The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) in partnership with the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) last night launched the 2020 Trade Hack, Canberra’s first event of its kind aimed to identify alternatives to address the problem of waste in trades.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr at the event launch said, “The ACT Government supports efforts to help reduce the Territory’s impact on our environment. This Trade Hack represents our ongoing commitment to not only reducing waste in the ACT, but also reinforces Canberra’s leading role as a hub for innovation.”

The four-day Trade Hack (2, 3, 16 and 17 March) will connect CIT students, apprentices and graduates with employers from the construction, electrical, culinary and hospitality sectors and together look into solving the problem of waste generated from each industry.

As part of the event, CBRIN will deliver a series of facilitated workshops for the participating teams.

“I look forward to seeing how the teams interact with the innovation methods and apply them in new ways to improve how they do business,” said Petr Adamek, CEO of the Canberra Innovation Network.

The teams will address the open-ended statement: ‘What can we do to future proof our industry through material recovery and waste reduction.

“We’re really excited to see what innovative ideas emerge from the sessions over the next few weeks. The industries we are working with are not usually in the startup spotlight, but their entrepreneurial solutions have the potential to make massive impact,” said Irene Zhen, Growth Program Associate for the Canberra Innovation Network.

These workshops will enable the teams to collectively develop concepts focus on waste, renewal and re-use to deal with this industry wide issue.

“Sustainable solutions to reduce waste is a pressing issue for the trades sector, and we are encouraging our students to apply an innovative, collaborative approach to solving problems to find a creative solution,” CIT CEO Leanne Cover said.

The proposed solution can be formulated as a community project, or a tech idea. There are no constraints on encouraging ideas to solve the problem. The successful team will then have the opportunity to take part in further CBRIN workshops and innovation programs and will also win financial support from local business Capital Ventures to seed their business idea.