Australia: Destination Innovation

News from German Australian Business Council’s corporate member, Austrade 

A new, 48-page version of the Australia: Destination Innovation brochure is now available which has been developed by Austrade in conjunction with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the brochure contains the latest facts on Australia’s strengths in innovation, as well as a variety of case studies.

The Boeing Corporation, for instance, has established Australia as its largest R&D base outside the US. In a new case study, Boeing Research & Technology vice-president Lane Ballard, said: ‘Innovation required investment, and the investment we have made with CSIRO for nearly three decades has led to significant advances in the aerospace industry.’

There are trade and investment case studies in the digital and medical technology sectors, and a focus on research highlights such as quantum computing and infrastructure investments including the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope. In mining, Rio Tinto talks of its autonomous (driverless) trucks in use in the Pilbara, and in agriculture a range of research and companies are profiled including innovative Tasmanian company, The Yield, which has attracted investment from Bosch.

The brochure supports Austrade’s trade, education and investment promotion efforts, and is available as a low res PDF.

20160606_AUST7560 Destination Innovation_ACC_May 16

Austrade job ad – Innovation Landing Pad Manager, Berlin

For further information please click on this this link to the Austrade website.

Investing Responsibly – A Changing Landscape

On 24 May 2016, Will Oulton, Global Head of Responsible Investment for First State Investments flew into Frankfurt from London to give a presentation on “sensible investments”, an approach to investment that explicitly acknowledges the relevance to the investor of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and of the long-term health and stability of the market as a whole.

Besides expounding on the three drivers of “sensible investments” – fiduciary duty, investment performance, and growing demand driving transparency and technology – Will shared some case studies in Germany and Australia that highlighted the strong link between ESG factors and company performance.

After a lively Q&A session, the attendees adjourned for further discussion and networking over Australian Shiraz and German Riesling.

With the successful turnout in Frankfurt, we are delighted to announce that we will be bringing Will back to Berlin and Munich to share more about “sensible investments”. So look out for further information either by email or on our website.

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ABC Prodution “Ready for This” coming to German KIKA

The German TV channel ZDF has acquired Australian live-action children’s drama Ready For This, originally broadcast on childrens’ channel ABC3 and will show it on the  free-to-air kids channel KiKA

Ready for This ABC TV

Ready for This ABC TV


The series follows six equally talented but different Indigenous children who venture to Sydney to realize their dreams.

Originally commissioned for ABC3 Australia last year, Ready For This also has Blackfella Films on-board as a producer, and is distributed worldwide by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF).
Read more:

The Australia-Germany Joint Research Scheme

science_circleThe Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme is a joint initiative (PDF 1.2MB) of Universities Australia and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany’s national agency for the support of international academic cooperation.

It aims to foster research collaboration of the highest quality between Australian researchers from Universities Australia member  universities and German researchers from German universities and research institutes.

The scheme will support exchanges for Australian researchers to spend time at partner institutions  in Germany and for collaborating German researchers to spend time at Australian universities. Researchers must be working on a joint research project with their German counterparts, rather than simply furthering their own individual research in Germany.

The support of early career researchers and junior scholars is a significant focus of this scheme.

Click here to see a list of the projects funded for 2016-17 (PDF 105KB).

Eligibility for Research

Australian applicants must be:

  • employed as an academic staff member in a teaching and research or research only role at the Australian university administering the application and with a contract at that university that is valid for the duration of the relevant funding period; or
  • enrolled for the duration of the relevant funding period as a PhD or Research Masters student at the Australian university administering the application and part of a research project application submitted by an eligible staff member at that same university.

The scheme is open to Australian researchers at participating Australian universities in all academic fields involved in a collaborative project with German research partners.

Proposals must provide opportunities for exchanges between early career researchers (ECR). However it is not compulsory to be an ECR to apply.  Researchers from the Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to apply.

Details of eligibility for German applicants are available on the DAAD website here.

Application Dates

Applications open on 4 April 2016 and close on 17 June 2016. Applicants will be informed of the outcomes in writing in November 2016. Project funding will commence in 2017.

The application form is available to download here (DOCX 832.6KB).

Further information

The full terms and conditions of the scheme are available here (PDF 138.5KB) and must be read before applying.

The full list of projects funded in 2015 can be downloaded here (PDF 105KB).

A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions can be downloaded here (PDF 167.5KB)


Australia and Eurovision

Congratulations to Australian entry Dami ImDami Im who came second in the 2016 Eurovision song contest, just being pipped to the post by the Ukrainian entry. SBS don’t know whether Australia will be invited back next year – that depends apparently on receiving an invitation from Ukraine. However, the broadcaster is going ahead with the plans to develop a pan-Asian version having obtained an option to do so earlier this year.

Dami’s not yet made it into the German iTunes charts and it will be interesting to see whether she achieves the same degree of success in Europe as she has done down-under. Her current tour covers only Australia until the end of the year.

Federal Election 2016

Parliament House Canberra - (c) Creative Commons

Parliament House Canberra – (c) Creative Commons

Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the next federal election will be on 2nd July. It will be a double dissolution election in which the whole of the senate as well as the house of representatives will be elected. The senate election will be held under a new set of rules, which was agreed recently by parliament

Details of voting for electors resident overseas can be found on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website here. We understand that details need to be updated by 23 May

The GABC is a non-partisan organisation and as such will express no support for either political party. We shall continue to bring you occasional news about German-Australian business matters. Up to date information can be found on the ABC website.

Cross-border Succession Law and Asset Structuring

On 14 April 2016, Mario von Seelstrang, a partner, lawyer and tax advisor at the Munich based law firm FORUM Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater Wirtschaftsprüfer gave a presentation about the current legal framework for cross-border succession and asset structuring. Mario’s presentation focused on expatriates, mixed nationality couples and German citizens with property interest in both Germany and Australia.

Due to some legislative changes that became effective in August 2015, Mario pointed out some important factors to consider in that context which led to a lively discussion while enjoying a typical Bavarian Brotzeit.

Larry Schulz from the American German Business Club was an interested attendee who contributed to the topic from his own experience at the American German Business Club. It was also great to have some of our new individual members with us for whom it was their first German Australian Business Council event and who provided very positive feedback.

We are delighted to announce that we are currently planning a similar event on the topic in Frankfurt and possibly Berlin. So look out for further information either by email or on our website.

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Australian Landing Pad in Berlin

As part of the national innovation strategy, Australia is setting up five  landing pads to help startup companies expand internationally. The Hon. Steven Ciobo , Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment was in Berlin’s co-working space Rainmaking Loft this week to announce the selection of Berlin as the European launching landing pad. He was joined by a number of guests, including GABC board members Sabine Pittrof and Robert Harrison.

Right to Left: Robert Harrison, Sabine Pittrof, Minister Cibo, Volkmar Klein MdB

Right to Left: Robert Harrison, Sabine Pittrof, Minister Ciobo, Volkmar Klein MdB (c) Australian Embassy

Rob, whose family come from Australia, was thrilled with the news. “There’s a growing startup ecosystem in Germany and it’s great to see the Australian government supporting young and innovative companies to join us in the heart of Europe.” As GABC President Chair Sabine noted, “Germany industry is on the lookout for innovative partners throughout the world. The German Australian Business Council provides excellent opportunities for German and Australian businesses to get to know each other. We’re looking forward to meeting our new friends as well as dedicated innovators from Australia”.

Australia Day Networking Event in Munich

“Collaborate and cooperate” was the theme of this year’s Australia Day celebration in Munich, sponsored by the Bavarian government’s Invest-in-Bavaria agency. Opening the event, the Hon André Haermeyer, former Victorian Government minister and Deputy Chair of the German Australian Business Council, emphasised the close and developing relationship between the Australia and Germany and highlighted the work of the advisory group set up by the two countries to foster and develop relationship between the two countries.

André was followed by a talk by Dr. Peter Moar of La Trobe University in Melbourne who highlighted with Dr. Andreas Eckhard some of their joint work with the German Aerospace Centre DLR and Dr. Moar’s push to put Australian students into German industry. The talk was met with a great deal of interest from the approximately 40 participants as Peter explained the advantages of their joint work and some of the frustrations in funding commercial opportunities. It was an inspiring talk as Peter and Andreas suggested ways forward for collaboration.

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