Hills and the South Australian Government to open new national design and innovation centres


The South Australian Government and Hills Australia, a company specializing in delivering technology and communication solutions for homes, hospitals and governments, have struck $A5 million partnership deal to create two major centres of development excellence in South Australia.

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According to the media release by Hills Australia, both the company and the South Australian Government will contribute A$2.5 million over three years to support the creation and operations of the two major centres for development in the state, the first being the Lance Hill Design Centre (LHDC), named after the inventor of the renowned Hills Hoist, and the second the Digital Research and Commercialisation Centre (The D-Shop).

“We are delighted to work with the South Australian Government, the Premier and Minister Kenyon and thank them for their encouragement and support,” said Hills Group Managing Director and CEO Ted Pretty upon announcing the joint initiative.

“Hills is undergoing a major transformation to meet the challenges of the global marketplace. We believe this mirrors the latest challenges facing South Australia. We both need new opportunities for renewal and growth. We are optimistic that creating the two centres in Adelaide will act as a catalyst for new products and businesses to be incubated from within the State.”

According to him, the new centres could create up to 50 new jobs in South Australia across a number of disciplines including product and service design, advanced fabrication, user experience as well as engineering and communications, and stimulate and indirectly support up to 30 additional local researchers and developers.

In addition, Hills has committed that it will reinvest 50% of after tax profits earned in the first three years on any intellectual property developed in the centres up to the $A2.5 million committed by the South Australian Government.

The University of South Australia and the Flinders University will play key roles with both of the proposed new centres, with Hills Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr Ted Pretty, also announcing the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding with the universities to collaborate on projects at the two facilities.

“We have been in discussions for some time with Hills on how both organisations could work together on innovation. The creation of the proposed centres will act as a catalyst for identifying specific projects for co-development. We are committed to finding ways for the academic and business sectors to jointly create world class technologies capable of commercial development,” said David Lloyd, professor at the University of South Australia.

“We are most enthusiastic about the proposed new centres of development excellence and to be working with the Hills team and its positive approach to such activity in South Australia,” said Flinders University Professor Michael Barber.