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HILLS HOISTS CALL FOR INNOVATION

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9 September 2014

Hills Limited has called on Australian innovators and entrepreneurs to submit proposals for ideas, projects and start-ups that can be funded, developed and commercialised in the company’s new Adelaide-based Innovation Centre.

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Hills chief technology officer, Leica Ison, says the company is looking to identify and support the best talent Australia has to offer, and to bring their products and services to market.

“Hills has always passionately believed and backed Australia’s innovation potential,” she says. “Start-ups will be able to access funding, business assistance and the use of our Innovation Centre in Adelaide to accelerate the development of their products and services. Ultimately, what we want to do is help foster a really vibrant start-up culture and grow a pipeline of technology-driven products and services.”

Hills opened its two-pronged Innovation Centre in May through a three-year, $5 million funding partnership with the South Australian government. The Centre comprises the Lance Hill Design Centre, which focuses on advancing design innovation, and the D-Shop, on discovering and commercialising digital innovation. The objective of both is to retain local design expertise and to collaborate with key educational campuses and the rich pool of independent designers in Australia, and will open to submissions twice a year. As a result of its first round of pitches in May, Hills says the initiative has already created around 50 high-end jobs and attracted more than 30 submissions from Australian entrepreneurs. Its first major project is a new nurse call handset for the growing number of hospital patients and aged care residents living with arthritis, and a further three projects in health care and wearables are under development.

Applications for the Hills Pitch Day opened on September 8 and will close on October 14, 2014. Hills is targeting its support towards projects that fit into the following priority areas:

•           health & aged care or assisted living

•           lifestyle & well-being (wearable devices)

•           security & safety

•           data analytics

•           automation & smart home

•           communications & mobility

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the Hills Pitch Day in Adelaide on 12 November 2014, where they will be given the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a panel of commercial and academic experts.

More information: www.hills.com.au/innovation-centres

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