Friday, April 09, 2010

World's Coolest Cities for Innovation

The "Innovation ACT" program for 2010 was launched last night at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research), Australian National University, Canberra. The keynote speaker was Glenn Dickins, Senior Staff Research Engineer at Dolby and entrepreneur, who has an ANU PHD in Engineering. Glenn talked about how to be an entrepreneur, including the pleasures of being able to innovate in the coolest cities in the world, nominating Helsinki at the top.

Innovation ACT allows ANU and University of Canberra students to learn to innovate, taking their ideas from research to the market. The program does not cover for-profit ideas but also those for the public good.

Professor Shannon from UoC talked at the launch. Innovation ACT has distributed more than $100,000 so far. Professor Mick Cardew-Hall spoke next, commenting that the program is run by students for students.

One problem I have with the Innovation ACT program is that it is not part of formal ANU or UoC courses. However, there was mention at the launch of a "certificate in commercialisation", where for ANU and UoC students can suspend studies for six months. Unfortunately no further details were given and it was not clear tio me why the students had to suspend their studies for this, rather than have it opart of their program.

The 2010 logo for Innovation ACT is an old fashioned light bulb with a wind turbine instead of a filament. I have no idea what this is intended to represent. You can follow Innovation ACT on Twitter.

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