Multinationals join forces with CBR Innovation Network to accelerate innovation in Canberra

Dr Sarah Pearson, CEO of the CBR Innovation Network has announced an exciting partnership between the CBR Innovation Network and King & Wood Mallesons, PwC and Optus.

The partnership is based on a common vision to grow new industry and jobs by connecting innovative businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs; to promote their success and to accelerate innovation to build global competitiveness.

“If Australia is to grow its economy and secure jobs we need to help existing companies become more globally competitive, and new companies set up. Collaborating with large companies to help them become more innovative as well as connect them to start-ups and the research base is a crucial part of this, and we are particularly excited to be celebrating our new partnerships with KWM, PwC and Optus” said Dr. Sarah Pearson CEO, CBR Innovation Network.

The partnership has full support from the ACT Government “Canberra has many advantages that we must continue to harness if we are to grow our economy and create more jobs. We are working towards creating a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in our city, and it’s great that that these national corporations have recognised the potential of Canberra and are willing to invest in our innovation sector” said Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA.

Key features of the partnership will be mentoring, workshop and individual support from corporate partners to start-ups through their business, financial and legal expertise. It also includes collaboration on innovation programs and approaches to finding innovation solutions for corporates to help their growth, working with the whole innovation ecosystem; and to deliver innovation solutions to other clients and business support for the CBR Innovation Network in areas such as financial, legal and IT support.

“Innovation is one of King & Wood Mallesons top priorities and we know that collaboration is essential to successful innovation as much as embracing new ideas is. As a firm, we regularly run crowd sourcing ideations, hackathons, labs, coding boot camps and design thinking sprints, to promote internal collaboration to pro-actively solve pain points for our clients. We are delighted to formally partner with CBR Innovation Network, bringing big business together with academia, entrepreneurs and government to help accelerate innovation in Canberra,” said Michelle Mahoney, Executive Director of King & Wood Mallesons.

“PwC’s continuing sponsorship of the CBR Innovation Network is another demonstration of our commitment to the grassroots of Australia’s innovation ecosystem. We see investing in and supporting incubators such as this are an important part of the national ecosystem in term of the network effect around encouraging entrepreneurs to be bold and courageous, which will help avoid Australia being a net importer of ideas, products and services. Nowhere does this play out more than in some of the critical agendas we have around food trust, mental wealth and future cities. Incubators play an important role in supporting Australia’s future industry builders” said Alex Klat-Smith, Partner of PwC.

“Optus Business recently released our Smart Disruption report which identified the need for organisations to embrace a new mindset of collaboration and partnership. Creating an environment where learnings are freely shared will prepare businesses to more readily respond to changing customer needs and enable them to jointly build new business models. Our partnership with CBR Innovation Network creates the ideal platform for established organisations and start-ups to learn and grow from each other in Canberra,” said John Paitaridis, Managing Director of Optus Business.

It has been two years since the inception of the CBR Innovation Network, which has since developed a sophisticated innovation ecosystem in Canberra. Providing support to over 60 businesses and start-ups, attracting more than an estimated $24.5 million in investment and 20,000 visitors through the CBR Innovation Network.

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