Apple Computer Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak will be the international keynote speaker during Brilliant West Week, launched today by Premier Alan Carpenter.
Mr Wozniak will be the highlight of one of the main events, the Leading Lights Innovation and Investment Conference.
Mr Carpenter said Mr Wozniak’s attendance was a major coup for Western Australia.
“Mr Wozniak’s attendance at Brilliant West Week later this year shows that WA is already on the world map for our innovation and creativity,” the Premier said.
“His attendance will add more fuel to the passion and skills of our brilliant local inventors and innovators.”
Mr Carpenter said Brilliant West Week, to be held from October 12 to 18, would bring together students, researchers, educators, the business community and Government to develop and promote innovation and creativity in WA.
“Brilliant West Week will have a range of events aimed at helping innovative Western Australians to develop the knowledge, skills and networks to take new products and services from idea to market, for local, national and international audiences,” he said.
“The week is about encouraging innovation, creativity and brilliance across WA - in school students, university students, inventors, start-up technology companies and the wider business community.”
Mr Wozniak will join other international and national speakers in educating and inspiring local innovators and entrepreneurs to take their ideas to the world.
He will also be promoting innovation with school students and businesses during his visit.
The Leading Lights Innovation and Investment Conference will feature discussions about business opportunities for new technologies arising from WA’s involvement in the international radio astronomy project, the Square Kilometre Array, as well as a range of other topics.
Brilliant West Week will engage students in science and innovation-related activities, such as addressing current environmental and social problems, and encourage them to think about careers in those fields.
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Some of the events planned for Brilliant West Week include:
WA Inventor of the Year 2008 Schools Competition: presentations will be held on October 15. The competition is open to primary and secondary students from Kindergarten to Year 12 for projects that reinforce the value and importance of creativity and innovation. The young inventors are asked to look at the world around them and design and create a new device, or modify an existing tool, in order to improve people’s quality of life. The inventions will be on display during October at Scitech.
The Premier’s Science Council will host a Dialogue with Youth event, a mini 2020-style forum which will involve 200 secondary students from across the State, selected from written submissions and a nomination from their school. The dialogue will explore hot topics such as increasing science enrolments and capitalising on opportunities arising from the digital revolution.
A Business Icon competition will be hosted by the Australian Experimental Learning Centre to test the business and personal skills of young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 25 years old. The event will be run over 10 days, involving four tasks and 40 contestants. The field will be narrowed down to four finalists who will compete for the grand prize in front of 500 guests, on the last day of Brilliant West Week.
The Leading Lights Innovation and Investment Conference aims to address one of the perceived barriers in developing and commercialising new products and ideas in WA - and that is access to capital. The conference offers a mix of presentations, case studies, panel discussions, business matching and informal networking opportunities.
A range of prominent overseas investors have already committed to attending the conference. The program will include a series of pitch sessions where WA companies can present their business opportunities to local, national and international investors.