INNOVATE: Fostering innovation and driving job creation to underpin our future prosperity

Innovation is the key to the transition to a low carbon economy. South Australia has already seen the benefits of activities associated with this transition, including growth and job creation in renewable energy and the waste and resources sectors, among others.

Download the INNOVATE consultation paper (PDF, 850KB)

Help shape South Australia's Climate Change Strategy by taking part in the discussion forum below. We want to know:

  • How can South Australia be the innovator in climate change action?

Comments closed

19 Oct 2015

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in the 'innovate' discussion. This consultation has now closed.

Your feedback has been passed onto the Climate Change Team to consider in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA, which is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.

To stay informed, sign up to the Climate Change E-Newsletter at

Thanks again for getting involved - your input is appreciated.

Regards, the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Bruce Baker

18 Oct 2015

South Australia has some excellent opportunities. I would like to see initiatives like the BioSA Incubator expanded and similar initiatives developed in other areas. We need to work smarter. We have three major universities in Adelaide and a number of other excellent educational institutions. I would like to see opportunities for the young people who are graduating to obtain employment in SA rather than being to forced to move interstate. Our population is not large but we have shown that we can produce outstanding young people. We need technology centres to utilise their talents. Sciences in particular have been hit very hard by economic cutbacks. We need to address this if we want industry to grow and work more efficiently producing less wastes. Along with this we need to look at increasing ecological and medical research. In order to maintain a healthy environment and healthy people. Measures need to be taken to conserve biodiversity through many different avenues. SA's biodiversity may hold a valuable key to future developments in biotechnology or more environmentally friendly food production. If it is lost we will never have this opportunity.

SA has ample opportunity to increase solar energy harnessing. This would be far more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel based power generation.

Regions of SA have a high geothermal gradient and would be suitable for harnessing geothermal energy. This is something that needs to be explored much more.

Harnessing stormwater and using semi-natural filtration mechanisms such as artificial wetlands would address a number of our major issues. SA is obviously short of water. Retention of stormwater in such wetlands would make the water resource accessible for longer and would reduce the negative impacts of rapidly flowing contaminated water running into the sea affecting seagrasses and ultimately fisheries. Meanwhile on land it would provide habitat for wildlife, and a renewable source of macrophytes that could be harvested and digested as a biofuel periodically.

> Bruce Baker

18 Oct 2015

Hi Bruce, great to have your feedback and ideas in the 'innovate' discussion. Our team will take your comments into consideration in the development of the new climate change strategy for SA, which is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.
To stay informed, sign up to the e-newsletter at
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Brett Murphy

17 Oct 2015

Lead global efforts to develop Direct Air Capture (of atmospheric CO2) technology.

Limiting global warming not only requires significant reduction of future emissions but also significant "negative emissions", or the removal of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (IPCC AR5, Chapter 6).

Whilst a handful of universities and tech entrepreneurs are investigating various concepts and prototypes (links below), funding and/or competition is required to further develop these to the scale that is needed.

The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 reminds us that things do not always remain the way they are (link to article below), and that a crisis can be the tipping point to trigger the commercialisation of future technologies.
Horse manure and carcasses were accumulating in the streets of cities from London to New York to such an extent (the filth! the stench! the pollution! the flies!) that leaders gathered in New York for a 10-day summit to address the issue. Given the ubiquitousness of the horse + carriage at the time, delegates broke the summit early after failing to resolve the issue.
The issue reached a tipping point when the economics of running transport horses exceeded those of the expensive automobile, whose commercialisation then quickly developed and ultimately replaced the poor (tired) horse.
Optimistically, I hope that this is not a true analogy for the future deployment of direct air capture, and that a crisis does not trigger its development.

Therefore, South Australia should not only invest in innovation of this technology (and there can be many forms of non-financial support such as partnerships with tertiary institutions, think-tanks, competitions etc) but LEAD the world in this regard.

I would be a very active participant.

Kind regards
Brett Murphy

* Direct air capture:
* Direct air capture:
* Direct air capture:
* Horse manure crisis:

> Brett Murphy

17 Oct 2015

Hi Brett, thanks for getting involved in the 'innovate' discussion and for the information and links you have posted relating to direct air capture technology. Our team will review your feedback and take it into consideration in the development of the new climate change strategy for SA.
Thanks again for taking the time to get involved.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Build Electric Cars in South Australia

I have noticed that South Australia seems to be losing what was once a well-regarded automotive industry. I have also always wondered why Australia at some level does not have an industrial policy that would support/subsidize the establishment of an electric vehicle manufacturing capability. I understand some see issues with range of vehicle etc. However, Adelaide is full of little sedans (e.g. Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, etc.) that are commuter vehicles that likely don’t drive more than 100 km per day which constitute the lion’s share of kilometers driven in any case. My father owned a Nissan Leaf that he powered with solar panels on his roof that he used for over 95% of his daily driving. Building an electric vehicle manufacturing facility is win-win-win-win. It is clean technology jobs that help Adelaide become carbon neutral, cleans our air, and reduces our dependence on fossil fuel.

Proposal: A joint venture between SA Universities and the South Australian government to build an electric car manufacturing facility in the northern Adelaide suburbs.
Question: How does it get funded? Crowd-source it. Offer the people of South Australia (reach farther if necessary) the opportunity to buy shares in this Government – University partnership –
A ‘Public offering on a Public-Public Partnership’. If you run with this idea I would love to be given the opportunity to buy the first piece of this company. Why do this?

1) Built-in industry Internships for students from engineering, design, and other areas of the universities.
2) Get the public literally invested in the success of our universities and economy in a way that creates jobs and helps reduce our carbon footprint.
3) Build a simple people’s car that helps create a more ‘resilient’ and ‘carbon-neutral’ South Australia (See if we can manufacture all parts locally) Design the car from cradle-to-grave with the intention of reusing and recycling things like batteries rather than the ‘planned obsolescence’ that is built into the incentive structure of a ‘private’ industry.
4) Multiplier effect through spinoff industries (e.g. smart car technology, batteries, solar panels, etc. )
5) Have a competition for naming the car (I came up with ZAPcar – Zippy Australian People’s car)

> paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your ideas and proposal relating to electric vehicle manufacturing in SA. Our team will take this into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
We have a discussion open on the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative, and it would be great to have your thoughts on what actions government, industry and the community could take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the City of Adelaide and create economic opportunities for the State.
The consultation is open until this Sunday 18 October.
Thanks again for getting involved.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Bas de Groot

12 Oct 2015

South Australia already has strong shipbuilding facilities, but the main innovations in that sector seem to be focused on the perfection of structural design (gradual innovation), not on setting up new lines of solar or wind-powered ships. At the same time, the SA Universities are doing a lot of work on solar- and wind-powered vehicles. This knowledge may be used to drive a new line of shipbuilding at the TechPort facility, which could possibly compensate for any job losses in case the submarines order falls through.

Another issue SA might be facing is more and severe droughts. This means there is a real need to generate water reserves that are clean enough for drinking, or at least clean enough for irrigation. At the same time, we have a desalination plant that is not always working at peak efficiency. And we have the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training right here in SA. Surely there must be some way in which we can create new groundwater reserves, filling them with desalinated water, that could be commercially feasible now that the Government has set a cap on governmental water buyback?

A third option for innovation would be in regards to vehicles of emergency and fire services: As they will be increasingly needed in the future, and they often operate in remote locations where fuel might not always be available, they could be good options for increasing the use of solar and biofuels, provided the vehicle engines remain strong enough and fit for purpose. If biomass gassification were to be added to the mix, vegetation that is removed for pre-bushfire protection or during firefighting (or passed on directly from the green bins) can be re-used for powering vehicles or CFS or SES facilities. This would also offer jobs for hauling and transport companies, and small biomass gassification start-up companies.

Another option SA might consider when looking into energy-generating alternatives, is tidal power. With such an immense coastline, there's bound to be a good site where a tidal power plant might be profitable. The technology is already well-developed, and is used extensively in Europe, North America and Asia, quite often by commercial energy companies. The main issue would be the effects on marine life, but provided they could be managed to negligible levels, such a type of energy provision would, in general, have far less impact than, say, fracking along the Bight. The monitoring needed on such installations would, again, provide specialist jobs for the SA economy.

In the northern part of SA, where apparently SA derives its epithet "Australia's hot rock haven" from, energy companies could be induced to start up geothermal facilities, which, if the pumps were to be powered by solar energy facilities, would provide an almost no-emission type of continuous power source. And which, again, would need to be manned by SA specialist workers.

> Bas de Groot

12 Oct 2015

Hi Bas, Thanks for getting involved in the 'innovate' discussion and for your ideas relating to a wide range of areas. Our team will take your feedback into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy.
We have a number of other discussion topics open, and we would welcome your feedback in those areas too.
Thanks again for getting involved in the discussion.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team


08 Oct 2015

Please refer In Daily Tuesday edition - article from Dr David Evans refuting much of the current computer modelling around "climate change". His theory which he calls "albedo modulation" is far more plausible than current contemporary theory.


09 Oct 2015

Thanks for your comment, Eldert. We encourage the discussion of ideas, however the South Australian Government uses the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the basis for its policy response to climate change. The IPCC released its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report in November 2014, a comprehensive piece of work which among many other findings, gave a clear indication that human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. You can access this information at the following link:
Regards, Lewis from the DEWNR Climate Change team.

David Clarke

08 Oct 2015

Solar power station to replace closed coal mine?
With the closure of the Leigh Creek coal mine in a few weeks I wonder if any consideration been given to building a big solar PV power station at or near Leigh Creek? The location is great - very high insolation, even higher than Port Augusta, and there is an existing transmission line. It would provide some employment. It would fit in with the State Government's aim of going toward sustainable power and reducing emissions. It would be good for the planet because it would reduce the need for burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

> David Clarke

08 Oct 2015

Hi David, thanks for getting involved in the discussion and for your ideas for how SA can be an innovator in climate change action.
Our team will take your ideas into consideration in development of the new climate change strategy for SA.
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Sharon Zivkovic

07 Oct 2015

The first step in addressing any problem should be to identify the problem’s type, as different types of problems need to be addressed in different ways. Climate change is a wicked problem. Given the characteristics of wicked problems, a strategic approach that interconnects product, service and process innovations is the best approach for addressing them. The European Commission-funded Social Innovation Europe Project is promoting “systemic innovation” as the most appropriate approach for addressing wicked problems which it defines as ‘a set of interconnected innovations, where each is dependent on the other, with innovation both in the parts of the system and in the ways that they interact’.
Given that climate change is a wicked problem, the new climate change strategy should have a focus on supporting systemic innovations - this is a current gap. I have been involved with the development of two systemic innovations for addressing complex problems - a transdisciplinary active citizenship education program based on education for sustainability principles that embeds in government infrastructure, and a diagnostic tool for systemic community change. While both of these innovations have received international recognition, there is no government support for systemic innovations in South Australia.

> Sharon Zivkovic

07 Oct 2015

Hi Sharon, thanks for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences regarding systemic innovations. Our team will review your comments and consider them when developing the new climate change strategy for SA. If you have any specific information regarding the projects you were involved in, you can email us at It would also be great to hear your thoughts on our other discussion topics too - the leadership and Carbon Neutral Adelaide discussions have just opened.
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Sharon Zivkovic > Sharon Zivkovic

09 Oct 2015

I have emailed through information on the projects. Another point - the state government could support climate change innovation by including social and environmental benefit criteria in the selection criteria for Department of State Development funding such as the SA Microfinance Finance Fund

> Sharon Zivkovic

13 Oct 2015

Thankyou Sharon for sending through the details to us via email, I have passed it onto our team to review.
Thanks also for your suggestion regarding the social and environment benefit criteria - our team will take this into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
Thanks again for getting involved in this discussion.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team