Answers coming soon! Forum closed
Tell your friends

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.

284
Ideas

9,456
Votes

494
Comments

This forum is finished. It closed about . You can still look at and comment on existing ideas!

Firstly, the Government needs a robust strategy that is inclusive of all forms of technology and stages of innovation. Specific programs and agendas that direct funding and support to specific sectors are ok but there needs to be a recognition that disruptive innovation can come from the unseen and unexpected. Programs that are broad based, such as the R&D Tax Incentive, should be included in a suite of programs to assist innovation from research through to large scale industry.

Startup and SME support ideas (many already being discussed, they need to be brought together in a coherent strategy):
- crowd funding; - angel capital gains tax relief; - increase R&D Tax Incentive for projects that have a high degree of University collaboration; - increasing the University ownership rules for R&D Tax Incentive eligibility, to increase the encouragement for a University to spin out technology; - align the small business tax incentives with the R&D tax incentives, i.e. the last Federal budget allowed increased capital write-offs, but this does not align with R&D tax eligibility; and - co-fund education programs, such as: Incubators/Accelerators, under a grant program that supports appropriately skilled people to help educate the innovators. Commercialisation and large business support ideas (as above many already being discussed, they need to be brought together in a coherent strategy : - continue to improve the Accelerating Commercialisation grant program. - a refundable patent box commercialisation incentive on the basis that it follows the current approved OECD guidelines that there is a required nexus to the R&D tax scheme. It needs to ensure that it is a workable and beneficial program for SMEs as well as Large business. - the $100 million R&D tax expenditure cap should be removed, why should high spend R&D entities not receive full benefits. There are significant flow on economic benefits for the employment of R&D staff. It is very likely that the companies that do spend over this cap will move the work offshore and thus the small R&D tax cost will be highly outweighed by the loss of employee taxes.

I think we need to stop thinking about patents as "Intellectual Property", and recognise them for what they really are.
Patents are an incentive scheme. By providing a temporary monopoly, we want to incent innovation and public disclosure.
I think there is a lot of scope to improve on this as an incentive scheme.
Consider Pharmaceutical patents: Consider why research into actual "cures for cancer", all seem to be funded by charities. Consider how bad for the pharmaceutical business it would be, if someone cured the common cold. Pharmaceutical patents fall into two general categories: patents on a process for creating a drug, and patents on a drug itself. Process patents may encourage companies to seek alternative and better ways to produce a desired outcome. However, patents on the drugs themselves are a monopoly on the result of any process, and have the reverse effect, shutting down free market competition that might otherwise drive improved techniques. Given our international commitments, it may be difficult to get this changed in the short term, but we should consider alternative incentives that can operate in parallel and could be better for both Australia and the Pharmaceutical companies. Drug patents are typically justified by the assertion that a strong incentive is needed to support the long and complex research and development cycle for drugs. While drug research is important, patents are a flawed method for accomplishing it, for two primary reasons: 1. The price problem: A guarantee of a twenty-year monopoly on a drug removes any necessity to compete on quality or price. Very high prices result, and since a large number of drugs qualify for the pharmaceutical benefit scheme (PBS) the government is ultimately forced to fund the monopolies it has created, to the tune of billions of dollars a year (the cost of patented medicines in the F1 category of the PBS rose by more than a third between 2005–06 and 2009–10). The situation is worse in developing nations where high prices demanded by patent holders deny impoverished people access to lifesaving medicine. 2. The incentive problem: A cure for a condition can only be sold once, but a temporary fix can be sold repeatedly. Drug patents thus contain a structural incentive to engage in the wrong kinds of research. Consequently, only around two per cent of new active ingredients and applications devised by drug companies are considered to make real medical progress. This means that only a small proportion of taxpayer revenue directed to drug companies ultimately funds genuinely useful research. Firms in China and the US also subject Australia to many dubious and harmful patents, imposing additional barriers on potentially useful research. Those two problems mean that drug patents as they stand are ultimately far too indirect and unreliable to work as a platform for something as vital as medical research. An alternative approach is needed. I would like to suggest a parallel, alternative incentive. 1. In the first instance, leave the patent system alone (too hard to change with international commitments). Businesses would claim patents as usual, but ... 2. Institute an alternative 'bounty' system. Do this by: 2.1. Evaluating the current cost to the Australian Government and community at large, of selected diseases and ailments. 2.2. Offer a bounty for the elimination of costs, in the form of cures, corrective treatments or effective preventative measures. 2.3. To qualify, the applicant must commit any related intellectual property into the public domain within Australia (specifically, not affecting their overseas concerns). 2.4. In reward, the company might receive something like 50% of all actual cost savings to the Australian government, over a 20 year period. 2.5. Corporations may wish to work directly with hospitals and government departments to optimise the savings, thereby increasing their own reward. 3. Encourage other countries to do the same, leveraging the effect globally. There would be nothing to stop overseas businesses or multinationals from participating in the bounty system. A cost saving/cure should be welcome from anywhere and rewarded appropriately. This is win-win-win. The Australian government gets cost reductions that compound over time. Corporations get a strategic alternative reward system, instead of relying on Patents + Sales, plus they get to attract the most talented researchers who are motivated by purpose, not to mention the awesome publicity of actually making a difference while reducing costs. The Australian public get cures and prevention, instead of palliative solutions.

Vote
Winning
Idea

China is Australia's largest trading partner, eclipsing our second and third largest trading partners, the US and Japan combined. China is rapidly shifting its global role from imitator to innovator and has filed the most domestic patent applications of any country since 2011. China is fast becoming a leading investor in innovation, with leading research universities, modern science and technology parks, and innovative start-ups. Chinese companies, which are investing more and more in R&D, are demonstrating a growing concern for IP rights. In China there are 17 million designers, 15 thousand design organisations, 50 thousand consumer products designed per year with a 10% success rate and 5 million start-ups.

It would be a grave error of the Australian innovation community to underestimate the impact of this swift rise and its scale when other nations sure aren't doing so.
The opportunity for Australia is awesome! We have a tremendous opportunity to develop the Australian innovation ecosystem by getting our engagement with China right but we currently lack the human capital in Australia with the skills, networks and confidence to work collaboratively with China. We have too few China-skilled young innovators and emerging leaders coming through the talent pipeline to fully populate this ecosystem. To develop any ecosystem, one must have a sense of the future conditions it will take place within. China will soon be the world’s largest economy and a leader in innovation and innovation investment. Any discussion of the future of Australia's innovation ecosystem, the policies which underpin it and how we develop entrepreneurs and innovators of the future must involve active mobilisation of the China opportunity.

Let's launch a national home energy retrofit campaign to help households across Australia reduce their energy bills.

Most people aren't aware that energy efficiency is typically one of the most lucrative investment opportunities available to households, easily out-performing both property and shares by providing higher returns and lower risks. However households largely under-invest in energy efficiency owing to a lack of information, finance, and other barriers.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation in partnership with the major banks currently fund a range of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across Australia. However so far they've struggled to invest in residential energy efficiency projects, despite representing one of the largest and highest return clean energy investments in Australia. The under-financing of residential energy efficiency arises from two key challenges. Firstly, although residential energy efficiency represents a very large pool of potential investment, each project is individually very small, making transaction costs a challenge. Secondly, the costs of auditing homes to identify and estimate the energy savings has historically been an obstacle. Our small startup (www.getecologic.com) recently developed a free app and cloud-based simulation platform capable of rapidly auditing how energy is used around the home and providing individually tailored business cases for home energy efficiency and solar retrofits. We have also developed an electronic marketplace to connect households to energy efficiency and solar providers, financial institutions, and incentive programs, enabling bulk purchasing and financing of energy efficiency and solar PV projects. With modest policy support our small startup and other clean technology businesses could help drive a step change in the uptake of energy efficiency and solar PV, and reduce energy bills across Australia.

People submitting ideas
Jonathan D'Cruz Ahmed Salama Tony Peacock Johan Karlsson Nick Abrahams David Rigby ulrich schild Leanne ODonnell Nathan Waters Jeff Apple Pete Cooper Alan Jones Anthony Bishop James McKinnon MIchael McCann Peter French Joe Hayes Parth Gulati Zoe Rose S Kilham Glenn Phillips Gary McGhee Hector Titterton Jason Harrop Mark Pey