Hills looks to hoist innovation up on a pedestal

Hills Limited, the maker of the iconic Hills Hoist, is on the hunt for Australia’s next great technology solution.

 

The company is calling on Australian innovators and entrepreneurs to submit their proposals for ideas, projects and startups than can be funded, developed and commercialised in Hills’ Adelaide-based Innovation Centre.

 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the Hills Pitch Day in Adelaide on November 12 where they will be given the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a panel of commercial and academic experts.

 

Hills chief technology officer Leica Ison said the Pitch Day round would help identify the best talent and brightest ideas and bring those products or services to market.

 

“Hills has always passionately believed and backed Australia’s innovation potential,” she says.

 

“Through Pitch Day, we are looking to identify and support the very best talent that Australia has to offer.”

 

Hills hold Pitch Days twice yearly. Its first Pitch Day project, an arthritis nurse-call handset, has just passed the commercial prototyping stage and is going into user validation, while another three projects are “in the pipeline”.

 

“Startups will be able to access funding, business assistance and the use of our Innovation Centre in Adelaide to accelerate the development of their products and services,” Ison says.

 

“Ultimately, what we want to do is help foster a really vibrant startup culture and grow a pipeline of technology-driven products and services.”

 

A partnership with the South Australian state government has helped Hills create two innovation centres, the Lance Hill Design Centre and Hills-Shop.

 

South Australian innovation minister Susan Close says support for home-grown entrepreneurs in the early stage of developing their ideas is essential for growing a new generation of businesses.

 

“The state government’s support for the Hills Innovation Centre is about creating a platform for South Australians to pitch their ideas so they can take them to the next level of development,” she says.

 

Hills is targeting its support towards projects that fit into the following areas; healthy and aged care or assisted living, wearable devices, security and safety, data analytics, automation and smart home, and communications and mobility.

 

Applications close on 14 October. For more information, visit http://www.hills.com.au/innovation-centres.

 

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