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Shining the spotlight on innovation

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation


GC 206/12 17 July 2012


Innovative individuals and projects across seven fields, ranging from clean energy technology to education, have an opportunity to secure cash prizes and national recognition as part of the Australian Innovation Challenge.

The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, has welcomed the Federal Government’s support through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education for The Challenge, an initiative of The Australian newspaper in association with Shell


“We know that innovation is vitally important to Australia’s future. Businesses that innovate are twice as likely to boost their productivity and also more likely to create jobs,” Mr Combet said.

“That is why the Government has generous programs available to help innovative businesses like the R&D Tax Incentive, Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia, and the Clean Technology Innovation Program.

“The technology created by the winner of last year’s challenge, Professor Mark Kendall, is being commercialised by Vaxxas Pty Ltd, a company established with funding from the Government’s Innovation Investment Fund.

“The Challenge showcases the kind of new ideas and products that will lead the world into the future.”

The Australian Innovation Challenge has seven categories: Environment & Agriculture/Food, Health, Community Services, Minerals and Energy, Manufacturing and Hi-tech Design, ICT, and Education. The winner of each category will receive $5,000 and the overall winner will receive $25,000.

In addition, there is a Backyard Innovation category (prize money of $10,000), which covers inventions by the general public that are at an advanced stage.

“The recognition and chance for national exposure for good ideas and products is just as important as the cash prizes offered in the Challenge,” Mr Combet said.

Details are available at and

Media contact: Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920