InnovationXchange (iXc) is the innovation development hub of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The initiative was established in 2015 “to catalyse and support innovation across the Australian aid program” in accordance with the 2030 Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the year of its founding, iXc launched the 2015 Ideas Challenge. As Lisa Rauter, First Assistant Secretary of DFAT, explains:
“The innovationXchange, within the Department of Foreign Affairs, conducted an ideas challenge in both 2015 and 2016 to find the creative ideas that we knew existed within our highly qualified and experienced staff, but which previously did not have clear pathways to be explored further. The challenges were also designed to get the Department talking about and understanding more about how we could do what DFAT does better, more cost efficiently and utilising available technology and science.”
Results were as follows:
A total of 392 ideas, with 51% of the Department participating and 1 in 3 ideas coming from overseas. Of the 392 entries, three were chosen as winners, while 30% of remaining ideas were used in some form by the DFAT.
Collabforge, a Melbourne-based collaboration and innovation strategy firm, and its Innovation Management Systems (IMS) tool, Collabco, was brought on to assist in codesigning and building the IMS platform. Details of the development process can be found in the Collabforge blogpost.
In 2016, iXc issued its second challenge, Ideas Challenge 2.0.