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PwC to tackle 'problems worth solving' in western Sydney

PwC, in partnership with the University of Western Sydney, will work with teams representing students, entrepreneurs and the start-up community to solve some of the most pressing issues facing Greater Western Sydney.

News Michael Masterman 04 September 2014
— 1 minute read

This weekend, the teams will pitch solutions to issues including access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food; employment and productivity in the health sector; the availability of co-working and teleworking spaces; and making the delivery of public and private services more effective, the firm said.

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Following the event successful bidders will undertake a 12-week acceleration program and collaborate with PwC's start-up and venture experts to develop prototypes.

The program allows teams to work closely with potential investors and customers from government and business to ensure the solutions are commercially viable.

Trent Lund, PwC lead partner, Innovation and Ventures, said there's no shortage of ideas, people or organisations that want to solve the issues confronting communities.

"What we've found is that Open Innovation is the process through which all of this energy, expertise and goodwill can be harnessed to create effective and long-lasting solutions to these 'problems worth solving'," Mr Lund said.

Professor James Arvanitakis, head of The Academy at the University of Western Sydney, said partnering with PwC in the Open Innovation program is part of the university's move to build a broader, more innovative curriculum that prepares students for a rapidly changing world and a time of disruption.

“Rather than being threatened by the pace of change, we focus on building entrepreneurial skills across different disciplines to seek opportunities,” he said.

"This is not an abstract program, it is about our students working with industry to confront real life challenges and we look forward to seeing the outcomes," said Professor Arvanitakis.

The event will be hosted by UWS and opened by Stuart Ayres, who is the minister for police and emergency services, sport and recreation and the minister assisting the premier on western Sydney.

The PwC Open Innovation model has been successfully piloted in Sydney, Newcastle and Queensland where it was used to develop solutions ranging from real-time public transport apps, to enhancing the effectiveness of graffiti removal programmes, the firm said.

PwC to tackle 'problems worth solving' in western Sydney
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