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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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Governments fund science and research because it produces the technological innovations and advancements in knowledge that improve the economic productivity and living standards. However, to date we don’t understand well the outcomes of the approximately $6 billion annually in publicly funded research investment and how this research generates innovations and discoveries that benefit society. Government could benefit by measuring and mapping public research investment against indicators of economic and societal value creation to better understand the dividend to society and determine how to improve how we invest in science.

Measuring the societal and economic return of publicly funded research investment is hard. Part of the problem is the lag between research and bringing a product to market, particularly in medicine where the safety barrier is necessarily high. Another challenge is that some major discoveries are made serendipitously in a scientific field that was previously thought to be unrelated. A further problem is that time, funds, and IP to undertake commercialisation is even harder to attain than funding for the research, consequently many discoveries are commercialised much later and usually not by the discoverer.
Consequently there are not have good answers for key questions such as how much have we benefited from this investment, and what much can we expect from future investment in science and research. This makes it difficult to argue for sustaining or improving the funding to attain better outcomes in future. These questions are now not insurmountable with available data. There is a significant amount of data measuring indicators of public research funding and analysis of these metrics against public research investment is likely to yield insights into the outcomes from public research funding and potentially ways to improve funding effectiveness.

Unleash the IP portfolio of Australia's research bodies

"Very smart engineers, business people and entrepreneurs are desperate to commercialise the incredible opportunities the CSIRO creates." That's from Adir Shiffman, CEO of Catapult Sports, one of Australia's most-successful and least-talked-about technology startups in the AFR in July 2014 - http://www.afr.com/leadership/entrepreneur/how-to-get-the-science-out-of-csiroand-intostartups-20140707-je1e3
Yet it's quite difficult first to locate and then to licence any of the IP created by CSIRO, or any of the other state- or federally-funded bodies. IP owned by the Australian people, meant to be put to work for Australians. To accelerate commercialisation of IP - with the jobs and other economic benefits that flow from it, we need to make two simple but significant changes to policy: 1) You can't use IP you don't know about. We need a policy directing CSIRO, and all other state- or federally-funded bodies to make their IP portfolios searchable through a single interface accessible to Australian entrepreneurs and businesses. 2) Quoting Shiffman again: "The community must come together to create a standard, semi-exclusive licence agreement for all IP held within CSIRO and universities." Many Australian startups have floundered within endless negotiations with federal and state-funded IP rights holders. A standard license agreement will lower costs both for licensees and licensors, and will likely return more revenue to the rights-holders than the current one-off system that can turn IP negotiations into a lawyers' picnic. Policy leadership from the Commonwealth government can see CSIRO and our world-class universities grow a range of innovative startups keen on making the most of the IP all Australians have paid to create.

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.

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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.

People submitting ideas
david tuke Denis M Justin Warren Stephen Carroll Pete Cooper tim wang Sophie Hose Seamus O Concheanainn Anthony Bishop Craig Thomler Frank Wyatt Keith Marlow D Haley Ata Mehmet Shayne Flint Adrian McCallum Jude Bennett David Havyatt Adam Mostogl Craig Davis Bernard Sullivan Matt Byers Annie Beaulieu Steve Zanon Phil Robertson