The growth of information in the digital age has even created a buzzword – “big data”. It’s often used disparagingly but in reality the growth of recorded information means more to society and business than at any point in history.

The public is wary of data, having viewed leaks from government intelligent agencies with skepticism and scorn. But businesses have been able to use this information to create better products and more insightful services. Open access to government databases, for example, has provided businesses with the ability to create faster databases and services – such as real-time health care data being used inside hospitals.

With the assistance of Google Australia we know there is considerable demand from private and public-sector organisations for a real-time geospatial address file. It is increasingly hard for these organisations that rely on geospatial address information to plan and deliver services to their customers with the rapidly changing characteristics of addresses across Western Sydney and around Australia.

Data-driven innovation is one of the keys to unlocking a huge amount of monetary potential in the Australian economy. It will be increasingly crucial for businesses and public organisations to use public data in order to make products more accessible and powerful.

Together with the University of Western Sydney, Google, Cisco and the New South Wales Government, PwC is piloting a new approach to public innovation and problem solving. Our “open innovation” model brings together a wide mix of experience and expertise from business, governments, individuals and entrepreneurs to solve structural problems impacting growth and sustainability

The following problem is being put to groups attending our upcoming innovation event at the UWS:

How to develop innovative ways to crowdsource a real-time geospatial address file.

The benefits of such a file would be tremendous, but the problem of creating one

As part of the Open Innovation process, teams will put together a solution to Google, the main sponsor of this problem, potential investors and customers for the opportunity to work in a 12-week acceleration process alongside PwC and UWS. The process will help strengthen the chosen solution in order to attract demand.

Does this sound like a problem you want to solve? Then consider applying for the Open Innovation event, which takes place at UWS on September 6+7.

Applications close on Friday, 29 August – visit to submit an application and for more information on the event.

Our Open Innovation process has been proven successful in other areas. In 2012, we worked with Transport for New South Wales and other entrants to come up with solutions for the public transport system – multiple public-facing apps were developed during the process. To read more about the 2012 App Hot House, click here.