March 2012 Newsletter

This newsletter provides business news and events on the programs and activities of Business Development, part of the Economic Development Directorate.

$50,000 Towards Arts Business Partnerships to Commemorate the Centenary of Canberra

Robyn Archer AO, Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra officially announced the 5 winners of the Centenary of Canberra - a legacy of good design competition on Canberra Day, Monday 12 March 2012, at Canberra's 99th birthday celebrations.

"Quality craft and design have been a part of Canberra since its inception: the high standard of entries reflects this noble history. It was challenging to choose just five, but I think these works will make terrific souvenirs of the Centenary; and the competition itself will confirm the strength of the sector. Artists have deliberately connected with local industry and manufacturers: these new alliances are the legacy which 2013 leaves," said Ms Archer.

Ten finalists were selected to present prototypes to the judging panel on Monday 5 March, after receiving $1,000 towards the development of a prototype. Four designs were selected and will now receive $10,000 towards the production of the first run of the memorabilia merchandise. Finalists and winners are also being assisted through Canberra BusinessPoint to develop strong business cases to build sustainable businesses in the arts sector. The support to assist with prototype development and first run production of memorabilia merchandise was provided by the ACT Government through the Business Development Branch.

The winners were Sean Booth, Fiona Hooton, Megan Jackson, Dan Lorrimer and Mitchell Brooks, and Kate Ward.

For more information visit the CraftACT website External Link - opens in new window.

$110,000 Grant Funding Awarded to Local Innovative Companies

Six Canberra companies pitched to the InnovationConnect (ICon) Assessment Panel on Friday 9 March 2012 seeking grant support totalling $248,000. Three of the companies were successful and will share in $110,000 worth of grants for projects including cloud computing, automotive and web development concepts.  ICon grants are conditional upon the achievement of agreed milestones as well as matched-funding contribution from the applicant. 

More information on the ACT Government’s ICon program is available at

Local Businesses Encouraged to Enter National Awards

The Economic Development Minister, Andrew Barr, encouraged local small and medium businesses to consider entering the 2012 Telstra Business Awards.

The Awards offer a range of categories to suit all small and medium businesses and provides entrants with a free Business Health Check. This year’s program sees a new category, the Start-up Award, which is open to businesses that have been operating for between one and three years.

Previous winners of the ACT Telstra Business Awards include:

  • PCA People, a local recruitment company acknowledged for their approach to social responsibility;
  • Lucy Media, a local innovative firm building website communities; and
  • Luton Properties, a local real estate success story and the Telstra ACT Business of the Year in 2011.

The ACT Telstra Business Awards will be presented at gala dinner on July 27 and category winners will go onto the national Awards in August.

For more information go to External Link - opens in new window or call the Telstra Australian Business Awards team on 1800 262 323. Entries close on April 2nd.

The Ultimate Business, Design and IT Student Challenge

A student competition has been launched to engage University of Canberra (UC) students from across all faculties to develop ideas and collateral that may be used to promote Canberra as a business and investment destination. The Ultimate Business, Design and IT Student Challenge is a partnership between Business Development and the University of Canberra. Multidisciplinary teams will collaborate over Semester 1, and have the chance to work with business mentors as part of their Work Integrated Learning assessment.

ICon Client Receives Commercialisation Australia Grant

Former ICon grant recipient Dr Joshua Young has been awarded a Commercialisation Australia (CA) Skills & Knowledge grant for his Riph educational device. CA’s Skills and Knowledge program provides participants with access to expert advice and services to increase their skills and linkages in the commercialisation sphere, and the awarding of this grant is further validation of the high quality and strong commercialisation potential of Dr Young’s innovative product and of the leverage value of the ICon grant in attaining larger Commonwealth funds. Dr Young received ICon assistance for the Riph device during 2009-10.

UK and Ireland Skills Campaign: 21 February to 8 March

Two Business Development officers departed for the UK and Ireland on 21 February to promote the ACT State Migration Plan and the benefits of living and working in Canberra. The campaign will included the ‘Skills Australia Needs’ events in London conducted by the Australian Department of Immigration, a state-led Migration Open Day in Manchester, and the ‘Working Abroad’ migration expo in Dublin. Four independent seminars were also conducted and over 25 meetings were held with clients and local migration agents. Two sponsors of the Government’s promotion of Canberra as a place to live and work, IP Australia and Cantlie Recruitment travelled to the UK with the Business Development team to participate in skilled migration expos.

The campaign also saw Business Development attend Australia’s Future in Manchester which attracted over 600 skilled workers. In Ireland, the focus was on the Working Abroad event held in Dublin where over 13,000 skilled workers attended over two days to learn about living and working in Australia.

Defence and Security SMEs Explore US Partnership Opportunity

Zeke Williams, President of Elegua Consulting was in Canberra recently to meet with Defence and Security focused SMEs with an interest in partnerships to develop business opportunities in the USA. Mr Williams was assisted by Business Development during his time in Canberra, where he met with a number of interested companies to discuss the US market.

Mr Williams, a former Marine Corps Lieutenant and Colonel, is the President of Elegua Consulting, a strategic defence and security consulting firm and is part of the network of contacts resulting from the Trade Mission to Washington in November 2011.

$1 Billion to help Australian Manufacturing Move to a Cleaner Future

On 16 February 2012, the Australian Government launched $1 billion in funding for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution.

The Clean Technology Investment Programs will provide grants to help manufacturers buy new plant and equipment which cuts their energy costs or reduces carbon pollution.

The Industry and Innovation Minister, Greg Combet, launched the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program – part of the Government’s Clean Energy Future package.
They will support jobs and provide incentives for manufacturers to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable.

More information is available from AusIndustry External Link - opens in new window.

2012 iAwards: Nominations Now Open

The iAwards delivers the most comprehensive awards program in the technology industry today, honouring both companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation as well as leading professionals across the ICT industry.

For more information or to nominate your product, company or an outstanding individual in Australia’s most prestigious ICT awards program visit the 2012 iAwards External Link - opens in new window.