The Palaszczuk Government is investing additional funding to encourage more startups and small businesses to collaborate with government on information and communications technology (ICT) solutions.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said AU$275,000 would be invested in the second round of the Testing Within Government (TWiG) program, building on the momentum of the successful inaugural program.
“This Advance Queensland initiative is opening doors and creating opportunities to work with the Palaszczuk Government and it takes our support for local startups and small businesses to the next level,” she said.
Ms. Enoch said the initiative, now involving more government departments, would also encourage innovation in government.
“Government departments will benefit by having small, specialised firms apply innovative thinking to technology challenges, and TWiG participants get to work directly with end users to perfect their product and better understand how to work with large enterprises in the future,” she said.
Under the first round of the TWiG program, launched in August 2016, four business problems were addressed, with each participant receiving AU$25,000. In round two, eight agencies will be involved in the search for innovative ICT solutions to 11 business problems.
Local startups and small businesses will once again work collaboratively with government officers – this time in Police, Education, Health, Transport, Local Government and Planning, environment, state development and DSITI – over the 12-week TWiG program to test their ICT solutions against real business problems.
At the end of the program, TWiG participants will showcase their solutions and capabilities to representatives from Queensland Government and private industry.”
Previous TWIG participants FlowBiz CEO Terry Sinkinson, who partnered with another local business, MacroGIS, said the program had been a great launch pad for their app to crowdsource mobile coverage data and had helped them refine some other products.
“We were really pleased with the support and level of openness and information sharing government officers gave us,” he said.
“As a result, we have a much better understanding of what large organisations want in the IT arena and how to work with them on a solution – which would have been difficult for a small business like us to assess before this program.”
Mr. Sinkinson said the experience was worthwhile and recommended anyone with an idea or product fitting the TWiG criteria to apply.
A TWIG information session will be held in Brisbane on March 27 2017. Details about how to participate in the industry information session and how and when to apply to be part of TWiG are available at the Advance Queensland website.