The Open Innovation Competition is the City of Melbourne's yearly challenge to solve a city issue.

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. It 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.

This year, the theme for the Open Innovation Competition is ‘city reactivation and recovery’. We invite the community to find ways to bring vibrancy back into the city in a way that enhances people’s experiences whilst supporting Melbourne’s economy in a reimagined, sustainable and equitable way.

To mark the launch of this 6-week long competition, we’ve assembled a virtual panel of experts, innovators and leaders in their field to share their knowledge, experiences and insights. Join us to discuss the current landscape, trends and key challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on cities, as well as the opportunities this unprecedented disruption presents.

There will also be a moderated panel discussion and a live Q&A with the audience to help spark inspiration to solve this year’s problem statement:

How might we bring vibrancy back into the city post COVID-19 by reimagining the way we live, connect, work and play in our city while enhancing the social, cultural, environmental and economic vitality of Melbourne?

Watch the Open Innovation Competition 2021 launch event

Event details

The virtual event took place on Zoom at 4pm on Monday 22 March.

This event marks the competition officially open for applications until they close 2 May 2021.

Guest speakers

More speakers to be announced as confirmed.

Phil Ore


CEO and Co-Founder at 25eight Group. Co-Founder of Entrepreneurs&Co. Pitch Mentor for Startup Victoria.


Kaj Lofgren

(Pronounced Kai) Guest speaker

Head of Strategy at Small Giants Academy, Director at Typehuman.


Bree Trevena

Guest speaker

Research Leader, Australasia, Arup Foresight, Research + Innovation


Dinesh Acharya

Guest speaker

Director, Consulting and Education Solutions Lead at JLL


Johanna Maxwell

Guest speaker

President of the Docklands Chamber of Commerce

Learn more

Open Innovation Competition