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NEWS ARCHIVE

Intellectual Property Demystified

It's now easier than ever to access information about intellectual property (IP). IP Australia has listened to customers and given its website a major overhaul. Relevant, accessible, and written in plain English, the site now offers users a host of new features such as:
- learning tools to help choose the right IP,
- step-by-step guides through the application process, and
- simple path flows from beginners to experts.

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Scanalert Vehicle Warning System – Business Opportunity Available

The Scanalert Vehicle Warning System (Scanalert) is a collision avoidance system used in warehouses, manufacturing plants etc to prevent forklifts accidentally colliding with obstacles such as property (e.g. walls, doorways) or service conduits (e.g. communications, electricity, water). Opportunity to purchase the Scanalert business including associated equipment, intellectual property (IP) assets and transferable contracts is currently available. More...

TM Check

Business owners can now avoid the costly mistake of registering a business name that has already been trade marked thanks to a new tool – TM Check. Developed by IP Australia, TM Check is designed to be used by business name applicants to help them more easily identify pending and registered trade marks that may be similar or identical to their business name. More...

Consumers Share in Success of Winning Product Ideas

Join a group of business women in your area and learn practical business strategies, network and improve your business success. The program brings fundamental knowledge to achieve business success with the aid of co-operative learning and mentor guidance. More...

IP Licensing Opportunity: Folding Diamond Bicycle

The Folding Diamond Bicycle is an innovative new design for a folding bicycle. The bicycle has been created to provide a lightweight, portable personal transport solution without sacrificing ride quality and comfort. Opportunity to license the IP rights to the invention is now available. More...

First Australian Patent

When the Australian Patent Office opened in 1904, the first Commissioner of Patents, George Townsend, had four patent examiners and about two dozen support staff. Applications came in thick and fast but the first invention to be granted a patent was for ‘Improvements in air leak preventative for Westinghouse and like brakes’. More...

Quirky- Social Product Development

For centuries, becoming an “inventor” has been a hard gig to crack. Complexities relating to financing, engineering, distribution, and legalities have stood in the way of brilliant people executing their great ideas. Since launching in 2009, Quirky has rapidly changed the way the world thinks about product development. More...

IDC Hunter Novelty Search Service

IDC Hunter has combined two of its most popular services – the International Patent Search and International Product Search to provide clients with a comprehensive ‘Novelty Search' solution. The service investigates the uniqueness or ‘novelty’ of new ideas by searching for prior art including both patented concepts and products that already exist in the marketplace. A Novelty Search is one of the first steps in the commercialisation process recommended by IDC Hunter as it is essential to be aware of any similar products as soon as possible so as to avoid potentially wasting valuable resources developing a new idea (when it already exists or is protected). Without investigating and/or knowing what’s already available could also lead to inadvertently infringing somebody else’s IP rights. For more information about IDC Hunter’s Novelty Search service please contact us.

Aussie Innovation Bears Fruit

A hybrid Australian fruit dubbed the Nadia will grow commercially for the first time in South Korea under a recent agreement. Nadias were developed by naturally crossing cherries and plums, then selecting lines with desirable traits. More...

WIPO Report Shows Growing Demand for IP Changes Face of Innovation

The “World Intellectual Property Report 2011 - The Changing Face of Innovation” – a new WIPO publication – describes how ownership of intellectual property (IP) rights has become central to the strategies of innovating firms worldwide. With global demand for patents rising from 800,000 applications in the early 1980s to 1.8 million in 2009, the Report concludes that growing investments in innovation and the globalisation of economic activities are key drivers of this trend. More...

Device That Harvests Water From Thin Air Wins the James Dyson Award

Young Melbourne-based inventor Edward Linacre has won the 2011 James Dyson Award, making it the second year in a row where the prestigious prize has gone to an Aussie. Linacre stole this year's competition with his Airdrop irrigation concept that collects water from thin air. The Swinburne University of Technology design graduate was driven to transform an ancient cooling technique into a new sub-surface irrigation system, following the enduring Australian drought that saw high levels of farmer suicide along Australia's Murray- Darling Basin. More...

Fast Tracking Patents for Green Technology

IP Australia is helping green innovators find a fast track to the marketplace by offering priority to environmentally friendly technologies in the patent application system. This initiative offers environmentally-beneficial inventions a way to reach consumers quickly. Climate change and its global impact is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and we know that technology and innovation play a key role in our ability to manage it effectively. More...

Peanut Allergy Turned Off By Tricking Immune System

Researchers have turned off a life-threatening allergic response to peanuts by tricking the immune system into thinking the nut proteins aren't a threat to the body, according to a new preclinical study from Northwestern Medicine. More...

New Wave of Ocean Energy To Be Trialed Off The Coast of Australia

Anyone who has ever been scuba diving in a bull kelp forest will tell you - the stuff does not stand still. The marine aquatic plant consists of a long skinny-but-tough stem (or stipe) that is anchored to the sea floor and topped with a hollow float, from which a number of "leaves" (or blades) extend to the surface. The result is a seaweed that extends vertically up through the water column, continuously swaying back and forth with the surging waves. The researchers at Australia's BioPower Systems evidently looked at that kelp, and thought, "what if we could use that swaying action to generate power?" The result was their envisioned bioWAVE system, which could soon become a reality, thanks to a just-announced AUD$5 million (US$5.1 million) grant from the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources. More...

Goodbye to ABC’s The New Inventors

Television favourite among invention aficionados, ABC’s The New Inventors unfortunately will not be returning in 2012. Since 2004 the series has showcased Australian inventiveness and provided immense opportunity for those lucky enough to appear on the show - including over the years, many IDC Hunter clients. It's a shame to see The New Inventors go however here's hoping for another comeback in the future. In case you missed it, click here to watch the grand final and last episode of the show.

Thing-O-Matic Brings Images to Life

A device known as the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic can turn two-dimensional images into three-dimensional objects made of plastic. Shaped like a hollow wooden box, and referred to as a printer by its New York-based creators, the $1,200 gadget translates images into code for 3D. More...

Innovation’s Down, But Patent Trolls are Thriving

Innovation seems to be on the wane lately: “The quality of new patents around the world has fallen dramatically over the past two decades,” concludes a new OECD report on science and technology trends. In nearly every country, patent offices are getting flooded with more and more patents for dubious or low-quality inventions. And that, the OECD report notes, leaves everyone worse off: “The rush to protect even minor improvements in products or services is overburdening patent offices. This slows the time to market for true innovations and reduces the potential for breakthrough inventions.” More...

Swallowable Perfume Will Emit Fragrance From The Skin

In a world where nano-porous materials in our clothes can make deodorant unnecessary, it may seem almost old-fashioned to continue to apply perfume to our skin. That’s certainly the view of the team behind Swallowable Parfum, an innovation that allows users to swallow a capsule to produce a fragrance that emanates from within. More...

Top 10 Inventions for 2011

In the five years that Popular Science has run the Invention Awards, we’ve seen a lot of remarkable things come out of people’s garages. Some are designed to treat the sick or save the planet. Others are simply fun to play with. But no matter what the purpose, the brilliance of the inventions and the dedication of the individuals behind them are always inspiring. More...

Winners of The Australian Innovation Challenge Announced

The Australian, in association with Shell and with the support of the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research have announced the winners of the inaugural $70,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge at a gala awards night at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane. More...

10 Best Start-Up Ideas of 2011

Starting a business involves plenty of perspiration – so much so, in fact, that the moment of inspiration can seem like a dim and rather idyllic memory. However, generating great ideas is essential if you are to build a differentiated business. Even if your first brainwave doesn’t quite work out, it’s likely you will learn enough to be able to give it a better crack second time around. The ‘Eureka’ moment was alive and well in 2011, with plenty of weird and wonderful business ideas, from “man candles” and electronic flower pots to a bus shelter being turned into a giant oven in the name of advertising. More...

Government Says Businesses No Longer Need to Repay Early-Stage Commercialisation Australia Grants

In news that will cheer businesses looking for financial support for a new product or service, early stage commercialisation grants of up to $2 million will no longer have to be repaid and larger companies are now encouraged to apply. More...

TEDxNewy 2011

TEDxNewy 2011, ‘Shock of the New’, will feature a selection of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s leading visionaries and storytellers showcasing their Ideas Worth Spreading. The free but invitation-only one-day event will be held in Newcastle on 12 November 2011 at the Playhouse Theatre. A small group of change-makers, innovators, thinkers, creative souls, cultural leaders and social pioneers will witness a back-to-back schedule of talks and performances. An application process to be selected as part of the audience will be launched online in September 2011. More...

Getting Tough on Imitators

After years of effort, hard work and perseverance, imagine creating a new innovation. Then imagine how you’d feel if your innovation was copied by a dishonest company that didn’t recognise your effort. To help stop this from happening the Labor Government is making changes to empower innovators and improve their ability to enforce their intellectual property (IP) rights. More...

Beware of Websites Offering Access to Government Grants

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning small business operators and entrepreneurs to beware of unauthorised websites offering easy access to government grants. Despite appearances some websites are not lending a helping hand to small businesses. In fact some sites will charge a fee to access government grants which can be normally accessed for free. In other cases the small business may pay the fee only to find they are not eligible for a particular grant. More...

Facebook for Patents

A fascinating solution is emerging in the U.S that can help protect the creditworthiness of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of intellectual property represented by patents. Today, communities of researchers and technologists around the world are researching the validity of patents in a novel way that will help foster true innovation. In what is akin to a "Facebook for Patents" - a company named Article One Partners, which received the Silicon Alley Tech Startup of the Year prize, offers compensation to researchers from 176 countries to strengthen patents, reduce the risk of infringement assertions by competitors, and improve patent quality. More...

Brilliant Bio-Design: 14 Animal-Inspired Inventions

Surveillance cameras flap their wings in the sky just like birds and bats. Tiny little hairs on gecko feet help a robot climb a smooth vertical surface. The impact-resistant surface of human teeth inspires light and durable aerospace materials. Just like designs inspired by the sea, insect-mimicking inventions and buildings that look like natural terrain, these 14 examples of biomimicry based on animal and human biology capitalize on the unparalleled efficiency of nature. More...

Big Green Idea

Big Green Idea is a British Council funding initiative designed to attract, encourage and assist Australia’s brightest entrepreneurs to develop inventive new sustainability projects. In 2011 up to six grants will be awarded to environmentally conscious innovators with plans to make a real contribution to Australia’s environmental future. More...

Free Online Audit Tool Helps SMEs in Intellectual Property Assets Protection

Developed by the government intellectual property offices of Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore under the auspices of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation, Intellectual Property Explorer is designed to help the business sector, in particular the small and medium-sized enterprises, realise and profit from their intellectual property assets. More...

Inventions That Didn’t Quite Fly

Albert Einstein once said that if at first an idea is not absurd “then there is no hope for it”. Indeed, some of the maddest notions of their time are now essential to modern living. But for every ingenious invention that changes the world there are hundreds of equally imaginative ones that quietly fizzle out. History is littered with these heroically daft ideas, from a plan to put a roof over New York City, to giving London its own Eiffel Tower and a scheme for a house that cleans itself. More...

Smoke Detector with SMS Capabilities

With 15 percent of house fires in the UK occurring in vacant properties, leaving the house unoccupied, especially for prolonged periods, can be a worry for some. UK company ELS hope to banish this fear with FIRETEXT, a smoke alarm that sends warning text messages when triggered. More...

R&D Tax Incentive Legislation Passed by the Australian Government

The R&D Tax Incentive is a major part of the Australian Government's commitment to boost industry investment in research and development (R&D) activities. The program is broad-based, market driven and accessible to companies in all industry sectors. It provides a tax offset to support Australian companies to be more innovative, productive and competitive in the global marketplace. The R&D Tax Incentive applies to R&D activities and expenditure for income years commencing on or after 1 July 2011 and replaces the R&D Tax Concession. As part of the commencement of the R&D Tax Incentive, AusIndustry is holding a series of public information sessions. More...

Selk'Bag is a Sleeping Bag that you Wear

If you've done much camping, chances are that you've probably seen fellow campers sitting around the chilly campsite first thing in the morning, wearing their sleeping bag like it's a dressing gown. Well, Chilean graphic designer Rodrigo Alonso Schramm has taken the wearable sleeping bag concept one step farther, and created one with arms, legs, and a hood. More...

2012 Science and Innovation Awards

Grant applications are now open for the 2012 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. If you’re 18-35, this is your chance to apply for up to $22,000 to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue to benefit Australia’s primary industries. Applications close 5pm AEDT Friday 18 November 2011. More...

Dab Hands: Sydney Duo Revolutionise Fingerprint Technology

It takes half a day for forensic scientists to recover fingerprints at a crime scene - but a new innovation by Australian researchers could cut it down to just seconds using a cheap, handheld device. Forensic science honours students - Adam Brown and Daniel Sommerville - at Sydney's University of Technology found they could identify fingerprints on porous materials such as paper just by heating it - doing away with the need for chemicals. More...

Newcastle Port Corporation Hunter Central Coast Export Awards 2011 - WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Winners of the Newcastle Port Corporation Hunter Central Coast Export Awards 2011 have been presented at a gala dinner held at Fort Scratchley Historic Site. The annual Awards program recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of exporters across a wide range of industries from the Hunter and Central Coast. Now in its eleventh consecutive year, the Awards reward and profile the ‘best of the best’ businesses from the regions, recognising the effort, expertise and resources that they have consistently contributed to export. Congratulations to this year's winners awarded for their outstanding achievement in export. More...

Hunter Founders Forum Innovation Showcase - Muswellbrook, 26 October 2011

The Hunter Founders Forum Ltd (HFF) will continue to facilitate the growth of innovation in the Hunter when it introduces its highly successful Innovation Showcase program to Muswellbrook, Wednesday 26 October 2011. Achieving successful commercialisation of a new innovation can be extremely difficult however the Innovation Showcase program aims to improve this by putting program participants in touch with experienced local business leaders who can provide support for developing their innovations. More...

Nike Releases Famed Back to the Future Shoe

Nike is going back to the future. The sneaker maker says it has created a limited-edition shoe based on a glowing pair that appeared in the popular 1989 movie Back to the Future II. The 2011 Nike Mag is designed to be an exact replica of the fictional sneaker, including a glowing Nike name on the strap. But unlike the movie version, these shoes won't lace themselves. More...

Project Inventor

Do you have a bright idea for a problem-solving product to make life easier around the home? Have you always dreamed of having your invention made and sold to the public but don't have the means to do so? oo.com.au is looking for the country's best 'backyard inventors' and wants to hear your ideas for household products aimed at making life easier. More...

Women Getting Down to Business

Australian women are starting small businesses at twice the rate of men, but in absolute numbers men still outweigh women as small business owners about two to one. New research by BankWest using ABS data revealed strong growth in the rate of women starting up businesses over the past five years (7 per cent) compared with men (1.9 per cent). The year to February echoed that trend. More...

It’s the Eye-Phone: Bionic Glasses for the Blind

An Australian scientist has developed the first pair of bionic glasses that could help thousands of legally blind people. The glasses, using tiny cameras and software technology from video games, alert the wearer to objects in their surroundings using flashing lights. A neuroscientist, Stephen Hicks, said the glasses had an advantage over the bionic eye, or retinal implants, because they were cheap and non-invasive. ''Essentially they are just an iPhone and a pair of glasses. More...

New Report Confirms Manufacturing Not Dead in Australia

Mining might have stolen the economic lime-light away from Australian manufacturing in recent years, but according to a report released by the NSW Business Chamber, Australian manufacturing will continue to be an important generator of economic activity and jobs in the years to come. More...

Settlement Reached Over “Honest to Goodness” IP Battle

An official settlement has been reached between Woolworths and independent retailer Organic Marketing Australia, ending a three-month fight over the phrase “honest to goodness”. According to an agreed public statement, the companies have reached a settlement “on mutually acceptable, confidential terms and on a without-admissions basis”. More...

Electric Cars Recharged Faster With Australian Technology

A Queensland nanotechnology manufacturer is promising to revolutionise the batteries used in electric cars with a new generation of nanoscale cathode materials. The technological innovation will allow electric vehicles to be recharged in about the same time as it takes to fill a tank of petrol. Drivers will have an alternative to recharging overnight or swapping batteries on the road. More...

Concours Lepine

The best inventors have shown their wares in Paris at the 110-year-old competition, the Concours Lepine. There was a slug trap, a fold-up bicycle helmet and an idiot-proof cereal box that ensures your breakfast goes in the bowl and not on the floor. A British contestant had brought his self-warming baby's bottle, which was on show near a French-designed customised toothbrush. More...

Contest Seeks Ideas for $300 Houses to Shelter World's Poor

What started as a theoretical question posed on the obstacles to global housing-for-the-poor has reached fruition as voting closed June 15th on the 300House project. Contestants around the world were challenged to design a house that could be constructed for less than US$300. More...

Flying 'Car' Cleared for Road Use

The sky is no longer the limit for plane-cum-car after US safety agency approves special tyres and windows. It's not quite the Jetsons, but an aerospace company's 'flying car' prototype has been cleared for take-off on US roads. Massachusetts-based Terrafugia has been granted a number of special exemptions by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help move the flying/driving hybrid vehicle a step closer to reality. More...

Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival 2011 (HCCIF 2011)

The Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival offers businesses and organisations a platform to share new ideas or showcase new technologies. The aim of the Festival is to promote and encourage a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the region. This year's national theme is Business Innovation Growth (BIG) and, for the first time, the Hunter has adopted its own regional theme of SMART Innovation. SMART Innovation allows the Hunter and Central Coast to showcase its innovative ideas, technologies and work practices across a wide variety of industries. More...

Protecting Your Brand – Free Seminar for Hunter Businesses, Monday 9 May

The Business Centre and IDC will be presenting a free seminar to help small businesses in the Hunter learn how to protect their key business assets - their brands. The seminar will look at the various forms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection available and how they can protect and improve the value of businesses. The session will also look at the different forms of non-registrable IP within business, which are equally pertinent and worth safeguarding. The special event is being held as part of the 2011 Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival (HCCIF). More...

Australia the Quickest Place to Start a Business: Report

Australia has been ranked number one in the world for the time it takes to start a business, although the country has been marked down for its approach to ICT and the availability of new technologies. The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011, compiled by the World Economic Forum and international business school INSEAD, reveals Australia is considered a top place to start-up. More...

2011’s Hot 30 Under 30

Meet SmartCompany's Hot 30 Under 30 class of 2011 – a group of entrepreneurs aged up to 30 years, drawn from 30 of Australia's fastest-growing SMEs. More...

Austrade: Community Awareness Study Results

For some years, the Australian Trade Commission, Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have commissioned an annual study of the community’s awareness of trade and investment and the community’s perception of the value of trade for our society. The 2010 Study has now been completed and the results are in. More...

Solar Powered Plane Ready for First International Flight

Solar Impulse is on standby for its first international flight this week. Brussels has been chosen as the destination for the first venture outside Swiss borders, which follows the solar powered aircraft's maiden flight and first overnight flight last year and will mark another important step towards the goal of flying around the world in 2012. More...

Funding Innovation – Free Information Session

As part of the Hunter & Central Coast Innovation Festival, AusIndustry, Industry &
Investment NSW and Enterprise Connect Clean Energy Innovation Centre invites you to attend an information session called Funding Innovation. These free sessions will explain the different forms of assistance available across levels of government to businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors. More...

Cybersquatting Hits Record Level, WIPO Center Rolls out New Services

In 2010, trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting cases covering 4,370 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year, 2008. The top five areas of WIPO complainant activity were retail, banking and finance, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, Internet and IT, and fashion. WIPO’s 2010 caseload featured well-known names from business and public interest sectors. Most of these cases (82%) concerned registrations in the .com domain. More...

Taiwan Wins Big at Geneva Invention Competition

Taiwan won the most prizes of any participating country at the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva April 9, capturing 42 gold, 34 silver, five bronze and six special awards. “The medals earned represent the best performance for the nation in the history of the Swiss competition,” said Chen Tsung-tai, head of Taiwan’s delegation and chairman of the Taiwan Invention Association. According to Chen, it is the second consecutive year that Taiwan has topped the world at the IEIG, one of the world’s top three invention exhibitions. More...

International Composting Awareness Week 2011: Sunday 1 May – Saturday 7 May

International Composting Awareness Week is a week of activities, events and publicity to improve awareness about the importance of this valuable organic resource and to promote compost use, knowledge and products. More...

Apple Sues Samsung for 'Blatant Copying'

Apple has sued rival Samsung Electronics claiming that Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablet "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad, according to court papers. More...

Australian Native Plant Industries Featured by Australia Post

Australia Post is featuring four of Australia's largest native plant industries - eucalyptus oil, honey, macadamia nuts and tea tree oil in a new stamp issue available on 17 May 2011.The Farming Australia - Native Plants stamp issue comprises four 60 cent stamps as well as a unique Australian Eucalyptus scented sheetlet pack. This special pack contains 10 stamps infused with the clean, fresh smell of Australian eucalyptus oil. Gently rubbing the stamps will release the oil's fragrance. More...

New Research Speeds Path to Peanut Allergy Vaccine

Groundbreaking research by a Monash Immunology/Alfred Health research team led by Professor Robyn O’Hehir (Monash/Alfred Health) and Professor Jennifer Rolland (Monash) has identified the key components for a safe and effective vaccine to treat peanut allergy. More...

Super Glue Inventor Dies

Harry Wesley Coover Junior, known as the inventor of Super Glue, has died at his home in Kingsport, Tennessee. He was 94. Coover was working for Tennessee Eastman Company when an accident resulted in Super Glue, according to his grandson, Adam Paul of South Carolina. An assistant was distressed that some brand new refractometer prisms were ruined when they were glued together, marking the invention of the popular adhesive. President Barack Obama honoured Coover in 2010 with the National Medal of Science. More...

NSW Manufacturing Week 2011 – The Path to Profitability

Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW) will present this year’s NSW Manufacturing Week which is aimed at showing manufacturers how they can boost profitability through innovation, productivity and sustainability. To be held from 2 to 6 May, NSW Manufacturing 2011 Week will provide a wide range of workshops, seminars and site visits designed to inform small to medium enterprises of the latest ideas to grow their businesses. More...

Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation

Commercialising new knowledge quickly is critical for competitive advantage. Commercialisation is key to the reinvention of organisations and the basis for the creation of new knowledge-based enterprises. The Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation seeks to reward those who have successfully commercialised a new idea, knowledge or invention that has created significant commercial value within Australia. Value, in this instance, could include acceptable returns to capital providers, employment creation, payment to local suppliers, taxes to Australian Governments etc. More...

Maximising the Number of Floorboards Per Tree by Going Off the Straight and Narrow

There was also a time when wood was relatively cheap and plentiful in much of the world thanks to the number of trees just standing around waiting to be turned into useful things like floorboards. Unfortunately wood is neither as cheap nor plentiful as it once was, so it's important to make the most of every tree. Instead of following the traditional line of straight-edged floorboards, Dutch company Bolefloor maximizes the coverage area of floorboards made from a particular tree by following the tree's natural curves. More...

Skin Cancer-Detecting Laser Tool Developed

Scientists at Duke University have developed a new laser-based tool designed to identify malignant melanomas sooner, without the expense of false diagnosis and unnecessary surgery. More...

Entries Open for Science Oscars

Entries are now open for the nations prestigious and most comprehensive science awards, the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. With 24 prizes valued at $240 000 on offer, the Eureka Prizes reward Australia's greatest science thinkers, innovators, educators and communicators. The Prizes, now in their 22nd year, award excellence in four categories: research and innovation; leadership and commercialisation; science communication and journalism; and school science. More...

Spray Will Make Cane Toads Croak

A small Canberra bio-tech company has developed a household aerosol that will kill cane toads in less han a minute. The lemon-scented spray, called Hop Stop, sells for just under $20 and has taken almost wo years of chemical testing to reach the retail market. More...

Banksia Awards 2011 – Entries Open

The Banksia Awards over the last 23 years have recognised many valuable Australians for their tireless efforts in making a positive difference to our environment. Leading by example, the finalists and winners of the Banksia Environmental Awards have inspired and motivated other individuals, organisations and companies across Australia to take up the vision, pursuit and practice of environmental excellence. More...

Protecting Australian Inventors

The type of inventions that can be patented in the future is the focus of a new report by the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (IP). The Advisory Council is an independent body that undertakes important reviews of key aspects of the IP system, including patents, trade marks and designs. Welcoming the report’s release, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the Gillard Labor Government wanted Australia’s inventors to have access to a patent system that is easy to understand, respected internationally and which gives inventors the rights they deserve. More...

2011 Australian International Design Awards Now Open for Entry

Good Design Australia, the new home of the Australian International Design Awards, has launched the 2011 Design Awards program to recognise excellence in design and innovation across a diverse range of sectors and categories. Designers, manufacturers and distributors of professionally designed products and services available on the Australian market are eligible to enter the 2011 program and be in the running for Australia’s top design award. More...

IP Australia’s Hard Sell Video Competition

IP Australia is engaging the creative minds of students to put together a short video commercial highlighting the importance of IP for Australian businesses. The Hard Sell video competition is open to all tertiary students nationwide and is an exciting opportunity for students with a passion for video, to respond to a real client brief. Students need to create a 30-60 second commercial centred on key IP themes relevant for small to medium sized businesses. More...

Ugg Inventor Traded Dollars for Surf

Twenty-eight years after selling the rights to his woollen-lined creation, Aussie Ugg boot inventor Shane Stedman says he has no regrets despite missing out on a massive footwear fortune. Worn by the rich and famous around the world and now a $799.04 million-a-year enterprise, Ugg boots have come a long way since their 1973 creation - designed to keep surfers' feet warm in chilly Australian conditions. More...

Designer Taps Social Networks to Finance Invention

Hunched over his new Apple iPad tablet, Bernie Graham thought there had to be a more comfortable way to use the cool device. He designed the PadPivot, a mount that held the iPad on his thigh, allowing him to type with both hands. Struggling to fund the development of his idea, Bernie stumbled across, Kickstarter.com, which purports to be the world's largest online funding platform for small projects such as PadPivot. Think of it as Facebook meets venture capital. More...

Integration of Patent Examination between Australia and New Zealand

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key have announced a new initiative to integrate New Zealand and Australia’s patent examination services. This will result in a single patent examination process for both countries. More...

Is There Any Way I Can Protect My Business Idea?

I let slip my business idea to a group of people at a party. A couple of them seemed very interested in the idea and I’ve become a bit paranoid about this. I’m not planning to start the business until the end of the year so is there any way I can protect my idea until then? Or will they have open slather? More...

Australian Anthill Smart 100 – Nominations Open

Anthill’s ‘SMART 100′ Index was developed in 2008 to identify and rank Australia’s 100 most innovative products, proving to be one of the largest surveys of its kind in Australia. Nominations for this year’s Awards are now open. More...

Australians to Own 2.4 Mobile Devices by 2015

Every Australian will own an average of 2.4 mobile devices and enjoy a five-fold increase in mobile speed connection by 2015, according to networking giant Cisco. The company’s Global Mobile Data Forecast for 2010 to 2015 reveals 56 million mobile devices will be connected in Australia by 2015, reaching a rate of approximately 2.4 per capita. More...

2011 Telstra Business Awards Now Open

Australians are urged to celebrate the nation’s best small and medium businesses by nominating them for the 2011 Telstra Business Awards. Entries are now open for the Awards program in its 19th year of recognising excellence in business. It is bigger than ever in 2011 with the introduction of two new Awards, the Telstra Regional Business Award and the People’s Choice Award. More...

Christian Lambertsen, Inventor of Early Scuba Device, Dies At 93

Christian J. Lambertsen, a scientist and doctor who invented an underwater breathing system used by the military in World War II and later coined the "scuba" acronym by which such systems are widely known, has died at 93. More...

Revealed at Last: The Secret Recipe for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is dismissive of a US radio show's claim it has discovered the secret recipe for the popular soft drink. Coca-Cola South Pacific's public relations manager Susie Crumpton declined to comment on whether This American Life's recipe, which it claimed it had found in a 32-year-old newspaper, were genuine. But she said the main ingredients used in the popular soft drink are no secret. More...

Style and Safety in Womens’ Welder Helmets

3M has designed the world’s first women’s welder helmet collection, the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmets 100 Series – Women's Collection. According to the company, the Speedglas welding helmet delivers outstanding protection, comfort and performance with distinctive graphic designs. Welders reportedly can benefit from its excellent optical quality and reliable light-to-dark switching at a highly affordable price. More...

AAAI 2011 National Angels Conference – Angels without Borders

The AAAI conference is the premier event in Australia for Angel Investors and for others who are interested in investing in early-stage companies. This 4th AAAI annual conference on Angel Investing is being hosted by member groups, the Hunter Angels Trust and Hunter Founders Forum. The conference is being held in Newcastle, 16-18 February 2011. More...

Innovation Activity in Australia Doubles in 2010 Index

IBM Australia and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne have published the fourth edition of the IBM-Melbourne Institute 'Innovation Index of Australian Industry’ (Innovation Index), which reveals growth in Innovative activity in Australia between 2007-2008. More...

IBM Shatters U.S. Patent Record; Tops Patent List for 18th Consecutive Year

IBM has announced that its inventors received a record 5,896 U.S. patents in 2010, marking the 18th consecutive year it has topped the list of the world’s most inventive companies. IBM became the first company to be granted as many as 5,000 U.S. patents in a single year. It took IBM's inventors more than 50 years to receive their first 5,000 patents after the company was established in 1911. More...

Top Industries to Thrive in 2011

After a return to positive economic conditions in 2010, businesses across several different industries are gearing up for a big 2011. For start-ups, good ideas will remain good ideas regardless of economic conditions, but it’s advisable to see which way the wind is blowing before launching your business. Business information analyst IBISWorld has researched 500 industries, forecasting which sectors can expect exceptional growth this year. More...

The Birth Certificate of the Automobile was Issued 125 Years Ago

On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz filed a Patent No. 37435 at the Reich Patent Office in Berlin – it is generally regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile and became the first of over 80,000 patents to the Mercedes Benz marque. Benz’ Patent Motor Car was equipped with a horizontal single-cylinder four-stroke engine, thatdeveloped an output of 0.55 kW at 400 rpm from a displacement of 954 cubic centimeters. The vehicle’s top speed was 16 km/h. Happy birthday to the automobile and congratulations to the company which today remains at the forefront of personal transportation. More...

Women in Business Program 2011

Join a group of business women in your area and learn practical business strategies, network and improve your business success. The program brings fundamental knowledge to achieve business success with the aid of co-operative learning and mentor guidance. More...

Trillion Dollar Forecast for Gadgets

As the top US consumer electronics trade show prepares to open this week, organisers are forecasting that global gadget sales may top $US1 trillion ($A996.51 billion) this year for the first time ever. More...

The Death of the Beer Line - New Invention Pours 56 Beers per Minute

In a moment of inspired American innovation, Josh Springer sat at a restaurant in 2009 and was struck with an idea that could one day be recounted in the Smithsonian. Springer and his Montesano, Wash., start-up company GrinOn Industries have invented the “Bottom’s Up Draft Beer Dispensing System.” It “pours” a draft beer nine times faster than traditional methods and dramatically reduces spillage. More...

Mussels Inspire Self-Healing Sticky Gel

Mussels are remarkable creatures, not only in how good they taste steamed and buttered, but also in their ability to cling to rocks that are pounded by ocean waves. Their tenacious grip comes courtesy of byssal holdfast fibers that are secreted by the mussels themselves. Last year, scientists from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces analysed these fibers in an effort to determine how they were able to maintain their brute strength, while also giving slightly to avoid snapping. More...

25 Start-Up Business Ideas for 2011

There is cause for cautious optimism for start-ups in 2011. While consumer confidence and interest rates are currently a concern, a slew of recent economic data suggests that the picture will gradually brighten in areas such as retail, franchising and employment. However, the fate of Australia’s economy is largely irrelevant to a budding entrepreneur unless he or she has a winning idea. More...

Incredibly Leaf-Like: 12 Bio-Inspired Plant-Based Designs

Sometimes, nature can influence design in the most unexpected ways. Would you ever think of looking to a calla lily for an ultra-efficient impeller design, or a mangrove tree ecosystem for a futuristic set of skyscrapers? These 12 biomimetic designs and concepts apply biological aspects of flowers, lily pads, leaves and trees to solar panels, tents, towers and entire cities to make them energy-smart and sustainable. More...