Policy & Politics |
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia

National Innovation Games kick-start inclusive innovation in Australia

National Innovation Games kick-start inclusive innovation in Australia
 
The Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology will today launch the National Innovation Games, bringing together emerging talent from universities and the VET sector, small to medium businesses, and leading corporations in cities and regions to kick-start an inclusive innovation culture in Australia.
 
The National Innovation Games – a series of 30 Games to be held over the next two years – is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and delivered by the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) and Paddl Co., a startup developing new ways to better prepare business and talent for the future of work.
 
The series launch is taking place alongside the inaugural Games being held on the Gold Coast today, where ten local businesses and their employees are working with local tertiary students, graduates, and PhDs, in addition to Virgin Australia and other corporate partners, to develop innovative solutions to better manage waste and reduce Australia’s landfill.
 
Paddl Co. Chief Executive Officer, Dominique Fisher describes the Games as a win-win, with participants and businesses both walking away with valuable outcomes. 
 
“Our commitment to preparing talent for the future of work led Paddl to develop a methodology in the Innovation Games that enables students, grads and PhDs to develop skills for the future of work, such as design thinking, networking, collaboration and public presentations skills,” Ms Fisher said. 
 
“Working collaboratively with industry, participants are given the opportunity to experience the locally relevant, real-world challenges faced by employers and the role effective employees can play in solving those challenges. Some may even gain employment as a result of their participation.
 
“The Games are fostering and nurturing practical experience in STEM, in addition to providing a practical demonstration of the importance of STEM skills and knowledge. They are helping to build a pipeline of talent to ensure Australia remains a competitive and innovative nation.”   COSBOA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Strong highlighted the important connection between mainstream small and medium businesses and innovation support. 
 
“The series commences at a time when our businesses are being challenged by an unprecedented level of change and the impact of technology. While trying to convert various opportunities to grow their businesses, owners are faced with changing consumer preferences and ever-increasing competition from internet retailers and digital service providers,” Mr Strong said.
 
“The National Innovation Games provide small to medium businesses with new skill sets, new ways of thinking about product and service development and an opportunity to improve digital literacy for the future of work. 
 
“Each Innovation Games focuses on a locally relevant challenge, helping business unlock innovative solutions to address the challenge, fostering growth, professional experience and IP that may lead to new products and services. The Games also provide businesses with access to the next wave of talent.”  
 
Virgin Australia is the key corporate partner for the inaugural Games on the Gold Coast. Virgin Australia CEO & Managing Director, Paul Scurrah said the airline was proud to support the launch of the National Innovation Games.
 
“Innovation in business is crucial to continued success and future growth, and we’re really pleased to be able to support future leaders in tackling challenges and developing solutions to help local Australian businesses,” Mr Scurrah said. 
 
“Today’s topic on managing waste and reducing Australia’s landfill is an important issue and relevant for all businesses. As an airline, we are focused on ways to reduce our environmental impact and working with all of our suppliers on more eco-friendly solutions.”
 
–ENDS–
 
About the National Innovation Games

Paddl Co. developed Paddl Games in response to the critical need to prepare emerging talent for work and to promote collaboration between businesses and education institutions. The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has provided funding to trial a national series, the National Innovation Games. The Games will bring together industry, businesses and students to solve real-life, practical business issues. Up to 30 Games will be held over the two-year trial period where employees and students will work together to solve innovation, technology and/or digital challenges set by a corporate partner/sponsor. This will improve collaboration between businesses and education institutions, and broaden employment prospects for students and graduates.
 
The National Innovation Games format
• The National Innovation Games brings together businesses with emerging talent to solve reallife, practical business issues.

• Each of the National Innovation Games includes ten teams comprising business owners and employees, emerging talent and representatives from a corporate partner/sponsor(s).

• Each team is professionally facilitated and works on an innovation project aligned with a locally relevant challenge identified by the corporate partner/sponsor.

• Team members collaborate in three design sprints: problem framing & ideation; concept design & development; and storytelling & tuning.

• Challenge Labs are staffed by the corporate partners/sponsors/PhD researchers to help team members access expert advice throughout the day.

• At the end of the day, each team presents their ideas and solutions to a judging panel in a competition to win prizes.

• Participants can book a 15-minute mentoring session with an experienced employee.

• The National Innovation Games provide a unique opportunity for employers to observe emerging talent that have been shortlisted for employment with their business, throughout the day, before then meeting with the applicant at an Employer Booth to conduct a formal interview.
 
The National Innovation Games running sheet
 
Venue: Prince Room, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Benowa (Gold Coast)  Challenge: How can your business better manage waste and reduce Australia’s landfill?
 
8:00am  Registration
 
9:00am  National Innovation Games launch   
The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science & Technology will launch the Games.
 
Media are invited to attend the launch commencing at 9:00am, followed by a doorstop with the Minister at 9:45am.
 
9:45am  Challenge commences
 
3:50am  Pitches and judging
 
5:45pm  Networking
 
6:30pm  Awards and prizes  
 
7:00pm  Close
 
Business participants 
 
The business participants on 21 August 2019 include:
 
1. Do Good Labs and Virgin Australia
2. Blackboard Coffee
3. RACV Royal
4. Climate Wave Enterprises
5. IGA Tweed Valley/Xpress Murwillumbah and Metcash Limited
6. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
7. Stuart Surf Design
8. Teys Abbattoir
9. Sattwa Skincare
10. All Saints Anglican School
 
Educational institutions 
 
The educational institutions represented on 21 August 2019 include:
 
1. Queensland University of Technology
2. Griffith University
3. James Cook University
4. Southern Cross University
5. University of Southern Queensland
6. Envirotech
7. University of Sunshine Coast
8. The University of Queensland
9. All Saints Anglican School
 
Challenge Labs 
 
Challenge Labs are staffed by the corporate partners and PhD researchers to help team members access expert advice throughout the day. On 21 August the Challenge Labs will be operated by:
 
1. Lisa Van Den Berg, Project Manager Waste to Profits Research Project at QUT, Queensland University of Technology
2. Ross Naidoo, Senior Food Science Liaison, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
3. Tamara Devita, Business Development Manager, QLD, Sustainable Salons  4. Brooke Jones, Owner, The Sourced Agent
5. Jayne Paramor, Sustainability Manager, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation
6. Oliver Shand, Sustainable Building Design Co-Ordinator, Earthcheck
7. Jennifer Kyna, Sustainability Advisor, Virgin Australia
 
About COSBOA
COSBOA is the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia – the peak national advocacy body for Australian small-medium businesses (SMEs). COSBOA is made up of 31-member organisations representing 600,000 SMEs across Australia. COSBOA partnered with Paddl Co. to run an Innovation Games series in Victoria in 2017-2018, and this latest series, the National Innovation Games.  
 
About Paddl Co.
Paddl Co. is the creator and owner of Paddl Games. We are a tech company, based in Melbourne, focused on helping emerging talent achieve their career aspirations. Paddl.com enables ‘experience’ to be earned, captured, recognised and shared in a new way – creating their Paddl resume. Paddl.com is an employment and experience platform for emerging and mature talent. Users signup, free of charge, and develop their experience profile. Employers use Paddl Co. to recruit and hire based on the demonstration of relevant experience and employment skills. Paddl Co. is constantly striving to find better ways for people to present themselves to prospective employers and for employers to create meaningful experiences to foster emerging talent and to identify and make more informed hires.
 
Media enquiries
 
COSBOA & Paddl Co.
Emma Needham +61 (0)400 266 659 emma@emmaneedham.com.au
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