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A Chinese city looking for Australia’s brightest minds has launched a $100 million innovation contest in Sydney


Australia’s best and brightest minds are being called on as part of a US$100million global search by Chinese city Shenzhen for industry innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Innovation Competition of International Talents, Australian regional contest, has launched this month (January) in Sydney.

Organiser the Shenzhen government is seeking contestants with high-tech skills and new ideas to meet the city’s call for “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”.

The competition also includes regional contests in Munich, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Silicon Valley, with the final to be held in Shenzhen in April.

What do you stand to gain from this competition?

Finalists and winners will receive prize money of between US$2000 and US$80,000 each.

Venture capital agencies will invest in the winning projects with funds of up to US$100million.

The Shenzhen Economic and Trade Office (SETO) said the competition was an opportunity to turn ideas into real products in a city that embraces innovation.

“The main purpose of this competition is a learning experience, not just for contestants but for Shenzhen local companies,” SETO director and chief representative Victor Wang said.

“Even very big companies still have room to grow.”

Victor Wang
Victor Wang

Wattblock, an Australian start-up that provides energy saving solutions for residential apartment buildings, has already benefitted from SETO’s support through schemes developed at the University of NSW and trade missions to Shenzhen.

Wattblock CEO Brent Clark said SETO’s support opened up a huge opportunity for his company in China, where 51 per cent of residents lived in apartment buildings.

“The experience is unforgettable and the learning and trade exchange is unforgettable.”

Brent Clark, CEO Wattblock
Brent Clark, CEO Wattblock

Australian competition registration closes on February 29. For more information about the contest or to register go to competition.seto.org.au or itcsz.cn.