Australian Innovation

BIG Awards

Why BIG?

The vision of the BIG Awards is to become Australia’s premier national Innovation Awards and to celebrate innovation excellence and grow best practice – for Business Innovation and Growth – in Australia and potentially beyond.

What makes for BIG?

Modern market research techniques can be used both to better understand the key factors that are associated with innovation in organizations; as well as to drive the development of innovative products and services.

Industry, government and academic debate continues to evolve on the key factors influencing innovation.  We will use expert research to celebrate and reward the BIGgest according to the following key criteria:

1. Deep understanding of the customer and market needs: Engage with customers; Understand industry trends and competitive environment; Big picture perspectives

2. A “Culture” of innovation: Vision; leadership; Executive support; Openness to new ideas; supportive/encouraging of innovation; commercial imperative to innovate; Flexibility.

3. An Open Innovation model: Open collaboration model and having global partnerships

4. An appropriate funding model for innovation activities: Willingness to invest in R&D activities; Balanced investment in future versus current needs.

5. Ability to execute: Commitment of resources dedicated to innovation; Continuous development/improvement processes; Benchmarking; Clear goals/deadlines /strategy; Best practice evolves over time (dynamic); Flexible and quick to move.

6. Human intellect/creativity: Development of skills; Knowledge base; Talented Educated individuals; Willingness to learn/change.

7. Management of Intellectual Property: Ability to manage/protect IP that is generated through the innovation process in a practical manner.

These are based on the key underlying organizational “habits” identified in a recent (2008) National Innovation Research Survey of over 350 Australian organizations developed By Adair Communications and AusInnovation, in association with Philology Pty Ltd.

Awards will be judged by an independent selection committee and based on sound research.
BIG Awards and BIG mentoring

The first BIG Awards will be made in April 2011 at the Australian Innovation Festival, and will be launched at the 2010 Innovation Festival in April.

Innovation takes many shapes and forms and there is no single formula for successful innovation.

The BIG Awards will celebrate and promote the best, engage winners as mentors of best practice and develop our shared insights and research into what makes for successful innovation practices and cultures that help to achieve sustainable innovation in the development of products and services.

This will be achieved through a program of workshops, promotional activities and sharing of research and case studies throughout the year following on the Awards.

Partner benefits

By becoming a partner for the BIG Awards, you will be exposed as a leader in innovation in Australia.

Founding partners will have an excusive opportunity to become part of Australia’s leading awards for innovation and have access to:

•    For those expressing interest early, acknowledgement at the launch of the BIG Awards initiative in April at the national launch of the AusInnovation Festival 2010 in Sydney (22 April)
•    Invitation to the national and state launches of the 2010 Australian Innovation Festival
•    Promotion in AusInnovation publications including Australian Innovation, The New Economy and International Leader
•    Nomination of one representative to the BIG Advisory Committee over the three years of partnership
•    Promotion in the call for nominations for BIG Awards (circulation 60,000)
•    One page in supplement in AusInnovation Festival magazine 2011.
•    Promotion on AusInnovation and AIPS websites
•    Associate partner status and related benefits for the 2011 AusInnovation Festival
•    Acknowledgement at the BIG awards presentation event in April 2011 including signage, related promotional and media material, including one free table at this event
•    Opportunities to speak at AusInnovation Festival 2011 state events
•    Invitation to Young Tall Poppy Science Awards in each state and territory in late 2010 and each year.
•    Acknowledgement at all mentoring and best practice workshops hosted by BIG awardees over the year following the awards
•    Feature in Australian Innovation publication April 2011
•    Feature in AQ – Australian Quarterly publication April – June issue 2011

Partner proposition

Our partners are asked to:
•    Provide $25,000 annual sponsorship over a period of three years (with a right to renew thereafter) with the first annual sponsorship period from May 2010 – May 2011 covering announcement of the initiative and the first BIG Awards in April 2011
•    Nominate a representative for the BIG Advisory Committee which will provide general expert advice and guidance to this initiative
Our expertise and networks

The BIG Awards are a joint initiative of AusInnovation and the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS).

AusInnovation represents the largest network of innovative organizations in this country, though our national festivals, business events, publications, research projects, industry benchmarking studies and advisory services. The Australian Innovation Festival celebrates its 9th anniversary in 2010, which is supported by all Governments, universities, research groups, TAFE institutes, national industry associations, major media groups and leading innovative organizations. We have also developed festivals and innovation programs in other countries, including the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) is an independent not-for-profit established in 1932 dedicated to increasing public engagement in science; promoting excellence in research, innovation and the communication of science; informing and influencing policy-making; and investing in a scientifically inspired, literate and skilled Australia. Our Tall Poppy Campaign includes the Young Tall Poppy Science Awards for early career researchers across all states and territories alongside the CSL Florey Medal human health advancement. We have established partnerships with government, universities and industry and publish Australia’s longest running contemporary affairs magazine, AQ – The Australian Quarterly.


Peter Westfield  
Co-Chair, Australian Innovation Festival
Director, Adair Communications
The Block Arcade, Suite 303
282 Collins St, Melbourne
Victoria 3000 Australia
T: +613 9662 1916
F: +613 9662 1917
M: 0418 251 017
E:  peter(at)

Elektra Spathopoulos

Executive Director
Australian Institute of Policy & Science
PO Box 1450 Missenden Road
NSW 2050 Australia
T: +612 9351 0819
F: +612 9351 0758
M: 0425 433 954
E: director(at)

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