Skip to main content

Open Innovation Competition

Our annual competition challenges innovators in our community to solve a city issue. 

Closeup of two sets of hands building a robot and inserting circuitboard

With a different theme each year, the competition calls for innovators, entrepreneurs, students and community members to submit their bright ideas to solve the challenge.

Launched in 2018, this competition is designed to tap into the creativity and expertise of our community and stimulate new ideas and effective solutions.

Participants are encouraged to incorporate data and emerging technology into their ideas to address common urban challenges.

Three smiling people wearing bike helmets, pushing bikes and scooters.

Zero-Carbon and Climate Technology


Accelerating Melbourne's transition to a zero-carbon city.

Previous competitions

An inclusive city for international students and alumni


In 2023 we asked our community “How might we make Melbourne a more inclusive city for international students and alumni so they can thrive, contribute to and share in our economic prosperity?” 

Watch our Open Innovation Challenge 2023 video.

(upbeat music)

[Text on screen: Open Innovation Competition 2023. An Inclusive City for international students and alumni.]

[Andrew Wear] There are close to 140,000 international students in Melbourne.

[Text on screen: Andrew Wear. Director Economic Development & International.]

[Andrew Wear] They contribute an enormous amount to what makes this city great. But many of them face barriers to full participation and this is the challenge we put to the community.

[Text on screen: Usman Iftikhar. CEO, Catalysr.]

[Usman Iftikhar] In my work at Catalysr one of the biggest issues we see international students facing is the issue of employment and this open innovation challenge is really helping create amazing solutions to help international students with employment.

[Text on screen: Chris Kong. Asian Expert Connect]

[Chris Kong] Something that the city of Melbourne has really achieved in this open innovation competition is bringing together different parts of the ecosystem in one forum.

[Text on screen: Phil O. Co-CEO, 25ei]

[Phil O] The open innovation competition benefits entrepreneurs because you can apply your thinking to real problems that affect the city.

[Text on screen: Xuan Wang. City Compost Network.]

[Xuan Wang] He has has turbocharged one of the ideas that I have for City Compost Network. And the organizing team and the mentors and the pitch coach have been incredibly supportive and all they want is for us to present our best.

[Text on screen: Laxmi Pun. Illume Foundation.]

[Laxmi Pun] The results tonight were awesome because I think all the three participants that got the award tonight were solving problems around employability, which is exciting but they all brought their own strength and flavour to how they solve the problem.

[Text on screen: Ngoc and Anh. PassMe.]

[Ngoc] Winning the RMIT Launch Hub Prive is definitely what we need right now.

[Text on screen: Enya Loo. Stint.]

[Enya Loo] We're very pleased to be able to be awarded the People's Choice Award and I think that's an extra validation of what we're trying to do.

[Text on screen: Volker Breuer. UPitch.Me.]
It feels a bit like we've got a golden ticket to the startup ecosystem and the universities here in Melbourne.

(upbeat music)

[City of Melbourne logo on screen]

two female tourists walking through Centre Place laneway

City Reactivation and Recovery


Reimagining the way we live, connect, work and play in our city. 

Female resident disposing of waste in bin

Waste and the Circular Economy


Exploring waste elimination in Melbourne.

Residents enjoying the view of Arts precinct

Safe Mobility


Exploring safe mobility in Melbourne through open innovation.

Mural depicting person in a wheelchair

City Accessibility


Making cities more accessible for people with a disability.

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.