Sarah: Merry Christmas! As the year draws to a close, we’ve been contemplating our champagne-Haighs-chocolate-enhanced waistlines (ed Kristin: speak for yourself!) and creating a list of our favourite projects and activities from 2010 to keep you busy with holiday reading. We’ve called it:
The Bridge8 2010 Hit List:
With our ongoing interest and participation in social media communities, we initiated the development of an online meeting place for professional science communicators known as scicommunity with initial funding from the Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia strategy. Our blog entries Community and Communication in Science and scicommunity: A Web-Based Platform for Community and Communication in Science have attracted lots of interest and insightful comments. We plan to launch scicommunity during early 2011, so keep an eye on the scicommunity website, this blog and twitter announcements (@scicommunity) to keep up to date.
- National Enabling Technologies Strategy (NETS)
We’ve contributed to the National Enabling Technologies Strategy by participating in the Expert Forum, attending the Communications Stakeholder Group Meetings and as an Industry Stakeholder on public engagement. Kristin also moderated two public focus groups on nanotechnology regulations in Sydney.
Understanding capability for the future was another continuing area of focus for us in 2010. We had the pleasure of working with eResearchSA to understand and assess the eResearch needs of a variety of entities within the South Australian State Government. This also gave us an introduction into the types of data collection, curation and collaborative tools relevant for researchers.
- Let’s Talk Sheep!
Bridge8 continued to work on Let’s Talk Sheep, reviewing existing communication pathways along the sheep industry value chain and exploring the information and communication needs of the South Australian sheep industry. The project involved contributions from a number of industry and government bodies. Our report in March made recommendations for preferred communication strategies and how to implement them.
- Cleantech Capability Review
Bridge8 worked with Australian Cleantech on a Cleantech Capability Review for the Department of Trade and Economic Development and Flinders University. The purpose of the review was to discover areas of strength and opportunity for developing an strong cleantech sector for South Australia.
- Energy Systems Horizon Scanning
NovaSystems, Bridge8 and Strategic Energy Solutions combined to deliver a horizon scan of the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal trends, change factors and developments that may present risks and opportunities for the energy sector.
- Institute for Mining and Mineral Resources
Bridge8 worked with Ethos Australia to support strategic leadership initiatives The University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mining and Mineral Resources (IMER). Specifically we conducted a review of research capabilities including web-based research and telephone interviews with researchers involved in minerals and energy to review areas of expertise and development for IMER in 2011 and beyond.
- Forensic Science SA
Assisting organisations to develop strategy continues to be a focus. In June, Bridge8 facilitated a strategic thinking session for Forensic Science SA, aimed at creating vision for high performing science.
- RiAus Programs Strategy
We also delivered a strategy facilitation process for the Programs Group at RiAus to clarify strengths and opportunities for the institution in 2011. Feedback on these projects shows that we’ve developed good processes for framing and communicating strategic thinking.
We’ve also continued to be busy in education. After we launched AccessNano in 2008, we’ve kept adding to this national nanotechnology schools resource. This year we developed an animation explaining the nanoscale and properties of nanogold which you can view on the AccessNano YouTube Channel, or via the Bridge8 blog. We also updated some of the teaching content on AccessNano to reflect updated information, including new content on safety issues relating to carbon nanotubes and sunscreen. Furthermore, AccessNano Teacher Professional Development sessions were held in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.
- STELR (ATSE)
We worked again with Australian Cleantech for the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). The project was to develop resources on renewable energy for the Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance (STELR) program. STELR is a national secondary school science education initiative, developed to address the decreasing number of students choosing to further their studies in the enabling sciences and mathematics. Bridge8 and Australian Cleantech contributed case studies, career profiles and PowerPoint modules to enhance existing materials.
- Big Ideas in Science: Oxford University Press
2010 saw the publication of our chapter on Emerging Technologies in Big Ideas in Science 3, a textbook for year 9 and 10 students.
- Sleek Geek Report for La Trobe University
A small and satisfying task was assisting Francesca Calati at La Trobe University to write a grant report for the Sleek Geek Prize-winning short film that St Helena Secondary School students made about the history of X-ray technology.
- Bridge8 Coworking Space
In October, Bridge8 was very pleased to announce the establishment of a coworking space for social innovators and communications freelancers. Our two co-working colleagues Noriko Wynn and Rubina Carlson bring to our office fresh ideas, new perspectives and links to more science and social network communities that we now find invaluable.
- Ideas Worth Spreading: Technology Education Design (TED)
TED has been a strong theme in Kristin’s 2010. Whilst all of us touch base with the original TED website on a regular basis, in October Kristin presented her idea of ‘Creating Better Stories of the Future’ at the independent TED event TEDxCanberra; click here to read a written version, or watch the presentation on YouTube. In the meantime, Kristin was also organising TEDxAdelaide with an incredible volunteer production team, culminating in a highly successful event held at the RiAus on November 6th. Speakers were diverse and incredibly well-received, covering everything from roller-derby to platypus chromosomes, theatre for social change to augmented reality, parent well-being to teaching photography to children in war-zones. Videos of TEDxAdelaide presentations are now available on YouTube. Facebook and Twitter coverage have also proven very popular, fueling ongoing conversations and initiating new collaborations.
- CleanFutures AquaSens Pty Ltd
Kristin and Alexandra continued their roles in developing a nanotechnology-enabled portable phosphate, nitrate and sulfite probe for CleanFutures AquaSens, a joint venture between Australian Cleantech and Bridge8. 2010 included a trial of the industrial prototype and consolidating license arrangements, and more market research on opportunities in the wine and water industries.
- Boards, Committees and Other
Kristin has participated in a number of boards and committees including:
- National Enabling Technology Strategy Expert Forum
- Premier’s Science and Research Fund Panel
- Advisory Board for the School of Chemistry and Physical Sciences at Flinders University
- Judge for The Big Blog Theory for the best science blogger for National Science Week
- Keynote speaker for the Independent Schools Association of Queensland
- Contributor to the Millenium Project
- Board of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)
In addition to such a wonderful variety of client and project work, our individual highlights include:
- Kristin Alford graduated from the Company Directors’ Course at The Australian Institute of Company Directors, Wasn’t all work though! She also spent time in London, Paris and Berlin for fun.
- Alexandra Smart toured Peru, took up Spanish and made plans for bigger and better global touring in 2011.
- Jenna Malone became a doctor! And then announced her engagement 5 days before Christmas! Congratulations!
- Sarah Keenihan returned from maternity leave and realised her @sciencesarah Twitter tag has made her famous.
- James Hutson became a regular contributor at Bridge8, bringing us multimedia, design and web capability.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry festive season, and hope your 2011 is filled with creativity and insight.