Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Future of Innovation in Canberra

Greetings from ANU University House in Canberra, where Dr Sarah Pearson, CEO of CBR Innovation Network is speaking about innovation in Canberra. She pointed out that their lean startup workshops are about 50% female (something I noticed when I attended recently). CBRIN will also be hosting a national initiative to help with other innovation centers. CBRIN have signed a MOU with Wellington, to take advantage of the new direct flights between the two cities. Sarah foreshadowed innovation announcements to be made by the Canberra based AIE. Another initiative is to have the Australian Government fund innovation centers in Myanmar and Fiji. Sarah has also proposed CBRIN be the national innovation testbed for the Australian Government.

Rendering of the TEAL classroom at MIT
At question time one of the audience asked about changing the attitude of PHD graduate to consider a start-up as an option, rather than seeing the first option being research. In terms of culture, Sarah suggested using CBRIN's seminar room for university classes. It occurred to me that this large space could be adapted to be a TEAL Teaching Room (as used at University of Canberra's Inspire Center). Normally innovation workshops are done with groups of about 24 students. However, these could be run with 100 students, by installing screens on all four walls.

One significant start-up in Canberra was CSIRO's development of gluten free barley, which will first be commercialized for making German beer. 

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