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Australian startup Beehive crowdfunding DIY 3D printed eyewear

What do you get when you leave a bunch of industrial designers and engineers to their own devices? A fancy new website in early-2012 that will allow anyone to create their own 3D-printed eyewear.

The Power of Design: Part 4 — Birth of an eye-grabbing headset

The four-part Power of Design series wraps up with a case study, showing how smart principles were applied to the creation of an award-winning Bluetooth headset.

The Power of Design: Part 3 — Giving the bottom line top priority

Strong, well-thought-out product design can increase your profitability in two ways: increasing sales and decreasing costs.

Is theatre the future of retail?

For beer consumers, I imagine this innovation might be an enormous boon (personally, I'm a quantity over quality type of guy). However, I suspect that the real commercial advantage drawn from the Beer Vault might not be its capacity to expand beer drinkers' palates and prevent wastage.

The Power of Design: Part 2 — The 10 Commandments of Product Design

Developing a successful product requires a firm grasp of several issues, followed by careful planning and implementation. In this second article in his four-part series, Sergei Plishka shares his '10 Commandments of Product Design'.

The Power of Design: Part 1 — Keep your customers smartly packaged

Strong design is an essential part of new product development. In the first of this four-part series, Sergei Plishka explains how good design aligns with the needs and expectations of your customer -- at every stage of the customer experience.

Smart 100 nominations are now open!

Calling all innovators. This is your chance to nominate an Australian made product or service and showcase an innovation that Australian business builders simply need to hear about. Promote the spoils of your own toils or put one of your clients under the spotlight. This is your chance to refine your message and get exposure.

The Woz explains how sleep deprivation led to colour displays

Major inventions and technical breakthroughs often happen by accident. Here legendary Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak explains how, while working with Steve Jobs to meet a deadline for Atari, he went four days without sleep, leading to one of his greatest technological breakthroughs.

Silex Systems buys collapsed Solar Systems’ assets, raising solar energy hopes (and many questions)

Plans by Silex Systems Limited to buy the assets of Solar Systems, the Melbourne-based solar energy company that was placed into administration last September, injects life into a cherished plan, but uncertainty persists. Government support is in the offing and, worse for engineers, the technology remains unproven at utility scale.

Would you like to be CEO of Commercialisation Australia?

Our 'secret-squirrels' have revealed to Anthill that the seven board positions, appointed to analyse and approve Commercialisation Australia funding applications, have been filled and that an announcement is imminent. No-one knows who will be among this 'magnicifent seven' other than those appointed or involved in the decision. In fact, it is a complete mystery to external observers how these important functionaries were selected. Was there some sort of process behind closed doors? Were they vetted? Were the decisions political? Or vaguely political, chosen in the same fashion as a US High Court Judge, to perform the role yet still be 'on-side' with the powers that be?

The proposed Australian R&D tax reforms… Do they walk the talk?

Inconsistency is what most influences an organisation's decision to invest in R&D and the extent of its R&D investment. This is because a company cannot budget and minimise risk if it does now know the extent to which it is likely to be eligible for a tax concession. The proposed reforms to the R&D tax concession not only conflict with their stated purpose but offer no consistency to organisations already engaged in the complex task of commercialising innovation... whether novel or risky.

The proposed Australian R&D tax reforms… Do they walk the talk?

Inconsistency is what most influences an organisation's decision to invest in R&D and the extent of its R&D investment. This is because a company cannot budget and minimise risk if it does now know the extent to which it is likely to be eligible for a tax concession. The proposed reforms to the R&D tax concession not only conflict with their stated purpose but offer no consistency to organisations already engaged in the complex task of commercialising innovation... whether novel or risky.

Can Australia really claim to be a nation of innovators?

Is innovation a driver of economic development down-under? The simple answer is, yes. But is it a core driver – part of our national psyche, supported by government policy? I personally don’t think that it is. I’m not so sure that ‘necessity’ is a part of life for most Australians. I don’t think that the ‘tyranny of distance’ still forces us to work smarter, not harder. In fact, the only cultural description I believe worth citing as part of this innovation debate is Australia’s reputation as a ‘lucky country’.

Australian Innovation Policy… Where the bloody hell are you?

While most Australians will have enjoyed the wonderful economic prosperity that digging things out of the ground can bring (while there’s still a market in China) and enjoyed the fat of our land, grilled and shish-kebabed (when not exported to the Middle East), a minority - a rarely celebrated part of our ‘cultural mix’ - used the rare solace of a national public holiday to work on that thing often described as ‘innovation’.

Innovative bike helmet prototype folds like a hand fan for easy storage

We're conditioned to expect sturdiness from our protective head gear, but this prototypical helmet being developed by DoYouVélo? turns the concept on its... well... head. The honeycomb...

Would your business benefit from a government grant?

During this evening networking event, attendees will learn from successful Australian business builders who have "been there, done that" and employed grant assistance as an instrumental part of their ongoing commercial success.

Quirky clock design to keep you on time

Whatever your stance on deliberately-fast clocks, you have to love this clock designed for tardy time-shifters by Italian design house Fabrica Design. The long hand on On-Time clocks deviates three minutes ahead to encourage you to get a move on.

The most useless machine ever?

This neat little invention caught my attention for its sheer uselessness. Yup, you read me right. The following clip features one of the most useless things I've ever seen. It's so useless, it prompted me to spend 20 minutes explorng its history and another 20 minutes writing this post. I hope you enjoy its uselessness as much as me!

Why geeks don’t just rule the internet (We never knew that head-tracking was so...

The internet is littered with 'how-to' instructional videos. They're mostly created by amateur bloggers, bored teenagers or university lecturers and, therefore, are either poorly put together, incomprehensible to anyone of driving age or so obscure as to be meaningless. However, every now and then, something comes along that breaks the mould.

Why geeks don't just rule the internet (We never knew that head-tracking was so...

The internet is littered with 'how-to' instructional videos. They're mostly created by amateur bloggers, bored teenagers or university lecturers and, therefore, are either poorly put together, incomprehensible to anyone of driving age or so obscure as to be meaningless. However, every now and then, something comes along that breaks the mould.

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