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Impact Innovation Group Newsletter April 2021

Posted 3 years ago

April 2021 Newsletter.

Innovation news, research, opportunities, and insights from Impact Innovation Group.


Engineers in Spain have invented 3D-printed construction beams made from recycled plastic that are 80% lighter than steel or reinforced concrete, but just as strong. In addition to being more sustainable and less expensive, the beams are also more versatile, as they are made in small blocks that are easy to transport and assemble on site – reminiscent of Lego. Read More

Researchers in the US have figured out how to turn food waste, animal manure and contaminated water into commercially competitive jet fuel. The new fuel not only reduces the CO2 that comes from fossil jet fuels but also gets rid of the methane that would bubble up from landfill if the waste food was just dumped. Read More

In 2009, a six-year study surveying 3,000 creative executives confirmed what many other scholars had suggested – there are five key traits that enable innovation.  The good news? These traits do not have to be innate. They can be taught.  Read More

The Patent Analytics Hub at IP Australia has a number of publicly available reports that provide insight and analysis into the current trends, target markets, collaborations, and developments in specific technology areas such as substitute meat, machine learning technologies and blockchain, among others. Read More

Xenobots are the first living creatures whose immediate evolution occurred inside a computer and not in the biosphere. The result is a simple organism – real, living lifeforms designed by code. What potential applications could this technology have, and what are the moral implications? Read More


Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
by Larry Keeley.

Using a list of more than 2,000 successful innovations, including Cirque du Soleil, early IBM mainframes, the Ford Model-T, and more, the authors applied an algorithm to determine ten meaningful groupings. The Ten Types of Innovation explores these insights to diagnose patterns of innovation within industries, identify innovation opportunities, and evaluate how firms perform against competitors. The framework has proven to be one of the most enduring and useful ways to start thinking about transformation.



Steven Bladeni
Head of Labs, Kmart Australia

Steven recently established the new Innovation Lab at Kmart, a team created to explore and evaluate new concepts to improve the business. Steven told us he’s excited about the way COVID-19 has been a kick in the pants for the retail sector to prioritise their investment in digital, and revealed his favourite online collaboration tools, the books he’s currently reading and how important it is to have an experimental mindset when working in innovation.  Read More



If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

            Reid Hoffman




The 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize (Online, closes 9 April) This prize recognises Queensland women making an outstanding contribution in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). Applications can be submitted online and close on 9 April 2021 at 4pm AEST.

Round 2 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative is now open. This government grant program provides targeted support on a co-contribution basis to female founders of startup businesses to help them scale into domestic and global markets. An estimated $11.6 million in grant funding is available, and each grant will be between $25,000 and $480,000. If you would like some advice and guidance before you submit your application, you can book a free one-on-one session with a personalised pathways mentor (available for free thanks to the Advance Queensland Female Founders Impact program). >> BOOK HERE

Malaria Prevention through Innovations in Home Design or Home Life (Online, closes 7 June 2021). This Habitat for Humanity Challenge is offering a $20,000 prize for solutions to significantly reduce the number of mosquito bites inside the home, thus lowering disease transmission.

Hackiethon by HackMelbourne (Online/VIC, 2-5 April). Hackathon for students who want to experience the tech hackathon scene. This hack removes some of the barriers to joining hackathons to help you experience the enjoyment and learning of a hackathon in a beginner-friendly environment.

Cleaner Indoor Air During Wildfires (Online, closes 17 May 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering five finalists awards of $10,000 each for their submissions proposing new, low-cost approaches to clean fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) from indoor air.



Could you pop your old running shoes in the compost bin? New Zealand designer Rik Olthuis has created a 100 per cent biodegradable running trainer, aiming to reduce waste entering landfill from the footwear industry. The biodegradable gelatine and glycerine materials of the Voronoi Runner can be fully dismantled and composted by the wearer themselves, reducing the need for costly commercial involvement. You have to wonder what might happen if you were running on a rainy day… Read More


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