Ericsson Turns to R&D
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[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Ericsson Australia is driving local R&D with the launch of a competition designed to encourage a range of business sizes to develop innovative workplace communications applications.With $45,000 set as total prize money, the inaugural 'Ericsson Innovation Awards' are expected to assist Australian companies to recognize research and development (R&D) within their organizations, and aim to highlight R&D as vital in developing the business which will enable Australia to recognize its full online potential. Innovation Awards will be presented to individuals or team within companies seen to have used communications technology in the most creative manner which has lead to an overall improvement of business performance. Eligible projects should demonstrate how the application of technology has improved business in the areas of customer satisfaction, reduced customer fulfilment times, reduced costs or increased profitability. The three categories are small to medium-sized businesses with up to 100 employees, large businesses with more than 100 employees, and non profit or government organizations. Ericsson said the awards were created to provide an opportunity for people who might not be employed directly in research labs to be recognized and encouraged. "Innovation in communication can be developed at any level of an organization whether it be in the boardroom or on the shop floor," said Ericsson Australia's managing director Karl Sundstrom. "The aim of the Awards is to reward the efforts of people in an organization wherever a significant contribution has been made. It's not just about big budget projects with a team of research experts," he said. Sundstrom said the launch of the awards was particularly timely in the context of present discussions on the need for innovation in Australia. "It is essential that there be greater recognition of the need for support in competency development and skills enhancement," he said. "The Ericsson Innovation Awards are a way of demonstrating our company's commitment to R&D while also encouraging other Australian companies to recognize its importance." The announcement of these awards come two months after the Nokia Hothouse Developer's Awards, which rewarded innovation in the wireless application development arena. Today Telstra has also announced a major reshaping of its research activities with the formation of a new chief technology officer role and the creation of three New Wave Laboratories - New Wave Innovation, New Wave Research and New Wave Development. In a move which sees the New Wave Laboratories break away from Telstra Research Laboratories (TRL), chief technology officer and former TRL managing director, Dr Hugh Bradlow, said the changes represented the first significant transformation of Telstra's R&D for 77 years.