Innovation was in the air last Friday 30 August when the best of local technologists, entrepreneurs and business leaders joined City of Casey officials at the Casey Tech School in Berwick to launch one of the largest LORA Networks in the Country.
Delivering on its vision to create ‘Australia’s most liveable city’, the City of Casey partnered with local business, Minnovation to deliver a technology network that enables device connectivity and innovation across various disciplines including business, the environment and health.
The City of Casey’s LORA network is designed to enable smart devices to send and receive data without cost to the community. The network is available to the entire community to access and practical applications can result for example, remotely turning on and off items such as lights or sprinklers.
Analysis of the data generated will also help Council make intelligent decisions about the best ways to benefit the community, and it presents opportunities for local businesses, start-up technologists and other organisations to innovate new solutions to serve Casey residents.
To celebrate the launch of this network and to highlight the potential it represents, members of our The INNovation Crowd, Council’s bespoke support program for local entrepreneurs, participated in a 40-hour ‘LORA Hackathon’ to explore new and innovative ways to leverage the power of the network.
Hosted at the Casey Tech School over the ensuing weekend, entrants were supplied with access to the network, datasets and hardware and asked to hack together proof of concept solutions to challenges within the streams of Smart Buildings, Smart Environment, Smart Communities and Smart Health.
Participants were then invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges who awarded prizes for the most innovative and scalable ideas.
At the opening on Friday night, City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon said that she was excited to see so many local community members supporting the future of Casey by exploring new ways to live, work and play.
“I have had the pleasure of attending a few INNcrowd events over the past 12 months and I am truly blown away by the calibre of our entrepreneurial community and the ecosystem we are building in our region,” she said.
“The ideas generated during LORAhack will help us in our endeavour to create Australia’s most liveable city. It’s great to see local business represented here tonight and I know we’re all excited to see what the Hackathon participants come up with!”
Councillor Sam Aziz, who also officiated at the event, said that he looked forward to seeing the new ideas to be generated from this hackathon.
“I am excited by the contribution it will make to building our future vision for a smarter economy and connected communities,” he said. “By supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, it is our intent to ensure that South East Melbourne, and in particular the Casey Cardinia region, is recognised as the ‘home of innovation’, and is an attractor for larger businesses looking to leverage our capabilities.”
Update: Congratulations to team #GRAYANGELS, who won the main prize for their solution which used advanced sensor technologies to produce clothing to detect location and falls in the elderly. A special City of Casey ‘Mayor’s Choice’ Award was presented to #TEAMDORY, for their solution to reduce social isolation in parents of children with disabilities, and #BINBOIS, who received a kickstart fund from Minnovation to commercialise their waste management solution. All teams will now be given an opportunity to build upon their prototypes and pitch directly to external stakeholders to explore the potential for pilot programs.