We’re proud to support high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through our involvement in the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), Questacon’s Smart Skills Initiative (QSSI) and the BHP Billiton Science & Engineering Awards

These students are positioned to drive Australia’s economic growth through their contribution to innovation within the STEM fields. Learning about how intellectual property (IP) protection fits within the innovation cycle is essential knowledge in preparation for their pursuits at university and beyond.

We thoroughly enjoyed sharing our expertise because we know that recognising and nurturing new talent brings immeasurable positive results to our society. 

National Youth Science Forum

Image: NYSF 2017 Session A cohort at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra. Image courtesy of the National Youth Science Forum.

The NYSF is a national not-for-profit organisation that offers a suite of programs across Australia to promote study, research and employment pathways in STEM to Year 12 students. Their flagship event is the January Forum, which brings 400 students to the Australian National University in Canberra for a twelve-day immersion in all things science, engineering and technology.

During the January 2017 Forum we participated in Partner’s Day activities, hosted students at our head office, and celebrated with the students, staff and other partner organisations at both the Opening Ceremonies and Science Dinners.

The NYSF has a 30 year legacy and we proudly have several NYSF alumni working within IP Australia, including Deb Anton, our Deputy Director General. Deb spoke with ABC Radio National Breakfast to discuss why Australia needs more STEM professionals and how the NYSF has influenced her career to date.

Questacon’s Smart Skills Initiative

Image: NIC 2017 delegate Grace Goodman, 18. Image courtesy of Questacon.

The QSSI is the newest initiative from Questacon, and engages young people in design thinking, ideation, prototyping and working with technologies. The national program offers a diverse range of learning and networking opportunities, culminating with the National Invention Convention (NIC) held in Canberra.

Since its inception in 2015, we have observed over 50 NIC delegates aged 14 to 18 take their ideas from concept to reality during the intensive five-day program. As IP protection is a part of this process, we ran an IP basics workshop with a group activity focused on understanding the elements of a patent application.

We enjoyed celebrating with the participants, their families and local innovators at the Gala Dinners. Patricia Kelly, our Director General voiced her support of the program as a guest speaker at its debut.

BHP Billiton Science & Engineering Awards

Image: BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards finalists in Melbourne. Image courtesy of CSIRO.

Since 1981, the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards have been recognised as Australia’s most prestigious school science awards. The 26 finalists compete for the chance to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and a cash prize of up to AU$4000.

Finalists have an unsurpassed chance to demonstrate ingenuity, inquisitiveness, excellence in experiment design and application to problem solving during the four-day intensive science ‘camp’. They experienced tours of research facilities, visits to science outreach institutions and various presentations from industry stakeholders, including IP Australia.

We’re pleased to be involved for the second year by mentoring the finalists on IP protection.

6 February 2017