Innovation Challenges

Expert Icon

2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge (closed)

This challenge has closed.
Owner: Westpac
Tags: Banking, Open data, Customer experience, Micro business, Energy, Insurance, Aged care, Government
Audience: Students, Researchers, Start-Ups, Businesses, Subject Matter Experts, Other
Anticipated Funding: A$50,000
Applications close: October 20, 2019
Last Updated: October 20, 2019 10:13 PM
Challenge image

The Challenge

We’ve reached out across Institutional Bank and Business Bank to understand some of the biggest problems facing our customers today. With their help, we selected five wicked problems that are ripe for innovative open data-powered solutions to challenge our brightest minds across the business.

#1 Micro business

Micro businesses represent around 25% of all businesses in Australia yet remain an underserved sector. These businesses typically employ less than four people or are sole traders, managing all facets of the business themselves – marketing, customer service, bookkeeping - on top of running their core business. Time spent chasing invoices, filing taxes, managing cashflow and completing paperwork places strain on businesses in a sector where survival rates are already low. These businesses seemingly face additional scrutiny and delayed decision times when seeking secured lending products such as home loans, even in instances when banked by Westpac.

The challenge:
How might we use open data to help micro business save time and improve efficiency in order to achieve their (business and personal) goals?

#2 Energy

The energy sector is facing tremendous change. A Royal Commission is imminent, the Consumer Data Right is pending, and regulatory changes that will enforce independent price-setting are approaching. In a sector already operating with tight profit margins, these changes will require energy companies to compete on service rather than price. The health of the energy sector is of critical importance, not simply as valued clients of Westpac but because energy is an essential service to the citizens of Australia.

The challenge:
Using open data, how might we help energy companies embrace the Consumer Data Right to provide their customers with an improved and differentiated experience?

#3 Insurance

Currently, there is an inconsistent flow of information in the insurance ecosystem between Westpac, underwriters, brokers and customers. Any changes to customer or policy details can take weeks to traverse the ecosystem. This industry-wide issue impacts efficiency and profitability but most importantly, may leave customers exposed in the unfortunate instance of needing to make a claim.

The challenge:
How might open data improve data flow within the insurance ecosystem in order to protect our customers in their time of need?

#4 Aged care

Australia is facing an aged care crisis. The recent Royal Commission into aged care revealed shocking instances of poor care, we have a rapidly aging population, and rates of dementia, depression, and other mental health conditions in older Australians are increasing. Adding to the complexity, businesses in the aged care sector are responsible for providing quality care in an industry that is experiencing declining profitability. These businesses are operating in a highly regulated environment while facing substantial financial instability.

The challenge:
How might we use open data to help aged care providers run profitable businesses that provide dignity and choice to older Australians from retirement living to palliative care?

#5 Government

Each year in NSW, a staggering 40 million customer transactions are processed by the NSW government. A substantial portion of that number, for example recurring payments, require the repeated entry of identical information. In addition, when updating personal information, customers are required to provide the same information to every agency with which they interact. Customers rightly expect the same level of innovation, convenience and service from government as they receive from any other service provider. The Premier’s priority of ‘Government made easy’ captures the aspiration to overcome this customer pain point.

The challenge:
How might we use open data to support the NSW Government’s “tell us once” goal to improve customer access and experience?

Eligibility Criteria

For complete details on the eligibility criteria that govern 2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge please refer to the website.

Terms and Conditions

For complete details on the terms and conditions that govern the 2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge please refer to the website.

How to Apply

To submit an application to the 2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge please refer to the website.

Want to know more or not sure where to start?
Click on the page most relevant to you or learn more about how you can get involved:


The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
The Conversation Media Group
IP Australia
Clarivate Analytics
The Australian Research Council
ACT Government
Australian Access Federation
Australian National University
CBR Innovation Network
University of Canberra
University of Technology Sydney
Western Sydney University