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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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Create a pool of tide-over projects for contract workers in innovative technology industries to bring innovation into untouched areas.

Short term contracts are a fact of life in technology, and at many stages of life, the trade off between high pay and low stability is ideal. For other life stages - such as life with a young family - they're too risky. Many people, especially women, opt out of work in innovative industries when they hit these life changes, reducing the pool of both talent and experience that's available to technological innovation.
Meanwhile, areas of public life that have little or no contact with design thinking or software methodology remain untouched, or only touched by well-intentioned but all too infrequent volunteer work in the form of hackathons (yes, like this one) or people offering their services as volunteers without supporting infrastructure to help them. Tide-over projects could keep skilled workers in the software industry without risking lost income, while also building projects useful to the public good that don't have direct financial incentives that would attract businesses to build them. Some that spring to mind - auditing website accessibility (for people with disabilities) for local schools, building a dietary requirements app for use in nursing homes for people with dementia who can't communicate their allergies, or making a web app for finding out what qualifications boards a complementary therapist either is or should be registered with. This idea is partially inspired by my own experiences volunteering to organise an audit of poor informational signage at my local hospital. The staff there were desperate to improve the situation, but didn't have the time or skills to do the job - and why would they? They didn't have a budget to hire someone to do the job, either, and even if they had they wouldn't have known who to call. This situation happens all the time - it's a gap that can be filled, and it can be filled in a way that keeps the rest of the technological innovation industry thriving as well.

**** Basic Overhaul (from someone who's been self made in software since 19 years of age, now 42) ****

**** Access to Interest Free Start Up Capital *****
Additional access to initial seed capital through interest free loans from the government would be a great idea. A bond system, which gives the developers / inventors / startups an out clause, where in the event of total commercial failure, they only have to pay back the money at a slow rate, with no interest. It keeps people to account, because essentially its there own money and it will need repaying. Also a commitment that anyone using these interest free funds will maintain their base of operations in Australia and under Australian taxation, rather than loophole out overseas. Have a basic means testing structure with the loans, to prevent people of very small repayment means accessing too much capital and getting into too much debt. E.g. some startups have owners who are earning $150K per year, others are people earning $38K a year. Keep the loan ratio proportionate to capacity to repay. **** Allow Startup Investors to Access Government Interest Free Capital **** Allow Investors to put in a proportion of their own money for investment and then have the interest free government capital match that amount. Make the Start Up Investor the owner of that Interest Free money debt, with long term repayment possibilities. **** Access to Expert Developers **** Shared expert development and programmer group pools, who can work across multiple projects. Programming talent is in short supply in Australia as many leave. This shared resource approach would create a pool of talent accessible by backed ventures. **** Paid Access to Experts **** Some access to previously successful mentors and "successes" in the start up area. But rather than this being an act of altruism or charity from the mentor, make it a commitment with some commercial benefit to the mentor, so that they can commit more than a 2 minute phone call or a coffee meeting once a month.

**** Greater Tax Credits **** Make the R&D rebate significantly higher for the first 5 years of operation for any new startup company. Properly incentivising the taxation R&D rebate to a higher level will encourage the necessary early spending. **** **** Greater Tax Benefits for Investors **** Make this a clear and easy system, so mum and dad investors and smaller wealth can see a much simpler path to investment and the tax benefits.

**** Make Self Manager Super Investable - into start ups **** Give Investors access to their super funds (or part thereof), as a tax efficient investment, under the self manager super system. Keep the benefits they have currently of self managed investments, if they invest in a startup. This opens up massive amounts of Australian wealth from the baby boomers, down to the younger generations. Make it simple and easy to manage.

Oxford and MIT, Boston Consulting Group, McKenzie and company Google and many other firms and individuals such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are outlining Artificial Intelligence will be the biggest opportunity/threat to the future of economic productivity.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM are throwing billions of dollars in a heated buying war to get the best AI experts. With computers getter faster and Google even buying a quantum computer created by a partnership with D-wave and NASA. California is the heart of this revolution; China is starting to also harness the power through Baidu who recently hired the co-founder of Google Brain Andrew Ng. It is used more and more to help find cures for diseases and diagnose patients with greater accuracy than trained doctors.
I’m currently studying artificial intelligence from Stanford University and applying it to a host a business problems with extraordinary success in areas that are not even possible with traditional methods.
As formally educated in economics I know technology is normally the single greatest contributor to long term economic growth and within technology AI (second to Nano Technology) is going to be the next long term contributor. Australia only has a handful of people in this area and most end up going to California. We as an innovative country should focus on this as a means of making all our companies more efficient. We need to foster an environment that enables the use of Artificial Intelligences. One method is to help the access to data, even if I were given patients biometric data this is masked from providing the person’s identity or anything that can be linked to a person we can start getting a much better understanding of diseases and even what drug or treatment would be best suited to a specific new patient. Access to information is the single best method to help in this area.

The Australian medical research commercialisation model requires urgent change in order to be competitive with the US and Europe.

Situation:
Australia needs to implement a pro active, innovative approach to commercialisation, as identified in the Australian Industry Innovation & Competiveness Agenda (the AIIC agenda) A cohesive National Strategy & Commercialisation pathway is necessary to support translation to outcomes for MRFF projects. (Consider that the MRFF will become a $20b perpetual fund invested in R&D....there is no national mechanism to translate the output into products by private sector companies capable of commercialising in the real world) Traditional commercialisation business models are set up to create short term wins, with short term strategic exits for early investors & focus on early stage seed capital without consideration of the commercialisation environment or supporting skill sets. Existing models of commercialisation and current management skill sets have been identified as areas of weakness in the AIIC agenda. In addition Australia needs to plan for improvement and funding of our national healthcare access policies. We need to provide timely access to ground breaking new treatments, without being held hostage to MNC’s strategic market access plans (reimbursement listing & commercial launch timelines) Australia needs corporate entities to play their part in generating and contributing tax revenues to help support Government initiatives. (Tier 1 Pharma utilizing 'tax minimisation strategies' can end up paying 1% tax rates based on paying tax on 'profit' not revenue and utilizing high transfer pricing techniques for 'Australian Sales Operations'. Problem: The balance between pure research investment and delivered translational commercialisation outcomes. Supporting resources and environment for commercialisation drivers to be effective. Lack of a robust Venture Capital market compared to other centers of innovation and commercialisation (US + Europe) National economic diversification…utilizing our knowledge economy to move away from a manufacturing or services economy requires seed, early stage and high risk capital as well as access to 'follow on' institutional capital....start up cash is not sufficient for growth, which companies need in order to progress to the point of becoming viable, sustainable and stable. We need to create employment opportunities for our future skilled workforce (STEM initiatives)... if we focus on STEM educational activities without creating direct work experience and work placement opportunities the system will fail. Industry needs government help and support to place STEM graduates in the workforce. We need to secure alternative financial support for future healthcare services access (beyond tax increases, GST or Medicare levy) Solution: Create a national commercialisation action strategy , supporting research investment commercialisation outcomes Deliver outcomes through a commercialisation centre of excellence (including a Medical Research Commercialisation CRC, linked to an industry growth centre, linked to private sector capital with access to and participation of ministerial portfolios, Government bodies and policy advisors and decision makers including the PBAC ) Take innovative University & Research institute R&D output through to phase 2 exit or market launch and utilize a hybrid funding model of private sector investment linked to Government participation (not economic participation) to provide investor confidence. Fund drug development through accessing superannuation investment capital, expedited visas for foreign high net worth's, off shore private equity, high net worth investment, ASX & off shore IPO, linkage to foreign commercialisation funds. All of which can be bolstered in terms of providing a measure of investor confidence by working with Government input. Develop Australia’s Life Sciences Biotech community into fully scalable operational pharma companies with registration, marketing and global sales capability (as per the US pharmaceutical landscape model).. this will require close collaboration between industry and government to create supporting policy. Create taxable revenue streams which can be funnelled back into the healthcare system Develop a new approach to an Australian Health Ecosystem linking Government policy and academic thinking with commercialisation planning from inception, aligning the start and finish of the drug development value chain leading to: ‘Purposeful, Focussed, Strategic Commercialisation’ Policy suggestions: Boosting an early stage Venture Capital Market: 1. Australia has to get involved in accessing the early stage venture capital being invested by Asia in commercialising mainly US and European IP. An example of this is the recent establishment of the first Chinese FOF...a $5b USD investment in commercialising Life Sciences IP. We should send a clear message to investors (both private and institutional) that not only do we have incredible products and IP but that Australian investment funds and vehicles are attractive, lucrative, enjoy very favourable tax concessions and are capable of delivering significant high value returns. We could change the threshold rules for qualifying ESVCLP and VCLP's so that the $250m and $100m limits are removed. These numbers are too small for Asian investment appetites as most funds end up being $500m+. This will encourage a larger number of higher value funds to be created, accessing offshore capital subscription, providing there is flow through tax treatment and complete tax exemptions for investors on their share of a funds income, this should be applied to both foreign and domestic investors. 2. Help support the creation of new early stage funds by providing either grants or 'unsecured loans' to help cover the costs of a funds establishment. The cost of capital acquisition is a key area the government could assist with. This is especially relevant for off shore subscription. The loan could be repayable in Y2 of a funds life cycle and be factored into the management fees. 3. Government led investor relations missions...helping funds seeking foreign investment by legitimizing the engagement with foreign institutional capital sources. (i.e.; Country specific economic development banks) Helping to create investor confidence and create the right environment to support capital subscription by putting some Australian institutional money in the game but also 'rubber stamping' the investment exercise. Invest in STEM placements in the workforce: Investing in businesses employing STEM graduates...create a placement incentive (tax concessions, cash ) to enable employers to place STEM graduates, offer actual full time employment, pay realistic wages whilst gaining work experience and potentially even finishing a degree. Significant Visa Programs: Create a specific medical research commercialisation Investor Visa Program. A rapid, permanent Visa for an investment of $10m for 7 years in a specific FOF that only invests in commercialising Australian medical IP. The key here is that no one is talking about the value of the Human Capital...the experiences and skill sets of this entrepreneurial community are invaluable. By drawing on migrants who have successfully exited businesses in the healthcare space we add to our connectivity between Asia and Australia. By creating a national commercialisation strategy & ecosystem that links the research sector, Government and Industry investors would have confidence in the commercialisation process and plan, especially with Government involvement, and therefore would be far more likely to invest in the scheme knowing where their money will be spent and who will be managing the companies where cash is invested. Big healthcare data sets: Currently there is a disconnect between Australian healthcare data acquisition and management and the ability to work with DE identified data for cost effectiveness evaluation purposes. Principally Medicare, the PBS and individual state hospital drug utilization and reimbursement data is not linked. If policy enabled a private sector business to work with Government to link these data assets it would enable huge government healthcare cost savings by enabling evidence based cost effectiveness studies for reimbursed treatments and drugs (especially over long periods of treatment where clinical effectiveness is not monitored or linked to continued drug reimbursement) Healthcare policy could also be adapted to enable private sector companies (Biotech's/Med Device/Diagnostics) to work closely with alignment to healthcare agencies (PBS) which would in turn enable the research / university community to focus research programs (and subsequently spinout drug development private sector programs) on high priority areas of unmet clinical but also economic need. By engaging with the PBS early on in the drug development lifecycle, especially in clinical trial design there would be the potential to run a fast track approval process for products meeting clinical endpoints and showing clear cost effectiveness and clinical benefits. This will save the Australian healthcare system money in the long run and ensure we provide timely access to innovative new treatments, improving the standard of care for all Australians. 5.

Publicly-funded research is a smart investment, and the rate of return is generally between 20–60%. I suggest a strategic, three-pronged approach to growing our research capacity and creating innovative, knowledge-based jobs for the future for all Australians.

1) 100 or more dedicated research grants (of $50,000 or so) for innovative applied research projects for early-career researchers (within 15 years post-PhD). The goal of these translational projects would be to create technologies that have near-term, applied uses for business or industry partners. The projects would combine expertise from a variety of disciplines and lead to innovative uses for existing technologies, or the development of entirely new collaborations. The projects would to value-add to the Australian economy and have value in the global market. I'm thinking of ways to create data packages that will attract additional industry investment, for example.
2) 100 or more dedicated research grants (of $50,000 or so) for innovative fundamental research projects for early-career researchers (within 15 years post-PhD). These projects would work on absolutely necessary questions that may not have an immediate commercial role, but that are central to answering questions downstream. I'm thinking of the radioastronomy research that laid the groundwork for WiFi later on, for example. 3) "Hot desks" at startup incubators for researchers, including those from industry, businesses, and academic organizations. This could start out like a "startup weekend" for research scientists, where collaborative ideas across universities are hammered out, and the winning team or participants move on to incubators and work with innovators already in the tech space. The goal could be to create a startup, or to create an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to an existing problem. By supporting our early- and mid-career researchers, we will help to create jobs for all the people with postgraduate qualifications we have already supported through HECS-HELP and other tax-payer funded schemes. Recent estimates show we have nearly 350,000 postgraduate students enrolled in Australian universities (Universities Australia, 2015). Let's use those innovators to create jobs and support the Australian economy now, and into the future.

People submitting ideas
Bernard Sullivan Phil McFadden Sally McArthur Michelle Vanzella Catherine Pham adam lyle Michelle Narracott Will Camphin Garry Visontay Phillip Fusco pip butt Stephen Baxter David Rigby Mukesh Jain Sal Esposito Phil Robertson Debra Rose Brett Elliott sean harris S Kilham Zoe Rose Sallyann Williams Andrew Downing Margaret OBrien Keith Marlow