DFAT innovation hub to open for business soon

    Local microscopists in Port Vila, Vanuatu during a skills training. DFAT will soon launch its innovation hub to foster a culture of breakthroughs and taking risks. Photo: Paul McGinty / AusAID

    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will formally launch its innovation hub in early 2015, Devex has learned.

    The hub is a pillar of Australia’s new foreign aid paradigm announced in June by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. With 140 million Australian dollars ($122.2 million) in total funding, it is designed to pilot breakthrough global development solutions.

    DFAT officials are now discussing how it can help foster a culture of innovation within the organization, Mark Taylor, DFAT regional sector specialist for rural and private sector development in Southeast Asia, noted Friday at the Asia-Pacific Regional Innovation Summit organized by the United Nations Development Program  in Bangkok.

    Those conversations, he explained, point to the need for senior management to take a leading role and to recognize and reward those who are innovating and taking risks that come with the process.

    “[We have to make] sure those that our ears and feet on the ground and closest toward where solutions and partnerships have often been made actually implement and carry [the change] out,” Taylor added.

    You can help shape our coverage on global development innovations. What do you think is an innovative idea? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by emailing news@devex.com.

    About the author

    • Ejv 150x150

      Ma. Eliza Villarino

      Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.