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!

Vote
Winning
Idea

Let's help Australia lead the way in creating a network of affordable, sustainable housing, by funding housing co-operatives. Affordable housing is a stated aim of all of the state and territory governments, yet the Australian housing sector is in crisis. Housing is more unaffordable than ever, with workers, students and families priced out of housing. Home ownership rates and the quality of public housing have declined, while rents and housing prices have only increased.

Co-operative housing is part of the solution to the housing crisis, which will contribute to a stronger, more sustainable Australia by building citizenship simultaneously with secure, long term housing. Co-operative housing is a model in which tenants are also owners and managers of the building, and take on the responsibility of upkeep through shared labour. Co-operatives are governed by the principles of democratic member control, equality, equity, autonomy, non-discriminatory membership, respect and cooperation, education of members and concern for community. Currently Australia's successful co-operative models include state-provided public housing, and the Australian Student Housing Cooperative Organisation (ASHCO), which has member co-operatives across three states. Co-operative housing is a low-rent, high-value model, which promotes sustainability through shared resources and facilities and the enablement of high-density living. Co-operatives cost no more than private housing to build, but once built, they are economically self-sustaining, leverage autonomy and responsibility to improve cost-efficacy, and target low-income and disadvantaged populations. Australia needs a resilient, responsible, capable population, and Australia needs a sustainable solution to the housing crisis. Let's set up more co-operative housing and solve both of these problems.

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.

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.

The future of work is changing rapidly. This is a reality that governments, industries and communities are all faced with. To support the growth of Australia's tech ecosystem and to prepare Australians for 21st century jobs, we need a new approach. In this new Digital Age, a career in tech can bring about financial security and independence, therefore reducing long-term welfare dependancy.

Traditionally, jobs in tech have required a computer science degree. This is out of reach for many disadvantaged, unemployed individuals. But many jobs within the tech ecosystem no longer require a Bachelor's degree. Therefore, we should create an intensive, technical training program which prepares unemployed and/or underemployed Australians for in-demand tech jobs. The curriculum should focus on providing participants with the top job skills most-needed, according to key tech trends. Students should also acquire key professional skills and business skills required to help them land a job upon completion.
Wage subsidies could be offered to employers who provide graduates with a job for at least 12 months. This programme could initially be trialled in a single location, and then expanded based on results. Overall, the training programme could provide valuable opportunities for groups of people who would otherwise be at risk of long-term welfare dependancy. At the same time, it could grow our ecosystem within Australia and drive innovation across various industries.

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).

Create a Special Economic Zone in SEQ Queensland to match the Taxation conditions of Singapore & Ireland for High Tech Industry.

The establishment of a High Tech Special Economic Zone in South East Queensland (3 Major Airports, Proximity to the Asia Pacific, Attractiveness of the Climate to attract IT Global Company Operations Headquarters over Singapore), with a Taxation environment matching Singapore (And Ireland) for just the High Tech (IT, Telco, Software, Digital Business) sector, has a great potential to attract the APAC Sales hubs from the Multinationals of these industries, rather than to Singapore.
Rather than earning very little in taxation from these digital industries, we could be attracting the larger portion of it to Australia for the APAC hubs, not only to retain this taxation income in Australia, but to attract further income from the Asia Pacific for these operations. Australia is one of the few countries that does not implement Special Economic Zones for these trade benefits. More than a hundred do. But the majority of them are established to help a poor performing sector (eg. rural). In this instance it is to provide an ideal business environment for these High Tech Hubs specifically without detracting from Taxation income in other sectors, and make this region attractive to the Innovation industries. Australia and SEQ have many great attractions (Climate, political stability, financial stability, a good rule of law, etc), and the remaining element would be a competitive taxation regime for these industries. This would have a relatively low establishment cost, It is predominantly legislative change, similar to the attractive offers made to Virgin and Boeing to setup in the State, but as a formal Special Economic Zone (SEZ). For many years we have wished to establish a 'Silicon Valley' in Australia, with a High Tech SEZ, this could be the ideal seed for establishing that reality. We address the leaking of taxation income from this sector, and create an attractive area in Australia for High Tech industry investment in one swift blow.

People submitting ideas
Jason Held Lee Wallace Simon Gemmell A sh Simon Wyk Joe Hayes Will Egan Tom Williams Piers Warren Jeff Apple Margaret Quixley Frank Wyatt Stuart  Wallace Tarek Ansary Colin Kinner Vanessa Picker Frank  Jensen Francis Vierboom Graeme Breen Andrew McGrath Marty Crampton Mark Pey Phil McFadden Andrea Myles Mark Pesce