Stories

DKA and DIH to establish a desert innovation ecosystem

Aug 02, 2019

Services: Connecting

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.

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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.

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