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The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

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Tax reform is recommended as the key to support innovation, especially in biotechnology, which has the potential to be a major economic driver for Australia. It can deliver new technologies, high value exports, high- quality jobs and advanced manufacturing, if we can build on our established strengths for our future growth.

Government cannot directly fund to the level needed to optimise nation-building innovation impacts. Therefore, we need to look at tax reform, which stimulates innovation and enables Australia to retain what it has build and what it is yet to build, and specifically attract private capital investment. To gain the economic and social benefits, we recommend tax reform to support research-and-development-based innovation is critical in the following areas:
• Introduce a new tax benefit for qualifying ‘advanced’ manufacturers based on intellectual property, the Australian Innovation and Manufacturing Incentive (AIM Incentive). The incentive is based on the UK Patent Box but of course needs to be tailored by Parliament and industry to suit local needs. As CSL described to the Innovation Inquiry, building plant and manufacturing in Australia is less attractive than other jurisdictions. The patent box, or a version of it, is now active in 9 countries with the USA moving toward such a tax change this year. If for no other reason than competition, Australia needs to adopt something comparable. • Introduce a tax incentive to attract investor capital and to encourage long-term investments in start-ups. To attract private capital investments and support entrepreneurship, AusBiotech is advocating for a tax incentive to encourage investors to invest in young innovation-based growth companies and to ‘park’ their capital in pre-revenue, pre-dividend companies for lengthy periods. These so-called ‘patient investors’ are desirable as they provide more stability and certainty to start-up companies. • Preserve R&D Tax Incentive benefits in-tact, which is now seen by our sector as the number 1 policy issue requiring protection. The desire of government to reduce the benefit from 45% to 43.5% is not welcome and will disadvantage more keenly, small unlisted and listed companies who are not yet selling product. This is the category in greatest need of support. International competition is extreme and increasing, with serious investment occurring in many other key countries. Australia now needs to decide the importance of innovation in its economic future – its role in productivity and jobs - and make an appropriately-serious commitment to how best to drive the desired outcomes.

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It is apparent the current frameworks and organisation of power/ education are the causation of the many global issues we face today. Global sea levels rising, global financial crisis, global food shortages, the increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, acidification of water, changing weather systems and an increase in natural disasters.

It is the compaction of human behaviour and thinking that has created such vast and catastrophic problems for the planet that which we depend on to survive. It seems the distribution of power in a carbon democracy, the consumer lifestyle choices we make and awareness about global issues are not enough to prepare Australia for the oncoming mass of a predicted 800 million climate change refugees in the next 200 years. Not to mention the border conflicts, power struggles between nations and changes to the human psyche that will accompany this change. Such problems demand planning, strategy, creative and lateral thinking. Where would you put say the predicted 80 million people from Bangladesh displaced by climate change in the next 50 years? In your backyard? What would you do if Australia went through one of the worst droughts imaginable creating a shortage of food ?
It is our generation that will see the biggest change in nature and humanity throughout all of our species history. The scale is unimaginable. With the possible collapse of the world economy nearing, it is of up most importance to reduce our dependence on other nations by creating a sustainable framework of living. VALUE PROPOSITION The problem is Humans are inherently unsustainable. This unsustainable thinking in consumer society is negating the future of our species. Australia is unsustainable. In order to actively address, prepare and plan for the oncoming wave of global issues Australia must: -1. Become reliant on 100 percent renewable energy ( this outcome is already possible with current technology, solar panels, wind farms, hydro electricity etc it's more the frame of mind and consumer incentive that will direct action to sustainable choices) This will involve a gradual transition from macro energy grid networks to centralised local networks or personal networks. This will also affect the design of our cities, public transport networks must be expanded using more sustainable forms of movement such as trains, zero fuel emission buses, bicycles, running. (Current technologies, town planners and sustainability consultants such as kinesis who just planned the decentralised energy master plan for the city of Sydney, already exist. Again this is a problem with the frame of mind of individuals) This will be a high cost project but the long term results will be very rewarding. Introducing nationalised Sustainable Packaging such as biodegradable coffee cups lined with seed paper are also a good idea to A.reduce waste B. Help reconstruct a more liveable environment Countries like Denmark, Iceland and Sweden are all good examples of sustainable societies. Infinite more ideas already exist, addressing and preparing for disaster involves taking initiative, being prepared for the worst outcomes, and reconstructing power models. 2. Education to prepare. Like I said addressing and preparing for these conflicts need several things creativity, lateral thinking, preparedness, planning and the ability to pre-emptively resolve conflict. In order to prepare I am not suggesting a total reconstruction of the education framework but one addition. One class that teaches thinking and not just the traditional framework of critical thinking,analysis and judgement. It could be as little as an hour long. Analysis, critical thinking and judgement are all de-constructive tools that are incapable on their own to solve problems. We need constructive tools like lateral thinking, creativity and strategy in order to have a truly intuitive, innovative, intelligent and caring society.For the world needs individuals with these qualities as does Australia in order to solve problems and resolve conflict. Subject matter that could be used in this class could be coming up with solutions to climate change, sustainability, conflict resolution and structural analysis of colonial history, capitalism, the Age of Enlightenment and western hegemony and visualising an alternative view to history and considering new patterns of thinking. A good example for a framework for this class would be Edward de bonos 'six thinking hats' which was extremely successful with its placements in schools. It is of upmost importance to teach these skills to our society we will be the ones who face the wave of oncoming global conflicts and disasters. It is particularly important because it will be the ability to think constructively that will reduce conflict, build peace and global community, become a more sustainable society and help others.

Earth observation (EO) imagery in Australia is used for mapping and monitoring vegetation, infrastructure, water, urban development, agricultural development, mining and in a host of other applications.Growth of Australian private industry and government applications using EO data and technologies, is severely restricted by an effective means for government and industry to work in complementary roles. Australia develops world leading solutions in EO areas but has no coordinated EO program and our governments (and increasingly industry) continue to duplicate one another.


Australia is critically dependent on EO data across a broad range of government and industry applications but is highly vulnerable to loss of data supply. We can build a more effectively linked government-research-industry partnership that would remove this vulnerability and enable both Australian governments and industry to grow significantly. At present there significant overlap in the acquisition, processing and distribution of data, and the transition from public access to for profit activities. This proposal establishes a public-private partnership to develop and implement EO data collection, storage and analysis distributed across all levels of government and industry with clearly articulated paths to open access and commercial access. The partnership could take the form of a private-public agency that sits across commonwealth to state agencies and can act as a private company, with a 3-8 person office to start the process and cover all project wrangling and administration, with two coordination positions for EO science and products. Australia is unfortunately in a unique position in being at the bottom of the rankings of countries who contribute to EO. This proposal would help redress our contribution on the international stage and would make federal, state and local government activities lower risk, grow a significant sector in the economy and would enable new commercial ventures using EO data to be established and enable this to be continue in the long term.

One bright idea that could transform innovation in Australia

Australia lacks a small business industrial research program (SBIR) like the United States, and I would argue it has been a vital ingredient for the innovation success in the US for three decades. My day job is advocating for the Cooperative Research Centres in Australia, but I think the number one thing we need is a system that fires up our Start-up/spinoff sector to a much greater degree.
The SBIR scheme in the States serves two purposes: (!) it encourages spin off and start up companies (over half of all spinoffs in the States are spun out to access the scheme) and (2) it is a procurement scheme for government, so the company has the first customer for its product or service lined up. I've written about the scheme in more detail here: http://theconversation.com/one-bright-idea-that-could-transform-innovation-in-australia-43622 The other important aspect of the SBIR scheme in the US is that it is big. Between it and the STTR scheme, they fund nearly 60% of early seed capital, leaving the private VC sector to concentrate on its areas of interest. SBIR achieves many of the things we need in Australia: a bigger VC pool; a more entrepreneurial culture at the university level to move ideas out; start-ups with a customer locked in and ventures that are addressing the national needs (because it forces government departments to articulate their innovation needs).

People submitting ideas
Patrick Mooney Alex Butterworth Oliver Damian Ben Barnett Glenn Irvine Gareth Hughes Kit Kriewaldt Andrew Macpherson Will Egan Adrian McCallum Adam James Nicole Williamson Jason Held David MacSmith Evan Shellshear Grant Cooley Lachlan Blackhall Sheryl Frame David Rigby Craig Thomler Seamus O Concheanainn Maggie Hardy Lachie Vogt Nick Abrahams Phillip Fusco