cost than off-the-shelf options,” Dr Pearson said.
“This is crucial in helping our small businesses and entrepreneurs work with government, building their businesses and building Canberra’s reputation as a place that solves government challenges and exports those solutions.”
This initiative will be part of the government’s next Business Development Strategy. The Chief Minister recently reported to the Assembly that all 26 Business Development targets set in the previous strategy have been achieved. This included measures to attract foreign investment and skilled migrants, grow our export capabilities, partner with our tertiary education institutions to commercialise research and maximise the value of the visitor economy.
The Chief Minister said "My speech today also covered how the new Local Industry Advocate will work exclusively in the interests of the ACT business community to ensure work that can and should be done by local businesses stays in the ACT- building capability and economic activity in our city."
"The Advocate’s first job will be to work with local industry to identify improvements to government procurement processes. While the government will always get the best value for money for the community, it is important to do this in a way that creates opportunity for local business and continues the government’s renewal agenda."
"My address outlined how going forward, the ACT Government will continue to drive greater economic self-reliance through investment in projects like Capital Metro, which is vital for economic activity and job creation in Canberra. The project will benefit the whole city by employing 3500 people in its construction phase alone, revitalising the Northbourne corridor and taking thousands of cars out of city traffic and car parks" said the Chief Minister.
"I also reiterated how education is critical to the future of investment and jobs in our city. Our higher education and trades training institutions are employers, exporters and investors, and they must flourish for our city’s economy to be strong. That’s why I have recently signed a Statement of Strategic Intent with the University of Canberra, outlining our shared commitment to development and growth of the University’s Bruce campus."
"This month the Government also passed the first of a suite of reforms in the Legislative Assembly that will enable $1 billion in investment, development, expansion and job creation on the UC campus and in the surrounding community.
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Innovative local startup Enabled Employment has taken out Optus’ Your Shark Tank competition.
Enabled Employment’s success in the Your Shark Tank competition also comes in the same week as the company was named a finalist in the Startup Hero category of the Startup Smart Awards, making them a great example of the type of innovative start-ups that are emerging from Canberra.
The Canberra based startup provides an innovative new approach to eliminate the barriers to employment for people with a disability, using flexible arrangements to enable highly capable people with a disability to find productive and well-paid employment.
Enabled Employment’s innovative business model has been recognised and supported locally. The company, who are currently members of Entry29 Co-working which is located at the CBR Innovation Network, received early development funding under the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect program. They were also part of the first intake in the GRIFFIN Accelerator, a program also supported by the ACT Government in partnership with local entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "The ACT Government recognises the importance of innovative entrepreneurs and startups and the significant role they play in growing and diversifying the local economy, both now and into the future, and I am pleased that the ACT Government has been able to assist Enabled Employment".
Optus says ‘yes’ to supporting big ideas and innovation, and Your Shark Tank invited companies from around Australia to submit their business ideas to a judging panel. Earlier this week, Enabled Employment CEO, Jessica May pitched her startup to the panel of ‘sharks’ alongside the four other shortlisted competitors from across Australia.
The Innovation Connect program encourages innovation among local businesses and helps to develop new companies and technologies in Canberra by providing matched-funding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage ACT businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisation pathways.
Friday, 13 February 2015
On Friday 13 February 2015 ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA launched the 2015 GRIFFIN Accelerator program; a program conceived and managed by Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, teach and mentor selected start-ups to create successful new businesses.
GRIFFIN has already completed one very successful program last year with all five participating start up companies receiving investment offers from around Australia at the end of the three month immersive commercialisation program. The 2015 GRIFFIN program will be bigger than 2014, with early planning to support up to 10 new innovative business start-ups.
The Chief Minister said "The ACT Government has placed support for business innovation centrally in its economic development agenda. We know that business innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to expanding the city’s economic base, diversifying our economy and creating new jobs for the future. Our policies and programs to in this area have been successfully guided by Growth Diversification and Jobs, A Business Development Strategy for the ACT".
"In my Ministerial Statement to the Legislative Assembly earlier this week, I announced new directions around procurement reform and advocacy for local SMEs and these directions will form an important part of a second phase of Business Development Strategy to be released in the first half of this year. Greater synergy between innovation policy and government procurement is something I know the business community is keen to see."
"I am delighted the ACT Government has been able to play a role in the establishment of the Griffin Accelerator through administrative funding support in 2014, and in 2015 through our support for the CBR Innovation Network" said the Chief Minister.
Innovators and entrepreneurs from Canberra and Australia are encouraged to apply for the GRIFFIN accelerator’s three month program supported by the CBR Innovation Network. For more information visit the GRIFFIN Accelerator website .
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Last weekend 58 local innovators, including 25 high school students and one primary school student, participated in this year’s Hackathon ACT (HACT) challenge.
The HACT challenge gives teams 32 hours to design, code and launch a new digital product or service. It is part of the TriHack weekend with simultaneous hackathons also taking place in Wollongong and Bega as part of unlocking innovation in the regions.
The HACT challenge, held at Entry 29’s new facilities at the CBR Innovation Network , included workshops and mentors and culminated in a public pitching event.
The participants made up 18 teams, with 15 teams choosing to go to the final pitching event.
Congratulations to the winning HACT 2014 teams:
Biggest Impact Idea ($1,000 prize provided by the CBR Innovation Network)
Outstanding Young Entrepreneur ($500 prize each provided by the CBR Innovation Network)
Best Community/Open Source Product ($1,000 prize provided by October CMS)
Find out more about Hackathon ACT .
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Public Sector Landing PadHave you been a permanent employee of the Australian or ACT Public Service in the past 12 months? Are you ready to work on your innovative idea full-time?
You may be eligible for the CBR Innovation Network’s ‘Public Sector Landing Pad’ (PSLP) program.
Being run by the Network’s partner, Entry 29, the PSLP program gives you 3 months free full-time access to the Entry 29 co-working space located at 1 Moore St, Canberra, normally valued at $990.
The Entry 29 space allows you to work closely with other entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as the CBR Innovation Network and their partner institutions.
You’ll also have access to the Entry 29 facilities which includes 24 hour access, high-speed internet, height-adjustable desks, breakout spaces, meeting rooms and kitchens. You will also have access to other co-working spaces when you travel through Entry 29’s Reciprocal Membership arrangements.
Youth Entrepreneur Summer SessionAll teams that received seed funding in this year’s Innovation ACT (IACT) 2014 competition are invited to take part in the inaugural ‘Youth Entrepreneur Summer Session’ (YESS) program.
As part of the program you will receive 3 months free full-time access to the Entry 29 co-working space located at 1 Moore St, Canberra, normally valued at $990.
Eligible IACT start-ups must commence their 3 month access prior to 31 December 2014.
To find out more and discuss your eligibility for the PSLP or YESS program contact Entry 29:
Phone: 0426 816 288
The CBR Innovation Network has been established by the ACT Government and the ACT innovation community to play a major role in accelerating innovation and growth to maximise wealth creation and transformation of the ACT economy. The Network is unique within Australia in that it’s based on a collaboration between five world-class research and education institutes in the ACT: the ANU, University of Canberra, NICTA, CSIRO and UNSW Canberra.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Friday, 7 November 2014
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has officially launched the new CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) at its space in Level 5, 1 Moore St, Canberra.
In an Australian-first collaboration between the ACT Government and 5 research organisations, CBRIN is a central hub to connect, promote and accelerate innovation in the ACT. It is a not for profit organisation, supported by the ACT Government with leadership from its 5 foundation partners: The Australian National University (ANU), University of Canberra (UC), National ICT Australia (NICTA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of New South Wales (UNSW Canberra). The broader innovation community is engaged through various avenues, including an Advisory Committee that will give input to strategic direction.
CBRIN CEO, Dr. Sarah Pearson said "The ACT is uniquely positioned to transform its economy. No other city in Australia can boast such a strong collaboration between its major research and education institutions, coupled with a vibrant and engaged innovation community. We have all the ingredients needed to make our city a globally recognised economy driven by entrepreneurial and innovative companies".
Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation and Advancement) said of the ANU's involvement "CBRIN is an exciting opportunity for ANU to connect with the broader innovation community, to support the growth of innovation culture and capability, and is already helping connect start-ups with the support they need".
Professor Frances Shannon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UC said "UC is looking to CBRIN as a collaborative approach to engaging students in entrepreneurship, as well as an opportunity to develop new industry sectors for the ACT".
Dr Phil Robertson, Chief Operating Officer at NICTA said that being based on collaborations between industry and researchers, NICTA was a natural foundation partner for the CBRIN
"We are keen to see CBRIN connect ACT innovators into market supply chains to deliver innovative solutions and a thriving economy", said Dr Phil Robertson.
Lindsay Adler commented "CSIRO is pleased to be involved in this unique collaboration, and will use CBRIN as a tool to support the growth of the ACT innovation ecosystem and economy".
Professor Hans Riesen from UNSW Canberra highlighted "the collaborative approach that CBRIN is employing is unique in Australia, and we see this as a great opportunity to foster excellence in entrepreneurship and successful commercialisation".
The ACT has over 26,000 businesses, with the vast majority being micro and small. It has the highest business formation and patent PC rate in Australia, and is a hotbed of youth entrepreneurism.
CBRIN is headed by Sarah Pearson as the CEO, and Tony Henshaw as the Chair. CBRIN will take a central role in growing the innovation ecosystem and diversifying the economy in the ACT, and will do this by:
- Providing a service connecting innovators and entrepreneurs to the support they need, both online and offline
- Providing a supportive co-working space in collaboration with Entry 29
- Supporting a business accelerator program with Griffin Accelerator
- Developing an incubator program
- Workshops, talks and events for capability building, connection, promotion and commercial solution development through open methods
- Delivering a business assistance service for small companies wishing to innovate and grow
- Delivering programs to support youth and public servants wishing to start on the entrepreneurial journey
- Promoting innovation in the ACT nationally and internationally, to attract funding, talent, and companies wishing to be part of the concentration of world-class expertise and entrepreneurship
Canberra is on track to become a globally recognised hub of entrepreneurial success- a clever, connected and creative city that attracts companies, ideas and talent. With Canberra's unique concentration of education and research institutions, skilled people and multinational companies, CBRIN will integrate, align and expand diverse innovation activities.
Find out more about the CBR Innovation Network at www.cbrin.com.au .
Thursday, 25 September 2014
The five teams participating in Canberra start-up accelerator program, GRIFFIN Accelerator presented to investors in Sydney and Canberra this week, generating substantial investor interest.
On Tuesday the teams pitched to Sydney based investors at ATP Innovations, who partnered with the Canberra mentors to run the program. From an audience of over 45, mostly potential investors, all five teams received genuine initial interest from investors.
In Canberra on Wednesday the teams pitched to an audience of over 60 people in a joint event with Capital Angels and again received strong interest. Across the two venues, teams received 46 expressions of interest not counting any additional contacts made during post-pitch networking.
In both venues the audience overwhelmingly voted that the quality of the pitches exceeded their expectations.
GRIFFIN mentor and investor Dr Craig Davis said “We are delighted at the level of initial interest the companies are getting from investors. We feel we found five great teams and the accelerator added real value, but we’re astonished to have all five teams doing so well. Syndicates are forming but its not too late for investors who couldn’t make the presentations to get on board.”
Forty teams applied to GRIFFIN accelerator and through a competitive process the best five were selected. After 3 months intensive work guided by the GRIFFIN mentors, all five teams have real customer traction, are making rapid progress and are ready for investment. The teams are presenting their business to investors seeking Angel or Seed investment.
The five teams are:
Enabled Employment: www.enabledemployment.com
Enabled employment enables employers to tap into a huge untapped talent pool of Australians living with a disability using telework technology to remove barriers.
Made for Me: www.madefor.me
Madefor.me is a marketplace connecting designers, local manufacturers, and consumers who want unique, made to order 3D printed designs.
Quizling is taking the ‘quick quiz’ and building a social-gaming platform to engage learners across the classroom and across the world. With enterprise level analytics and privacy management, Quizling is the complete platform for learning.
Symberra is a cloud-based data analytics platform that specialises in large-scale data modelling and simulations. Our optimised data storage and simulation algorithms enable domain experts to gain in-depth insights from big data in a fraction of the time required today.
Facebook for Auctions - with a motto “Social Local Fast”, Snapknock is the only pre-loved belonging
buy and sell platform built with social in mind from ground up. With emphasis on people, not items
or businesses, Snapknock takes social commerce to the next stage.
3 of the participating teams, Made for Me, Quizzing and Enabled Employment, have also received support through the ACT Government's Innovation Connect program.
The program is being run in collaboration with Ignition Labs part of ATP Innovations. Hamish Hawthorn, CEO of ATP Innovations said “We are delighted to be able to support the first accelerator program to be run in Canberra. There is a terrific group of mentors who have committed their time and expertise. We are now looking forward to seeing these five companies go on to become significant commercial enterprises”.
Jessica May from Enabled Employment said “we are very excited to be making so much progress already filling jobs and growing so fast. The positive response from investors is a dream come true and we’re ready to start detailed discussions about how we’re going to grow this business even more rapidly”.
The GRIFFIN Accelerator program is being run with the assistance from the ACT Government and has broad support from a wide variety of organisations including: ANU Connect Ventures, ATP Innovations, The Australian National University, Australian Capital Ventures Limited, Capital Angels, CollabIT, CSIRO, eGov Cluster, Entry 29, Lighthouse, NICTA and the University of Canberra.