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We recently blogged about STEM4Innovation, an idea posted in the Staying Well challenge, which at that time was the most voted idea on iThink!

STEM4Innovation is a project conceived by a group of WA educators who want to provide WA students with the opportunity to help solve real-world problems, particularly relating to the current and future impacts of COVID-19 on the WA community.

With the support of the WA Innovation Hub, a group of high school students joined respected surgeon and researcher Professor Fiona Wood for a guided hospital immersion experience at Fiona Stanley Hospital, which was recorded for further student interaction. Students witnessed first-hand the challenges surgeons and operating teams face on the frontline of health.

Since the experience, more than 700 secondary school students have taken part in the project, using a design thinking approach to explore and develop solutions to the challenges identified in the virtual hospital tour.

iThink lent its support to this exciting initiative, hosting a private challenge where the students could share their ideas. Fifty-four innovative ideas were shared ranging from the use of AI technology, reinventing the operating table, to creating new ways to protect hospital equipment.  

Eleven student groups, including an all-female year seven group from Champion Bay Senior High School in Geraldton, were invited to present their ideas at a STEM4Innovation Pitch Presentation event at John Curtin College of the Arts on 24 July 2020.  Among the audience members were the STEM4Innovation team, Professor Fiona Wood and Sonja O’Leary from the Public Sector Commission.

The event provided a great opportunity for the students to present their ideas and demonstrate their design thinking prowess.

Professor Wood closed the event, sharing her own inspiring stories and reminding the students that ‘every day is an opportunity to learn how to make tomorrow better.’

Professor Fiona Wood on stage

Students presenting their idea

Staff and students from John Curtin College of the Arts

All students on stage

e-Health reimagined

Posted by The iThink Team (Admin) 1 week ago

The WA Innovation Hub, with support from EY, recently hosted a number of virtual e-Health workshops connecting consumers, clinical experts, health professionals and others to reimagine health services, focusing on digital health solutions.

Several iThinkers who posted ideas around e-Health in our COVID-19 response challenges (links below) were invited to attend the workshops.

Key themes that emerged from the workshops included:

  • the importance of enabling technology
  • the need for consumer-driven and co-designed solutions
  • equal access for all
  • the importance of connectivity and data.

These workshops build on the work already undertaken by the Department of Health through its Sustainable Health Review to support outpatient reform.

"The Health Consumers’ Council is passionate about ensuring the lived experience voice is at the decision making table, and that’s why we wanted to be involved in this series of workshops. Our outpatient experience has changed little in 70 years – think how much every other consumer experience has transformed in this time. We welcome an innovative inclusive approach to bringing about real and lasting change." 
Pip Brennan, Executive Director Health Consumers’ Council (WA)

It is exciting to see the ideas shared to help build a healthy and resilient Western Australia come to life!

Several ideas posted on iThink during our COVID-19 response challenges highlighted the need for more local manufacturing - particularly of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Great minds think alike, as last week Premier Mark McGowan announced a $10 million package to boost Western Australian businesses impacted by COVID-19 and increase the supply of locally made PPE.

A range of support is available to small and medium enterprises. Read the Premier’s media statement or visit the WA Industry Link portal for more information.

Disinfectant drones trial

Posted by The iThink Team (Admin) 2 weeks ago

“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brené Brown, professor in social research.

It’s usually difficult for start-ups and small businesses to connect with government bodies and industries to work collectively on solutions – but iThink recently bridged that gap.

In April, we launched the Supplies and suppliers challenge, and asked manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to submit ideas about new and emerging technology to meet demand for health and medical equipment and supplies.

We came across a fantastic idea submitted by Mahmood Hussein from Global Drone Solutions, who suggested using drones to spray disinfectant in public spaces.

When we told the WA Innovation Hub, they immediately wanted to explore this innovative idea further. Partnering with RAC Arena and City of Canning, they tested the feasibility of using drones to sanitise spaces regularly visited by the community – such as sporting events, concerts and playgrounds.

At RAC Arena, Mr Hussein and Andrew Dedman from Stratus Imaging tried to send their drone into flight for the first round of tests, however the thickness of the arena roof blocked the drones GPS signal and prevented the drone from flying.

Untroubled by this setback, the team relocated to Centenary Park in City of Canning, to disinfect playground equipment. The drone took flight – remaining stable even in the windy conditions – and coated the playground in an organic and safe wine vinegar solution.

The trial was a success and further experiments are now being explored to use drones in different environments including walkways, seating areas at ovals and stadiums, and the perimeter of buildings.

Drone image - park

Drone image - sign

Drone image - close up

iThink Recovery Wrap Up

Posted by The iThink Team (Admin) 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing your ideas to support our State’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

We asked and you delivered, sharing 431 ideas, almost 1000 comments and more than 4000 votes across the six recovery challenges.

While the challenges have now closed, you can still view all the ideas. Click challenges at the top of the screen, or on the links at the bottom of this blog.

Stay tuned for future challenges.

Have you contributed your innovative ideas on how we can restore and grow our economy? Or how we can protect and support the health of our community?

Our six challenges to help Western Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are closing at 12pm on Friday 26 June 2020.

We encourage you to invite your family and friends to join in the conversation, as we want as many ideas great ideas and solutions as possible. You can also comment and vote on other ideas that are important to you and your community.

Let’s work together to support our State’s recovery.

To respond to some of the particular challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created, we opened iThink to all Western Australians to harness the expertise of our community, and put bright ideas in front of the right people.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Staying well and Supplies and suppliers challenges, which received over 200 ideas from business representatives, government workers and the general public.

While the challenges have closed, organisations across the state are still working hard to support the State’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the ideas posted on iThink have been shared with the Department of Finance, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, and the WA Innovation Hub. Each is focusing on different initiatives, like ways to increase manufacturing and supply within our state, and searching for new and innovative ideas to keep communities and workplaces safe.

We will continue to share updates on other ideas as they progress and evolve.

If you haven’t contributed yet to iThink, we encourage you to take a look at the six new challenges for the recovery areas of health, economy and infrastructure, social, industry, regions, and the public sector. Add your ideas or vote on the ones you like the best.

We want as many great ideas and solutions as possible, no matter how big or small.

Let’s work together to reboot our economy, regroup our community, and rethink our future.

A main focus for the WA Innovation Hub, led by iThink ambassador Professor Fiona Wood, and City of Canning’s Chief Innovation Officer Jemma Greene, is bringing together local capability to drive innovation.

The Hub recently established the Smart Surface Chemistry Taskforce, with representatives from Epichem, ChemCentre, the University of Western Australia, and the Department of Health - all of which are donating their time in support of this important initiative.

This group of chemistry experts, scientists, researchers, clinicians, and infectious control experts recently held their first meeting to discuss how to keep the Western Australian community safe through the use of smart surface chemistry. With so many ideas submitted on iThink related to cleaning and sanitisation, the taskforce recognised how important it is to identify and implement new and effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The taskforce aims to develop multi-purpose solutions to support our community, using local talent to contribute on a global scale.

If you are interested in sharing your expertise and knowledge to support the Smart Surface Chemistry taskforce, email the WA Innovation Hub.

Smart Surfaces Image

Smart Surfaces Image

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in complex challenges, and the need for rapid change for all Western Australians. We asked you to share your innovative ideas on how we can support our most vulnerable members during the COVID-19 pandemic. You stepped up to the challenge, posting more than 50 ideas, and over 200 comments and 100 votes.  

The three main themes that emerged from the challenge were volunteering, better ways to connect locally, and technology.

While the challenge has closed, work behind the scenes continues.

Many of the ideas on iThink have been shared with the Department of Communities, which is the lead agency overseeing the welfare needs of our state. The department has established nine taskforces to directly respond to some of the issues and challenges the pandemic has created.

Some of these ideas have progressed to form part of the bigger projects currently underway at Communities.

Follow the Department of Communities on social media to keep up to date with the great work they are doing.

 

A couple of weeks ago, a group of Western Australian educators posted an idea to iThink (WA Public Sector) which has now turned out to be the most voted idea since iThink was launched to the public!

The idea – called STEM4Innovation - is to provide WA students with the opportunity to help solve real-world problems through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning principles, particularly relating to the current and future impact of COVID-19 on the WA community.

Thanks to the support of the WA Innovation Hub STEM4Innovation is now undertaking this exciting project.  

This week, a group of STEM students from schools across WA will take part in a ‘virtual hospital immersion experience’ delivered by Professor Fiona Wood at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Students and teachers will then share ideas and develop real solutions to solve real problems via a closed challenge on iThink, providing updates to the WA Innovation Hub as they go.

Public Sector Commission’s Executive Director People, Culture and Diversity, Sonja O’Leary, said she was pleased to see an iThink idea evolve and come to life so quickly.

“This is exactly what iThink’s all about.”

“We are excited to support the ‘STEM4Innovation’ idea and promote STEM learning across schools.”

Stay tuned as we will keep you updated on the progress of the STEM4Innovation project!

STEM4Innovation Banner

A new WA Innovation Hub (the Hub) led by iThink ambassador Professor Fiona Wood, and City of Canning’s Chief Innovation Officer, Jemma Greene has been established to connect iThink’s innovative ideas with the right people. This partnership is a great example of government, business, academic institutions and community groups working together to find solutions to particular challenges created by the pandemic.

So far, the Hub has evaluated nearly 100 ideas, with 20 ideas now being further explored by subject matter experts. Some of the ideas include:

  • targeted communications and messaging
  • screening techniques
  • telehealth
  • health information platforms
  • drone use for sanitation of large open spaces and
  • virtual observation kits for regional health.

The Hub is also connecting representatives from RAC WA, HBF, Australian Institute of Management WA, and data science experts from Curtin University together with teams from the City of Canning, the Department of Health, and Western Power to work collaboratively and provide support to help deliver results to the community.

To build a healthy and resilient Western Australia, we must all work together to harness the expertise of the community and put bright ideas in front of the right people.

‘Every day is an opportunity to learn how tomorrow’s better’

Keep the great ideas coming.

Welcome to iThink (WA Public Sector) — an online ideas community supporting the Western Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

iThink was initially launched for the WA public sector in late 2019, giving our 140,000 staff the opportunity to contribute ideas to make our workplaces even better. With the support of the Deputy Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook, and innovative and highly respected surgeon and researcher Professor Fiona Wood AM, iThink was recently opened to those outside the public sector to harness the ideas and expertise of everyone in the Western Australian community.

Since iThink opened on 6 April 2020 we have received:

  • 171 ideas
  • 140 comments responding to these ideas
  • 625 votes cast in support of these ideas
  • 12,830 page views.

The ideas you have shared are already being considered by subject matter experts at state government agencies including the Department of Health, the Department of Finance and the Department of Communities.

In addition, organisations including the City of Canning, RAC, Western Power, HBF, Australian Institute of Management, WA Data Science Innovation Hub and the Fiona Wood Foundation have joined forces to establish an Innovation Hub which will explore how ideas can become reality and help tackle the challenges of the pandemic.

We will be blogging regularly to keep you all updated on how ideas are progressing and being actioned.

We encourage you to spread the word about iThink with your colleagues, friends and family. You can share the link by selecting a social media icon on the left hand side of your screen.

Thank you for supporting iThink and the WA Government’s response to COVID-19 coronavirus. We look forward to continuing to see the bright ideas and comments come in.

Together, we can make a difference.

-The iThink Team

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