In summary

  • Six students represent Swinburne in the 2020 National Innovation Games.
  • Held on 21 May, this year’s challenge topic was ‘Business Resilience’ for real businesses in regional Victoria.

Swinburne strengthens career-ready graduates through participation in opportunities such as The National Innovation Games, partnered with the Australian GovernmentPaddl Co, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia and EnergyAustralia.

The Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Science, Innovation & Technology launched The National Innovation Games, a series of events known as ‘Innovation Challenges’ held throughout each state and territory in Australia from August 2019 to June 2021. 

In response to the COVID-19 situation the all-day event was delivered virtually through platforms including Zoom and Slack. In collaboration with Paddl Co, the occasion was professionally facilitated and designed to support all participants and enable inclusive innovation.

Swinburne was represented by six students:

  • Amelia Iverson, Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) 

  • Ben Wood, Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours)

  • Joshua Maynes, Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

  • Katherine Montoya, Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

  • Lily Nguyen, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

  • Ravneet Jaur, Masters of Construction and Infrastructure Management

EnergyAustralia was the 2020 Challenge Sponsor for the National Innovation Games held on 21 May for regional Victoria. In times of such unprecedented economic disruption, EnergyAustralia set the challenge topic as “Business Resilience: optimising your essential services in times of crisis”.

“The highlight of the day for me was meeting the client, hearing their story and designing a real-world business solution in communities that really need it,” says Mr Maynes.

Students were tasked with creating solutions for real businesses in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland area, including Neilson’s Pharmacy and Blackbird Logistics. Working within teams, Amelia Iverson and Josh Maynes were nominated for Challenger of the Day and highlighted as stand-out presenters.

“The experience definitely boosted my confidence, there were times where I would take the lead and facilitate the group on certain design thinking processes,” said Mr Maynes.

“It was clear that the creativity and innovation tools that we've taken from our subjects at Swinburne were relevant, and that we have capability and potential going out into the workforce” say Ms Iverson. 

Paddl experiences, including The National Innovation Games program, are designed to build new skills, create more meaningful networks, practice essential skills to build resilience in the modern workforce and fill gaps in knowledge and experience. 

“I would encourage all students to participate in events and opportunities like this because I know it’s going to help me in my future career,” says Ms Iverson.

Despite Swinburne representing less than 10% of total students who participated in the EnergyAustralia National Innovation Games, they were amongst the highest performing students in the Challenge.

“The outcome achieved by the students exemplifies our mission of advancing innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact,” says Professor Keryn Chalmers, Dean of Swinburne Business School.

Paddl have announced the next National Innovation Games is taking place in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts. The virtual two-day innovation Challenge is being held on 19-20 August and is offered to all students, graduates, PhDs and academics to participate. Register here.

Related articles