Bank launches digital innovation challenge

A NEW initiative introduced by ANZ Bank will see the collaboration of Fijian university students, leading software experts; designers and entrepreneurs to accelerate digital innovation in the Pacific.

The regional bank yesterday launched the ANZ Pacific Innovation Challenge, a first for Fiji and the region. The challenge, which commences on August 5 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, is a platform for selected teams of students and participants to spend the day formulating solutions.

These solutions will seek to address and complement the opportunity statement: “Digitalising the Pacific — uncovering barriers to the uptake of digital channels in the financial ecosystem — to help our people and communities thrive.”

Experts and mentors from the partner organisations and institutions will help selected teams fine tune their solution pitches.

According to ANZ regional executive Pacific Tessa Price, they aim to look for innovative solutions through the innovation challenge that would benefit the lives of people in the Pacific.

“The ANZ Innovation Challenge is all about coming up with new ideas to solve real-industry, real-world problems. When we give students the opportunity to work with us, this is exactly what we find — lots of great ideas, fresh perspectives and incredible talent,” she said.

“This is where ideas are born and we’re excited about the collaboration to find solutions for progress by drawing on the talent, resources and thought leadership of our strategic partners and students.

“In return, we hope to provide participants with real-industry experience, an opportunity to build their networks and knowledge and of course, have a lot of fun along the way.”

The initiative is also being conducted in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP), Fiji National University (FNU), University of Fiji, Telecommunications Fiji Limited (TFL), Vodafone, STANDSS, Software Factory, DATEC and Paradise Beverages.

With coaching support from partners, the solutions developed by the participants will be presented to a panel of judges.

“We’ll have great prizes on offer for the winning teams, and all intellectual property, including software copyright developed by students as part of the challenge shall be owned by students themselves,” Ms Price said.

Interested students and participants have also been encouraged to complete the expression of interest form available at ANZ.

The bank has also held similar events in Australia, New Zealand and Asia to create platforms for digital innovation and social change.

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