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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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Start with a smarter framework for the event – is this is about technology, innovation or entrepreneurship? These are three separate concepts with different tactics to nurture there growth.
Innovation industries – seriously????
There is no such thing as innovation industries and non innovation industries.
I think this is a false challenge for your day: ‘policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.’ The research I know says there are innovative organisations (defined in terms of seeing opportunities, creating products and services to meet the opportunities, and then profiting from the opportunities) in all industries. In fact, PWC found many technologies company are not innovative by definition of profiting from what they create. Where is the focus on being innovative in our food industries to sell premium products to the world? The Kiwis get this. Do not limit yourself to digital companies. This is short sighted. Entrepreneurship – Keep in mind that many new businesses have little to do with creating truly innovative solutions, focus on all of the issues for starts up. This is an entrepreneurship eco system, not an innovation eco systems. So many new tech companies are a copy of a business that already exists. There is little or no innovation involved. Innovation – Since moving back to AU, it is clear that the concepts of innovation are being applied in very superficial ways. This debate is 20 years old. At minimum, learn what has happened in AU and in other countries. What is the role of today’s corporate sector to fostering a new generation of services and products to sell to the world? The new Free Trade Agreements are only useful if today business leaders take the initiative to get on jets to travel to those countries to understand those markets and how they can shape products to sell to them. Recognize something obvious to many foreigners….the weakness of many of today’s leaders and managers. Even the Business Council of Australia identified weak middle management as a problem for innovation. Countries like Singapore and New Zealand see the need to prompt today’s executives of companies with export potential to improve their skills. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise launched design thinking as strategy to increase the value of export products – in 2002 (www.BetterByDesign.org.nz). It took 12 years for AU to notice. We copied this programme in 2014. Singapore has long had programmes to improve the skills of today’s managers to understand improvement, design and innovation. The level of working knowledge of this body of work is poor in Australia. You may have to do more than talk about innovation. We need smart, clear and simple advice on how to be innovative. Innovation is not a brand. It is something you earn once your results prove themselves in the marketplace.

Entrepreneurship is the way of the future, it diversifies our economy and allows us - as a nation - to adapt to an increasingly volatile world.
The success of entrepreneurship rests on two vital elements: the ability to innovate/disrupt traditional behaviour and a willingness to fail in the pursuit of this innovation.
Neither of these qualities is encouraged in Australia, particularly in the schooling system.
Increased seed funding, tax breaks for VC's and other facets of the entrepreneurial infrastructure are all important but these changes won't be utilised if the youth of Australia do not possess an entrepreneurial mindset. If Australia is to truly become an innovative nation, changes need to be made to the education system to encourage students to pursue the possibilities that already exist. This can be achieved most easily within the educational sector. The objectives of traditional education need to be modified (both secondary and tertiary) to reward lateral and original thought. Introduce additional marking for creative methodology, introduce open-ended assignments where the process is marked rather than the results and most importantly; reward the ability to iterate based upon past failure. Yes change in education requires substantial co-operation from States and Territories as well as the tertiary sector but it provides a cost effective way to boost innovation in a variety of areas: start-up ventures, commercial university research and university graduate adaptability in a changing economic landscape. It gives our future workforce the desire to innovate, not just the ability to. Venture capitalists very rarely invest in a start-up because of the idea, they invest in the people. Australia needs to do the same, we need to invest in the people of tomorrow.

"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
Joe Hayes Jonny Wilkinson David Jordan Andrew Waltho Michelle Vanzella Geoff Geary Erin Watson-Lynn Paul Cheever Adam James Richard Ferrers Chris Drake Matt Byers Jude Bennett Matt McNamara Peter Batchelor Grant Cooley Topaz Conway Karen  Dado Richard Billingsley Catherine Pham Sallyann Williams Jack Taylor Nathan Waters David  Brookes Karen Spiller