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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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Grow, federate and accelerate Australia's innovation and entrepreneurship all together.
Australia needs a structured and long term approach to developing entrepreneurship. This means starting with education, including mentorship, improving business creation, developing funding, facilitating the collaborations within the ecosystem and helping Australia thrive and gain recognition on a global scale.
It all starts with education. On this topic, Colin Kinner made a great suggestion which I definitely back. I would add that education would not come only from universities. Even before that, there needs to be a growing development of the knowledge around coding and entrepreneurship (In France, I started getting familiar with computers at primary school). There is also a need to communicate more about STEM and entrepreneurship as career paths. Universities are, for some, doing great by offering dedicated courses and even building accelerators (Melbourne University offers a great example) but the numbers are still too low. Going further, the partnerships with corporations should be re-inforced. The funding, here, is important but not crucial initially. Following Colin's point, try to work on a startup visa, to bring in skills that are truly needed, make it easier for startups and corporations while using the % they pay to finance the development of education.
Going further, funding needs to be facilitated. VC funding is still very low with tickets mostly matching seed or series A raises. Investing in startups or innovation is risky. 1 out of 3 startups may make it and returns are never guaranteed. Cater for the risk-taking by working on taxes for both angel or VC investment. In Europe you can get an average 30% of the investment deducted from income tax when investing in startups. And write the investment off taxes in case of failure. Make it easy and interesting to invest with a 30 to 50% deduction straight away (see UK, France,... ) and the remainder deducted too should the venture fail. Australians are looking for alternative investment vessels and this could give a boost to angel investment. A last point not to make this piece too long. Leverage StartupAus. There needs to be a body linking - and linked - with the government (but not directly depending from it) taking care of the whole startup ecosystem development and federating the whole community - and efforts. A great example is the "FrenchTech" initiative by France which has allowed to bring silos and local ecosystems together while providing a common goal for all the members of the French startup ecosystem. With 3 axis, Federate, Accelerate and Spread, this initiative has allowed to make sense of a very diverse ecosystem, push the message out in France (generating interest in tech and entrepreneurship) but also on the worldwide stage (with renewed interest from investors and foreign companies) and, by subsidising a presence at major events (SXSW, CES, TechCrunch Disrupt, etc.) helped generate leads and revenue for French startups and the ecosystem as a whole. Another country having successfully implemented a program with similar foundations is Lithuania. A 3 million people, baltic country, which has gone from almost unknown to a tech country on the same level as Estonia, thanks to the government backing the startup industry. Not only financially but by putting the right structures in place and being engaged in every step. They have one of the best internet network in the world (witnessed first hand), a great education system (8th best in the world) and ease of doing business (ranked 11th). They also looked at Silicon Valley the right way. No need to bring a handful of selected geeks to the Valley to dip into the "spirit" but rather bring the Valley to Lithuania. In 2012, at the beginning of their journey, that lead to "Silicon Valley Comes to the Baltics" where speakers and entrepreneurs from San Francisco, mostly, came to speak in front of a crowd of 1,300 startup enthusiasts (with tickets being free for students). These are the foundations that Australia should be working on right now as the gap with other nations is currently huge and will take years to fill (especially from the education point of view which is crucial for nurturing entrepreneurship).

"Nothing breeds success like success itself. Let's bring Australian corporates - small, medium and large - who are recognised for the "innovation in their DNA" firmly inside the Innovation Policy tent ".

So far, our policy hacking has been silent about the role that corporates, who have made it and are no longer startups, have to play in Australia's innovation ecosystem. Experiences in Singapore, US and European innovation hubs show the value of the successful corporate innovator giving back as ideas generators, co-designers, mentors, investors, marketers, springboards and cheer leaders for startups e.g. in Silicon Valley, FXPAL Venture Labs.
The successful corporates we want to engage are those that keep their thinking big but remain agile and nimble in their innovation efforts in Australia, and have led the way in internationalising through AsiaPac and global R & D networks and efforts. There is a neat suite of strategies, initiatives and tools from leading innovative jurisdictions that we can mould to engage the successful Australian corporates we want. We can build on this suite and make it better through a solid day of policy design work. We can 1. Form Australia's Civic Innovation Framework which includes the corporate sector 2. Develop an Australian Innovation Compact which signals those corporates who are committed to innovation 3. Facilitate solutions for intractable problems through cross sector sandpits 4. Draw mentors to startups 5. Attract greater corporate investment through allowing tax liability acquisition for investing corporates 6. Release corporate designers, innovators and big thinking employees from their company commitments to work in government, startups 7. Overcome the guarding behaviour which has crept into Australian innovation by driving and rewarding the shared value proposition we need for whole-of-society solutions & 8. Design initiatives we haven't yet conceived.

I have 3 ideas to contribute, two from personal experience as an ‘Innovation and Technology Counsellor’ and one of my own. They relate to 'Innovation Support', 'Seed funding' and 'Youth Education'
Innovation Support
In the late 1990s Scottish Enterprise created a small organisation funded through the Department of Trade and industry. It was a team of 7 individuals to cover the whole of Scotland, ‘Innovation and Technology Counsellors’ (ITCs) each of different expertise and called the ‘Expert Help’ team. They were a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ charged with aiding individuals and SME’s (small to medium sized enterprises) in the formation and development of ideas/products and were given the following facilities:
1. Ears - to listen to the problem - without any cost. 2. Time - without any cost - following initial contact the most appropriate ITC could spend a day or two to assess the problem, perhaps solve it. If it was more involved there were additional facilities of: 3. A data-base of ‘Experts’ and organisations with expert facilities. 4. Small Government Grants to pay 100% of a few days of the chosen Expert’s time and report, hopefully to solve the problem but at least to fully identify it and formulate a course of action. 5. Additional Grants of 50% for additional expert time or additional studies with the aim of solving the problem quickly. The concept was excellent and there is no doubt it was effective. Organisational problems restricted its activities or it would have been much more effective.

People submitting ideas
Raymond Xu Walter Villagonzalo Adam Mostogl Peter Scarth Karen  Dado Frank Wyatt Phillip Fusco Sarah Pearson Peter Batchelor Jess Moore Phil Morus John McKibbin Paul Foxworthy Patrick Mooney Steve Dunn Monica Wulff David Russell Stephen Baxter Janice Macpherson Annie Beaulieu Oliver Damian Tim Parsons David MacSmith Suzanne Nguyen Simon Spencer