World Bank looks to Aussie tech innovators to help tackle global development issues

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is looking to Australian technology innovators such as Sense-T to help solve major international development issues, such as sustainability, food security and water management.

At an event hosted by Sense-T and Sirca, representatives of some of the country's most innovative companies – big and small – met senior World Bank and Australian Government officials to discuss how they can help.

Companies at the event included major global brands Xero, Intel and Bosch, alongside home-grown success stories such as Grey Innovation and Serve-Ag.

World Bank Group Global Practices Vice President and IFC Vice President of Global Partnerships, Nena Stoiljkovic, highlighted the need for collaboration across the public, private and research sectors.

"To achieve [the World Bank's] vision to eradicate poverty, we must focus on inclusion and sustainability. There is no way to do that without technology…. The role of the World Bank is to connect innovation from Australia to the rest of the world."

The event coincided with the finalisation of a formal agreement between the University of Tasmania and the World Bank Group. The agreement sets the framework for collaboration on Sense-T projects, potentially including pilots in developing countries.

Sense-T Director Ros Harvey said Australia had a responsibility to lend its expertise to assist developing countries and meet the world's increasing demand for secure food sources.

"The world needs to produce more food in the next 40 years than it did in the last 8000. We must harness the power of technology to produce food more efficiently and sustainably. Australia can play a leading role in addressing global challenges," Ms Harvey said.

Image: Nena Stoiljkovic (World Bank and IFC Vice President), Ros Harvey (Sense-T Director), Ian Opperman (Sirca Tech CEO), Mike Briers (Sirca CEO), Paul Fletcher (Communications Parliamentary Secretary), Gail Pemberton (Sirca Chair), Ewen McDonald (Deputy Secretary of DFAT).

Published on: 18 Jul 2014