20 October 2015

Policy Hack was an opportunity for the development of innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy issues and to generate ideas for policies that could grow globally competitive industries in Australia.

Assistant Minister of Innovation Wyatt Roy

With over 150 participants BlueChilli brought together representatives from start-ups and business plus, mentors, investors, lawyers, students, researchers and doctors where teams worked with government mentors to cultivate ten ideas.

Policy Hack team working on start-up gender equality

Each idea generated a lot of debate and focused on what government can do to develop policy that supports Australian businesses to compete with larger start-up hubs of the world like Israel, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The ten ideas covered these four topics:


  1. Policies to develop innovative, agile and adaptive practices in Australian medium and large businesses. Policies to improve gender equality and diversity within the innovation ecosystem.


  1. Incentives to encourage the use of intellectual property by Australian businesses.
  2. Develop incentives to attract capital to improve the quality of start-up businesses and the incubators and accelerators that support them.


  1. Improve the way that universities operate in the innovation ecosystem.
  2. Make government procurement and data processes more innovative and adaptive.
  3. Activities that foster global understanding and awareness amongst people in the innovation ecosystem.


  1. Improve education systems to foster innovative thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship and digital skills.
  2. Improve and expand the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) to foster start-ups.

Each team worked with their government mentors to understand the current policies, refine the problem and develop their pitch to present to the panel of judges.

Judges included:

  • Assistant Minister of Innovation Wyatt Roy
  • Shark Tank Judge, Steve Baxter
  • CEO of CSIRO, Larry Marshal
  • David Coleman MP, Federal Member for Banks
  • Megan Cornelius AM
  • General Manager of Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Lisa Schofield
  • CEO of the Digital Transformation Office, Paul Shetler.

Rooms were full of ideas on sticky notes as ideas were being developed

With extremely high energy and engaging participation the event was the first of many Policy Hacks to come as it successfully provided government with top line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

The winning pitches included an educational program for school children that prepare the next generation entrepreneurs and a revitalisation of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.

More information