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Got big ideas? Here’s how you can win BIG and change the universe, too!


Are you the missing Big Bang Theory cast member? Do you make Sheldon Cooper look like a half-cocked kid with a mail order chemistry set? Do you speak Klingon and Vulcan?

If you’re the real deal, authentic, all-original Aussie Einstein, then put down your beakers and listen up. Here’s an opportunity just for you!

Australia’s most innovative introverts are being offered the chance of a lifetime to study at Silicon Valley’s famed Singularity University.

The Global Impact Competition, supported by the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC), the Queensland Government, financial services specialist GBST Holdings (GBST) the Gold Coast Innovation Centre, and possibly the United Federation of Planets, challenges Australian innovators and entrepreneurs to develop an idea to positively affect one million of their terrestrial cohabitants.

The best idea will win a $30,000 scholarship to attend Singularity University’s 10-week Graduate Studies Program 2013 at the NASA Ames Research Centre in the heart of Silicon Valley, which may or may not be the development site of the warp core engine, depending upon who you ask.

Either way, don’t you just want to go?

It’s all singular, baby…

Singularity University’s co-founders, physician and entrepreneur Peter Diamandis and Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil (yes, the Ray Kurzweil), have gathered top brains from many different disciplines and fields to forecast, analyse, and create the scientific or technological solution that will solve the world’s biggest challenges.

This covers eight disciplines: education; energy; environment; food; global health; poverty; security and water. (But what about permanently preventing burnt popcorn? Someone should really put some brain power to work on that.)

A panel of judges will examine each project’s use of technology, feasibility of implementation and ability to affect one million Australians, Dr Clarence Tan, Singularity University Ambassador for Australia/Malaysia explains.

“There are many great challenges in Australia, whether they relate to water, energy, food or the environment, which means there are many opportunities to create a new product or service to make a difference,” Tan said.

Who’s competing?

One lucky wiz will win big in this contest. It won’t be easy, though! The expectations are high, but the payoff is sweet.

“The competition is a chance for one Australian to come up with an incredible idea, and get a chance to develop it in the best environment possible, among exceptional business leaders and academics from around the world,” said Tan.

The winner will be initiated into the Singularity University network of investors, funding bodies, and mentors.

The course creates an unparalleled opportunity for participants to work together in international and interdisciplinary teams to address large-scale humanitarian challenges.

“It really is a unique educational environment where people get to learn from each other, with support from renowned experts in multiple fields, in order to understand and apply these revolutionary technologies,” Tan explained.

The competition, open to any Australian citizen over 18 and candidates should lodge their application online, with a 100 words abstract, a maximum of 10 presentation slides, and a video of up to three minutes outlining their ideas. Applications close on 10 April 2013 and the Singularity University course commences on 15 June 2013.

The second and third prize-winners will receive mentorship and support services from the Australian Institute for Commercialisation and the Gold Coast Innovation Centre, worth over $16,000 in total.

Act fast!

Procrastination is most illogical. Now is the time to polish your best ideas and put your best foot forward and see if you’ve got what it takes to make a real difference.

Who’s in, Anthillians?

Pony up your entry here.

(Main image courtesy of Gvsaulan from Memory Alpha)