Saturday, March 29, 2014

What is the Griffin Accelerator Program?

The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory,  Katy Gallagher,  launched the ‘GRIFFIN Accelerator’ IT business start-up program in Canberra, 27 March. There is an impressive list of people and organisations associated with the accelerator. Unfortunately neither the launch announcement, nor the web site explains in plain English what the accelerator is and does. The innovation jargon used would make this unintelligible to most of the population. This may be deliberate, with the accelerator's activities being only of interest to a small group of technology entrepreneurs working to build new computer applications for government. However, I suggest this initiative deserves to be more widely know. I suggest the program needs to work on explaining what it does in terms which the citizens of Canberra will understand, as the future of the city depends on such businesses being developed.

The choice of the name "Griffin" is an interesting one. The logo used by the project used is of the mystical creature being a part bird and part lion, called a Griffin. The griffin symbolises strength, courage and leadership, which might be applicable for innovation programs. However, part of an early plan of Canberra, originally by Walter Burley Griffin, is used on the website. While a genious as an architect, Griffin was hopeless at business and also had a disastrous relationship with government in Canberra (being forced to resign due to undermining by the city's bureaucrats). That might not be the best symbol for a project which hopes to apply innovation to government. ;-)

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