DKA and DIH to establish a desert innovation ecosystem
Aug 02, 2019
Partner organisations Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) and Darwin Innovation (DIH) have consulted with innovators of Alice Springs as they work to develop a regional incubator for Central Australia.
Developing a regional incubator at the Desert Knowledge Precinct in Alice Springs is the first major collaborative project following the memorandum of understanding signed by DKA and DIH to build an innovation ecosystem across the Northern Territory. Darwin Innovation Hub brings expertise and experience, as well as some significant initial projects that give an immediate and commercial starting point. There is an existing significant innovation presence and facility at DKA’s Desert Knowledge Precinct that creates the broader innovation environment necessary for the establishment of an incubator in Alice Springs.
Experts in the areas of digital innovation, skills and capacity building, and business and regional development were invited to a workshop to map the next steps in developing the incubator. A diverse range of organisations were represented at the workshop, including CSIRO, Central Land Council, Indigenous Community Volunteers, Uber Air, AusIndustry, iAccelerate, Charles Darwin University, the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Trade Business and Innovation, and DKA’s Precinct partners Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education and the Centre for Appropriate Technology.
“We had many insightful discussions on how we can best support entrepreneurs, leverage current economic and community assets, and build capability and capacity in Central Australia,” said DIH Program Director Wendy Pech.
“It was fantastic to have a diverse range of experts and stakeholders in the room that share our vision for a thriving innovation ecosystem in Central Australia with connections across the Territory. By tapping into the talent, expertise and existing strengths of this region, we can create something that will have a profound and long-lasting impact,” Ms Pech said.
“DKA is proud to be working with DIH to develop a regional incubator that will offer access to practical support, mentorship and capacity building,” said DKA CEO Dr Dan Tyson.
“The consensus of the workshop was that a focus on Aboriginal entrepreneurs and innovation is integral to this work. The regional incubator will grow new leaders, support existing Central Australian businesses, and contribute to the socio-economic development of desert and remote Australia,” said Dr Tyson.
DKA, DIH and the Northern Territory Government are using the insights generated by the workshop to develop models for the incubator.