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Chch incubator EPIC hosts global innovation programme

19 Mar 18

Christchurch is the latest city to host Smart Seeds, a global innovation program for young talent to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges.

The EPIC Innovation Precinct in Manchester St was the venue for the Smart Seeds launch event recently.

The city and region are known for its resilience and adaptability – something reflected in a new breed of professionals and innovators taking centre stage.

Leading the movement are 31 young minds from across the region who have each committed to forming a team around one of five regional challenges.

Smart Seeds programme lead Maurice Hoban says, “We have participants from 15 local organisations, each bringing a unique skill set from different backgrounds.

“It is a really unique collaborative environment and we’re excited to see the outcomes.”

Stimulating collaboration are five challenges, each thrown down by industry leaders working towards the region’s future prosperity.

The challenges being tackled are:

  • How to make Christchurch a magnet for business and tourism tomorrow?
  • How to make urban residents the stewards of healthy waterways?
  • How to enable alternative modes of transport to reduce congestion?
  • How to develop a regional workforce that can compete on a global scale?
  • How to embrace emerging technology to enable new possibilities for automated transport?

Participants will now work together to pull apart the complex technical, social and commercial issues they face in coming up with potential solutions.

To support their journey from the outset, participants were given new skills, tools and connections including industry leaders to provide mentoring as teams grapple with new ways of working.

Signs are promising with teams sticking around after the launch to make sure they were connected.

Industry leaders also took the opportunity to strike up some healthy competition between the mentors and challenge development teams.

Participants will be building on the launch experience with workshops focusing on ideation, pitching and influencing change before the Showcase Event in Christchurch on May 9.