Devika is excited to be collaborating with IRT to assist in The Innovation Challenge to help senior citizens experience the optimum quality of life through the use of technology.

The Innovation Challenge is a 3-month open innovation process intended to unleash the full potential of IRT and its broader ecosystem. This project utilizes people and organizations who want to contribute to improving the lives of older people.

The Innovation Challenge asks for applications to be from people who are passionate about helping older members of our community, as well as meeting on this key criteria:

  • The customer problem is clearly identified.
  • The problem is aligned with their purpose of “improving the lives of older people”.
  • A scalable idea that has the potential to be high impact.
  • The idea is not linked to or reliant upon IRT’s current products or services.
  • Evidence of customer desirability with work done towards solution viability and feasibility.
  • Ownership of the idea with a team that demonstrates passion, resilience, and drive.
  • A team with the critical capabilities to build a business and Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
  • The team works well together and shows the capacity to learn and grow.

IRT sees aging as an emerging global issue as only 18% of older people are engaging with aged care services like retirement villages, nursing home, and in-home care. This has left 82% of senior citizens outside of IRT’s conventional scope.

The IRT Innovation Challenge aims to address several questions such as:

  • What do older people want?
  • What do people need as they age?
  • What technology could make their lives easier?

This an exciting example of a traditional company creating new opportunities through innovation and their purpose of wanting to make a meaningful social impact. These are the two main reasons why we want to be involved with IRT. Also, IRT list their values as integrity, respect, and trust, which are principles Devika shares and sees as integral when choosing our partnerships.

Devika has joined IRT Innovation Challenge through providing technical consultation to its trailblazers. One example is Jalissa Morris who is an employee at IRT and part of the IRT Innovation Challenge. Jalissa aims to use virtual reality to reduce the effects of loneliness on the elderly by building them connections through technology. An example of this is Giuseppe, an elderly Italian man who lives in Aubury. Giuseppe misses his native country of Italy and this stress causes negative effects on his health. We are helping Jalissa take him to Italy through VR where he can visit Rome by using Google Earth VR.

One of the great things about IRT’s involvement is they are not making empty promises but rather are fully committed to helping aged people and are passionate about innovation. They recently brought out one of the co-authors of Value Proposition, by Strategyzer, Greg Bernarda to talk about business model canvas.

This represents your business model on just one page and is a standard used by millions of people and companies. It is implemented to describe, design, challenge and pivot your business model. Devika was lucky enough to be invited by IRT to this talk and we saw firsthand the fantastic support IRT provides their participants.

Although it is still early days for the IRT Innovation Challenge, it’s great to see serious innovation in the Wollongong region and it’s exciting to glimpse a chance of real social change originating from the local area.