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At the 2018 National iAwards, Data to Decisions CRC was awarded a Merit for Research and Development Project of the Year. Their Narrative Visualisation Project is an interactive tool that uses multimedia and a storytelling format to visualise information, facts and narratives that support an investigative case. It is revolutionising how law enforcement investigators and prosecutors view and communicate cases in a digital form. We recently got to chat about their iAwards experience and what’s next on their innovation journey.

What made you enter the iAwards?

When working on a research and development project, we often find ourselves focused on the product and academia. The iAwards presented an opportunity to gain awareness for our work, while also networking with other people in the field.

Why would you recommend entering the iAwards?

The iAwards gave us the opportunity to evaluate the true novelty of our work, and how best to sell it to a wider audience. The result of this was our networking at the event, which resulted in lead contacts. This is invaluable going forward. It also provided a great opportunity to network with our peers in the industry.

What did you learn from pitching at the National iAwards?

We learned that focusing on the wider appeal of the project is crucial. As researchers, you can often be so focused on the details that you lose perspective of the wider appeal needed to sell the concept.

What advice/tips would you give fellow innovators considering entering?

Take stock of what’s really novel about your work, and approach it from a “why should anyone care?” perspective. The judges are evaluating a number of projects, and so while your project might be interesting for you, ask yourself: why should they vote for your project over the next? What’s its impact?

How does it feel to have been awarded a Merit for Research and Development Project of the Year?

It’s been great to receive recognition for the project, and it has validated to us that we are working on something with real-world value and a wider contribution potential.

What’s next for the Narrative Visualisation Project?

We’re moving forward with the project to deploy it with our lead customer though our commercialisation offshoot, NQRY, while continuing our research and development.

Do you have a fun fact about your iAwards journey?

Stay away from the blue slushies!