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At the forefront of Innovation Month 2019

9 months ago

Video: Innovation Sandpit 2019 summary

Article written by Biosecurity Innovation team, Biosecurity Implementation branch

The Department of Agriculture was a major player in Innovation Month 2019, an annual APS-wide initiative held each July since 2011.

This year’s theme was Test. Fail. Learn. Deliver. And deliver it did, with the initiative showcasing and celebrating thinking differently, being creative and trying new approaches in government.

To celebrate this initiative, the department held a five-part event series, consisting of thought-provoking, hands-on events that explored the theme of Test. Fail. Learn. Deliver.

The launch event was an exciting seminar featuring keynote speaker Marita Cheng AM. Marita shared her experiences in founding and operating her robotics company, aubot (formerly 2Mar), and inventing the Aipoly app. These achievements amongst others have earned her a spot as one of Forbes World’s Top 50 Women in Tech.

This was followed by two days of interactive learning in the Biosecurity Knowledge Rooms, where we showcased videos from the new Workforce Knowledge Sharing peer-to-peer learning project. This gave staff the opportunity to learn about a wide range of biosecurity inspection processes.

Next in the event series was an impromptu seminar with Tommy Cheesman, co-founder and CEO of Future Superfoods. Tommy shared his story of experimentation with alternative food sources and how he landed on crickets as a new protein source. Tommy even brought in samples of cricket-based foods for morning tea.

The department’s flagship event for Innovation Month 2019 was the Innovation Sandpit. The event showcased the exciting and innovative work happening across both the public and private sectors.

Matt Koval, First Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Policy and Implementation, and the department’s Research and Innovation Champion, said it’s exciting to see the department and the wider APS celebrating innovations in the public sector.

‘Getting hands-on with departmental innovations, as well as innovations from the private and research sectors, can inspire us all to innovate the way we do business,’ Mr. Koval said.

Through the sandpit, the department brought together innovators from government agencies, the research sector and industry for an interactive showcase.

Some of the latest developments that featured included our innovations in detector dog training and new 3D X-ray technology, as well as demonstrations from Bondi Labs, the Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra Innovation Network, Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-technology, CSIRO, FluroSat, North Australian Quarantine Strategy, Silverpond and Wildlife Drones.

The department closed out Innovation Month 2019 with ‘My Fantastic Failure’, a departmental executive panel where four senior executives shared their experiences of failure and how learning from these failures led to future success.

‘Innovation Month might be the annual month-long APS celebration of innovative work, but there are always opportunities to innovate across the department. Let’s keep innovating!’ Mr Koval concluded.

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