Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Direct international flights a game changer for Canberra

The announcement by Singapore Airlines last week of direct flights to Canberra Airport is a game changer that will connect Canberra and it’s surrounds to the world, boosting its international profile and economy.

From September, flights will be available from Canberra to Singapore or New Zealand, enabling Canberra to grow into a great ‘world’ city — taking its place on the world stage.

Singapore Airlines will fly direct services from Singapore to Canberra and Canberra to Wellington in a route dubbed the ‘capital express’, with four services a week to both capital cities on a Boeing 777-200.

The start of direct international flights is expected to create significant positive economic and social impacts for the city and the region in terms of trade, investment, higher education and tourism. Independent economic modelling indicates the new flights will be worth tens of millions of dollars to the economy and create hundreds of jobs.

The ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, is partnering with Singapore Airlines and the Canberra Airport Group to deliver cooperative marketing activity in South East Asia, connecting markets and New Zealand. This will support future growth and create positive benefits for the ACT community.

Capital Airport Group’s investment in the award-winning infrastructure at the Canberra Airport has created a more than fitting gateway to the nation’s capital. Over the past three years the ACT Government has worked tirelessly with the airport to develop robust business cases to attract new direct international air services to Canberra.

“I congratulate Mr Goh Choon Phong and Singapore Airlines for recognising the opportunity our region has for their business. I commend their commitment to Australia’s capital – a city that is confident, bold and ready for the world of opportunities that this historic announcement will bring. Stronger linkages between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington will continue to prosper and grow as a result of this partnership” said the Chief Minister, who was integral in making international flights a possibility for Canberra.

“I have led several trade missions to Singapore in recent years and each mission has seen more representatives from our tourism, business and education sectors participate. Aviation has been high on the agenda during these visits, and today sees the fruition of that hard work, perseverance and commitment. All great cities of the world have international connectivity – today our journey begins.”

The first flights, already a complete sell-out, are taking off mid September with tickets available this week.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

CBR backs innovation

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.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge: Round 4 extended!


The Digital Canberra Challenge has extended its Round 4 call for innovators.

You now have until 12 July 2015 to send in your solutions for the two new Challenges!

Go to the Digital Canberra Challenge website and get thinking on how you can solve them to help make Canberra a leading Digital City.

The Digital Canberra Challenge provides Competing teams with:

  • $5,000 for out of pocket expenses
  • $12,500 for the winner and $7,500 for the Runner-up
  • Fantastic opportunities to network and work closely with government and businesses
  • Promotion of your brand or start-up
  • A low-risk environment in which you can develop your Prototypes and Proof of Concepts
  • Advice and support on the project's management



Friday, 1 May 2015

Nominations open for inaugural ACT Scientist of the Year Award

2015 ACT Scientist of the Year award banner

Nominations are now open for the inaugural ACT Scientist of the Year Award.

The Award seeks to recognise the achievements of an ‘up-and-coming’ scientist who has significant potential to continue to achieve in their chosen field of research. It is an opportunity to showcase the contribution that Canberrans make to the world of science and innovation, both nationally and worldwide.

It will be presented for the first time in 2015, and will be open to individual scientists working in basic or applied research and science, in all fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). To be eligible scientists must also have finished their PhD within the last 10 years, and be in the ACT conducting research.

The winning scientist will receive a $30,000 prize and will become a science ambassador for the ACT by encouraging and inspiring young people to consider a career in science and promoting the ACT as a centre of knowledge and scientific research and innovation.

The winner will be announced during National Science Week in August.

Nominations close 9 June 2015.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit the Scientist of the Year webpage External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge award winners


Digital Canberra Challenge winners

Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has today announced the winners of Round Three and launch Round Four of the Digital Canberra Challenge.

The Chief Minister said" The Digital Canberra Challenge is an initiative which not only provides an opportunity for the ACT Government to think differently, but also harnesses the talent and creativity of our innovative SMEs and seeks to engage them in the design and development of digital solutions to improve public service delivery."

"Encouraging the public service to work collaboratively with these organisations will help grow the private sector here in the ACT. This is a priority for the government as we aim to reduce our reliance on the Commonwealth public service."

Round Three joint winners APositive and Link Digital were awarded $10,000 each in prize money. APositive developed a digital art installation and Link Digital developed a Digital Image and Video Library.

APositive is a design studio specialising in using augmented reality. Their innovative solution involved the creation of a unique soundscape at the Arboretum linked to the different forests.

Link Digital is an established digital agency within the Government and commercial sector, located in Canberra, Australia. Link Digital’s solution to developing a Digital Image and Video Library is truly innovative in its use of open source and community supported tools.

Since making the first call for challenges in August 2013, local designers and developers have collaborated with public servants to address real problems encountered by the ACT Government in doing business.

The Chief Minister said "I congratulate all of the participants in this round of the Digital Canberra Challenge and look forward to even more local innovators stepping up to the next challenge."

"The two new challenges to be addressed are Augmented Built Reality and New Communications Platform for ACT Government Staff and Volunteers and I encourage local innovators to get involved."

To find out more visit the Digital Canberra Challenge website External Link - opens in new window.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Canberra Teens Learn to Code in new event by Entry 29


hs.hact.io participants

Entry 29 External Link - opens in new window 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 External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Government to work with CBR’s small businesses to create innovation opportunities


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.

Canberra Company secures $2.1 million in Series A Funding Round


Local company Nexus eWater Pty Ltd have recently announced the successful closing of $2.1 million in Series A funding from Investors in the US, Australia and UK with proceeds assisting to complete the initial product roll-out in the US market.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "The ACT Government recognises that innovation is the foundation of economic growth and competitiveness. We are committed to positioning Canberra as an innovation hub into the future, and I am pleased that the ACT Government was able to assist in the initial stages of Nexus eWater’s proof of concept with a grant through the Innovation Connect and Discovery Translation Funds."

"By securing this significant investment, Nexus has demonstrated that a small amount of assistance at an early stage has the potential to stimulate significant growth and economic returns."

Nexus eWater Pty Ltd has developed the world’s first practical, on-site water and energy recycler for new and existing homes, and is a prime example of a world-class technology start-up that has emerged from Canberra. The Nexus eWater Domestic Water and Energy Recycler allows home owners to conserve both energy and water by turning their grey waste water into a valuable resource.

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.

Further information visit the Innovation Connect page.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Canberra start-up takes out ‘Your Shark Tank’ competition


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 March 2015

Student internship program to foster long term relationships with Shenzhen


A new Canberra-Shenzhen Innovation Intern Exchange Program, which aims to bring together future innovation leaders from Canberra and Shenzhen in order to foster long term collaborative relationships, has been launched by Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

The Canberra-Shenzhen Innovation Intern Exchange Program is the first education outcome of the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the ACT Government and Shenzhen last year.

It will give two students from Canberra the opportunity to travel to Shenzhen and two Shenzhen based students to come to Canberra in order to develop their leadership skills in their chosen field and as future ambassadors for the two cities.

The program will also develop the interns’ understanding of cultures and give them the chance to learn the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) practices and innovation systems of the two cities in some of the most innovative companies and organisations in the world.
The ACT Government is committed to promoting our impressive tertiary institutions to national and international markets- supporting them to grow and attract students to the capital, which in turn supports jobs in the ACT economy.

The internship placements for Canberra students are expected to take place in Shenzhen in mid 2015 for four to eight weeks in duration. The ACT Government will provide funding support for the placements, including the cost of airfares and living expenses.

Applications for the new student intern exchange program between Canberra and Shenzhen are now open and Canberra tertiary students with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply.

Students need to be studying full time, be Australian citizens and currently enrolled in second year or higher or have graduated within one year from a Canberra-based tertiary institution.

Applications close 6 April 2015. For more information visit the Canberra-Shenzhen Innovation Intern Exchange Program webpage.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge


Do you know about the Digital Canberra Challenge? It’s an initiative that seeks to engage Canberra’s brightest minds to help build and support a dynamic, healthy and prosperous Digital City for the 21st century.

The Digital Canberra Challenge (DCC) invites all Canberrans to get involved in thinking about how to improve our city. If you’re interested in being involved in helping our Government do things better, faster or more efficiently, then keep reading to find out how you can get involved.

How does it work? 

Canberrans are invited to put forward challenges of things they think the Government can improve on through the use of digital technology; things that can be done better, smarter, or faster.

The best two of these are then chosen and the ACT innovation community is invited to put forward their solutions. The top two innovator teams become the competitors who then have twelve weeks to develop a prototype solution and a case study. The teams are then judged with the winner receiving $12,500 and the runner-up $7,500.

What’s been happening so far?

The DCC started in 2013 and runs a new challenge every 6 months. We’re currently nearing the end of round 3 and round 4 will start soon.

There has been a diverse range of challenges so far, from making it easier to book ACT Government services (like road tests) to creating an app for patients and visitors to use while visiting The Canberra Hospital.

This round the challenges are: developing a digital public art installation and creating a whole of government image and video library that both the Government and public can access.

How do I get involved?

Do you have an idea?

If you’re interested in making our Government better and have some ideas to put forward, it’s really easy. All you need to do is write a few sentences explaining the situation, the opportunity for improvement and what you want to see achieved. Just go to the Digital Canberra website.

If your challenge gets picked, you’ll receive a Great Idea award. If your challenge isn’t picked this round, don’t worry, it will continue to be considered for future rounds.

Are you an innovator?

Make sure you keep up to date with Program and consider applying if you have a solution to one of the challenges. The challenge will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to get to work directly with a Government agency, to build connections within the innovator community and develop a solution to a real problem.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Discovery Translation Fund 2.0 Launched


Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra now have access to additional funding to assist them in turning their discoveries into real-world applications.

The jointly funded Discovery Translation Fund (DTF 2.0), managed by ANU Connect Ventures, offers researchers whose work shows great potential for commercialisation, access of up to $50,000 in support funding, as well as the skills, networks and experienced support needed to translate exploration based research into economic and social impact.

Launched today at the University of Canberra, DTF 2.0 has a total pool of $3 million over three years, and will build on the success of the first round of DTF, which was an initiative of the ANU and the ACT Government. Since 2011, DTF has assisted more than 30 projects take work from the lab to the world, in areas such as water and energy conservation in domestic settings, miniaturisation of dielectric materials for use in supercapacitors and work on therapeutics targeting breast cancer recurrence.

The new program, also managed by ANU Connect Ventures, will grow innovation and enterprise within the Canberra region.

“The Discovery Translation Fund has proven to be a crucial element of the region’s innovation pipeline,” said Nick McNaughton, CEO of ANU Connect Ventures. “Canberra’s evolution as a hub of entrepreneurship has been given a boost recently with the establishment of the CBR Innovation Network, GRIFFIN Accelerator and Entry 29 co-working space. The Discovery Translation Fund has been essential in seeding these activities, and the DTF 2.0 will ensure that the outstanding work being done at ANU and the University of Canberra will continue to play a prominent role.”

University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Frances Shannon said the program is a great opportunity for those who are thinking about making the most of their research through a commercial venture.

“Many researchers reach a point after making their discovery where they need some assistance in taking the next big step. DTF 2.0 will set them on the right path, giving them some much needed financial assistance and hopefully making all the difference between great research and a viable business venture,” Professor Shannon said.

ANU Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation) Professor Mick Cardew-Hall said the program would help turn innovative ideas into reality, and will continue to be a key contributor to demonstrating the commercial impact of research.

“Proof of concept funding is essential for bridging the gap between a discovery and its application, but a program such as DTF 2.0 also establishes a targeted focus for project development, ensuring research is applied where the market and community will see greatest value.” Professor Cardew-Hall said.

DTF 2.0 funding grants are awarded competitively, must have identifiable commercial potential and be completed within 12 to 18 months.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hackathon ACT 2014


Hackathon ACT 2014 participants

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 External Link - opens in new window new facilities at the CBR Innovation Network External Link - opens in new window, 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)
'Elocution Lab'

Outstanding Young Entrepreneur ($500 prize each provided by the CBR Innovation Network)
'Bottled'
'AntiGreyMatter'
'Tap Plus'

Best Community/Open Source Product ($1,000 prize provided by October CMS)
'ACTcident'

Find out more about Hackathon ACT External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Seven Canberra businesses share in Innovation Connect funding


Congratulations to the seven Canberra-based businesses who have been awarded funding from the recent round of the Innovation Connect program.

Innovation Connect is the ACT Government’s flagship innovation program which provides matched-funding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage Canberra businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisation pathways.

Since the program was established in 2008, funding of more than $3.5 million has been awarded to 142 local businesses, and that amount was at least matched by all of the grant recipients.

This round’s successful grant recipients were:
  • Burnology Pty Ltd - A web-based collaborative mapping and intelligence management system for use before, during and after emergency incidents;
  • Davoodi Pty Ltd - The development of AutoMed – an automatic, self-adjusting medication system for livestock complete with a mobile and cloud-based management system and data recorder;
  • Ezygene Pty Ltd - Development of a DNA diagnostic kit for identification of Pseudomonas bacteria suitable for commercial sale;
  • Rosemark Water Tanks - The development of a full scale working prototype of an innovative water storage solution designed to remove space, cost and aesthetic barriers to greater water tank adoption;
  • Pendulum Technology Pty Ltd - Bindle the new way to travel. A mobile application that leverages crowd sourced information to help users help themselves. Bindle enables travellers to connect with one another around the world and revolutionises the traditional travel guide as it stands today;
  • MediSen Solutions Pty Ltd - The development of an electronic portal that places control of claims in the hands of the health care providers; and
  • Pictionist - The goal of Pictionist is to revolutionise how people search for images and pictures within an organisation. This will be achieved through implementation of an image search engine that can be customised based on specific characteristics such as image colour, visual structure, and metadata.

Further information visit our Innovation Connect page.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New support available through the CBR Innovation Network


Male entrepreneur looking at camera

Public Sector Landing Pad

Have 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 External Link - opens in new window ‘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 External Link - opens in new window 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 Session

All teams that received seed funding in this year’s Innovation ACT External Link - opens in new window (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:

Website: www.entry29.org.au External Link - opens in new window
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 innovation community collaborates to form new CBR Innovation Network



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 External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

CBRfree public Wi-Fi goes live in Civic


ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has today launched CBRfree public Wi-Fi in Civic East – the first area of the city to go permanently live with Canberra’s new free public Wi-Fi network.

At the launch, the Chief Minster also announced that service provider iiNet will increase the download limit of CBRfree from 100 megabytes per day (3 gigabytes per month), to 250 megabytes per day (7.5 gigabytes per month).

“This is a significant moment for Canberra and represents the ACT Government’s commitment to our future as a smart and digital city,” the Chief Minister said.

“We want to ensure Canberra is a place where businesses and entrepreneurs can compete globally in new knowledge-based and ICT industries.

“The rollout of CBRfree Wi-Fi will continue to make Canberra a place of influence and innovation. It will encourage vibrant town centres where Canberrans are connected to their community and are able to engage with Government services easily.

“It is fantastic that iiNet have offered to increase the download limit of CBRfree to 250MB at no additional cost to the Territory. This allows iiNet to create a homogenous service across the cities in which it delivers free public Wi-Fi while giving Canberrans even greater connectivity.

In May this year, the Chief Minister announced that as of October Civic East – from Garema Place to the Convention Centre, round to Gorman House and up to Girrahween Street in Braddon – would be the first area of the city to go live with CBRfree public Wi-Fi. This would be followed with a staged rollout in other town centres and commercial precincts over the following 12 months.

“The next area of Canberra that CBRfree public Wi-Fi will be rolled out in is Civic West – from Moore Street to the New Acton precinct. This area is scheduled to be fully live in January 2015,” the Chief Minister said.

“Over the coming months, as free public Wi-Fi is rolled out across all of Civic, Canberrans will start to see signage that will identify the free public Wi-Fi hotspots. I encourage you all to log on and check out the new network,” the Chief Minister concluded.

CBRfree public Wi-Fi was recently made available at this year’s Floriade and was incredibly popular. There were more than 48,000 sessions and nearly 13,000 unique users connecting to the network over the duration of the festival.

The new free public Wi-Fi service will provide users with 250 megabytes per day, totalling 7.5 gigabytes per month. An example of the type of internet activity Canberrans will have per month is:
  • the capacity to send around 15,000 emails (without attachments);
  • make around 1,500 Facebook posts;
  • download about 525 songs; or
  • download roughly 1,500 photos.

For more information on the rollout of CBRfree public Wi-Fi visit www.digitalcanberra.com.au  External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Streamlined ‘digital ID wallet’ from Imagine Team wins top Canberra SME innovation award


Winners of round 2 of the Digital Canberra Challenge

A prototype app giving Canberra residents the ability to seamlessly access a wide range of local services has secured first place – and a $12,500 cash prize for Canberra’s Imagine Team – at the Digital Canberra Challenge External Link - opens in new window awards this week.

Imagine Team’s 'digital ID' wallet gives users one app instead of a myriad of cards to access buses, libraries and other government services. The app, called ‘Cardly’ is the brainchild of co-creators Zakaria Bouguettaya and Andrew Clapham. The prototype app incorporates MyWay cards and ACT drivers' licences but can be extended to include other services. Bouguettaya said he will use the cash prize to further develop the prototype.

“I want to thank NICTA’s eGov Cluster and the ACT Government for backing the Digital Canberra Challenge. The support that this competition is giving to innovative SMEs in Canberra has been fantastic,” said Mr Bouguettaya.

Mr Bouguettaya says he anticipates using the money on extending the concept of Cardly, and investing on his other venture, QuicklyPay.it. As for the next steps for Cardly, Mr. Bouguettaya is in discussions with government agencies to see how the concept can be rolled out for a private beta, and what would be needed to see it through to reality.

The runner-up app came from local start-up company Basement Labs. It aims to streamline information about the Canberra Hospital for patients, visitors and staff. Tim Ainge from Basement Labs has trialled the app in the hospital’s new paediatrics ward. “The value of the app is in providing information in smaller and more relevant ‘chunks’, making it easier for people to consume,” said Mr Ainge.

This awards were presented last night at NICTA’s Canberra Laboratory by ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr. He also launched round three of the Challenge. “Through the Challenge, we have seen SMEs challenging the status quo and thinking deeply about the issues facing our government. These businesses have been focussed on developing the right solutions for these challenges. The Digital Canberra Challenge encourages ACT public servants, and the local community, to get involved in thinking differently about our government and developing new and better ways for us to do business,” said Minister Barr.

Michael Phillips, Manager of the NICTA-led eGov Cluster said: “Once again, the diversity, drive and resourcefulness of Canberra’s innovators was on show in the Digital Canberra Challenge. Congratulations to the winners!”

Digital Canberra Challenge is an ACT Government initiative to engage Canberra’s brightest minds to help build and support a dynamic, healthy and prosperous Digital City for the 21st century.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Canberra opens its doors to Shenzhen City in new economic agreement


Canberra is set to benefit from an economic cooperation agreement signed today by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and the Mayor of Shenzhen Mr Xu Qin, in China, marking a new era of collaboration between the two cities.

“This memorandum of understanding opens the door to a range of significant new opportunities for Canberra businesses with a city which plays home to some of the largest technology companies in the world,” the Chief Minister said.

Shenzhen has a population in excess of 15 million people and an economy eight times the size of the ACT and 15% of the size of the Australian economy.

“There are many similarities between the cities of Canberra and Shenzhen but in the first instance areas like innovation, high technology, education and environmental protection have been nominated as the priority areas to focus on,” the Chief Minister said.

“We know a number of Canberra based innovative ICT businesses are pioneering digital and other high
tech projects which are grabbing attention internationally and I hope that this economic cooperation deal will help them and others to build and promote their businesses and help them to establish in such a significant overseas market.”

The agreement will diversify Canberra’s economy by prioritising business investment, strengthening the education sector and building Canberra’s vision as a digital city.

The MOU highlights two-way investment and cooperation between the companies and institutions of Canberra and Shenzhen, on areas of shared interest including technology, innovation and industry.

This agreement with the Mayor of Shenzhen builds on the existing relationships Canberra already has with China including most importantly the well established sister-city agreement with Beijing in 2000.

“The MOU will reinforce the importance and growth of the ACT’s exporting community, and I hope that it will have significant benefits for the local economy,” the Chief Minister said.

“This agreement outlines a commitment to look for opportunities to connect Canberra and Shenzhen through Digital Canberra Action Plan initiatives, including the proposed Digital Hub.”

The Chief Minister also participated in a roundtable discussion with key business leaders in Shenzhen where she was able to showcase investment opportunities in Canberra.

“I had the opportunity to promote Canberra to investors by providing information on a number of our biggest and most exciting projects, such as City to the Lake and Capital Metro, which are priority infrastructure projects for Canberra,” the Chief Minister said.

“Other ACT Government initiatives such as Study Canberra, Digital Canberra and Visit Canberra were also highlighted, as well as our significant capabilities in research and development.

“Today’s discussion also focussed on digital industry and innovation and included discussions with some of Shenzhen’s biggest and most innovative companies.

“My message to Shenzhen businesses is that Canberra is open for business and ready for international investment and partnerships,” the Chief Minister concluded.

Today’s signing ceremony signifies as important step forward for Canberra as a global city. Partnering with one of the world’s most rapidly developing, innovative and dynamic economies is a very positive development for Australia’s national capital.