VicHealth values innovation highly. Innovation has been a core part our DNA since our inception, and is the starting point of our operating model Innovate, Inform, Integrate.
Like the greatest global organisations, businesses and brands who use innovation to maintain their leading edge, VicHealth views innovation as an essential business practice that enables us to keep delivering better outcomes for Victorians.
Our mandate is to promote good health and improve the lives of Victorians and we have been delivering innovation in health and wellbeing throughout our history.
What do we mean by innovation?
For VicHealth, innovation means discovering how to accelerate health outcomes for Victorians. In other words, discovering the strategies, approaches, insights and collaborations that can put us on a fast track to creating healthier lives.
Our criteria for Innovation
Innovation starts with great ideas. VicHealth looks to discover and support great ideas that show the best promise for improving as many lives in Victoria as possible.
To do this we start with the following four areas. All of these need to be considered before we can determine whether or not we will invest in a great idea:
- Uniqueness: What makes an idea or concept unique? What problem is it trying to solve and what is being done differently that has not been attempted before?
- Priority Practice: Does the idea or concept use one of the methodologies that VicHealth has prioritised as emerging approaches to achieve greater impact? At VicHealth we prioritise Behavioural Insights, Digital Technology, Participatory Democracy and Design, Commercialisation, Collective Impact.
- Theory of Change: What difference will the idea or concept make to the health of Victorians if successfully implemented? How will it improve peoples’ lives?
- Level of Impact: If wildly successful, what are the biggest outcomes that could be generated over time? What is the potential for scale and replication?
Innovation at VicHealth is embedded in our operating model, organisation structure, processes and reporting, funding criteria, and systems. We are committed to sharing our knowledge and learnings with our partners and extended network.
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Key Innovation Projects
Victoria's Citizens' Jury on Obesity
"We have an obesity problem. How can we make it easier to eat better?"
As part of VicHealth's Leading Thinkers Initiative, we held a Citizens' Jury in October 2015 with the aim of engaging the community in a discussion and debate around potential solutions for overweight and obesity.
Over six weeks, the jury reviewed a number of responses to the question above which were submitted from many different parties. These submissions formed the 'evidence' and covered a number of viewpoints.
VicHealth Innovation Challenges
Kick-starting bright ideas
Launched in 2014, VicHealth's Innovation Challenges invite pitches for initiatives that encourage healthier behaviours in four areas: physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption, mental health and wellbeing via participation in the arts, and improving access to sustainable, nutritious foods.
The most promising ideas are rewarded with start-up funds, our support and a growing network of mentors and capacity builders to test out those solutions in practice.
Elevate: Improving health equity in Victoria
Exploring & testing socially innovative ways to improve health equityVicHealth’s vision is for a Victoria where all people have the means to a good and healthy life, regardless of cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, income, educational attainment, occupation, or where in the state they live.
Elevate seeks to promote health equity by enabling innovative thinking and the design of new solutions at community, inter-organisation, or population levels.
Resilience insights and innovation lab
Improving the mental health and wellbeing of young Victorians
One in four young Victorians experience mental health difficulties – affecting their relationships, negatively impacting their studies, and disrupting their ability to work.
The Resilience Insights and Innovation Lab is a social design lab for developing innovative health promotion initiatives with young people, for young people.
The initiative is be aimed at building resilience in young people – improving their ability to maintain balance in the face of adversity, and empowering and enabling them to develop and realise their strengths.
VicHealth Innovation Research Grants
Trialing new ideas and concepts
VicHealth Innovation Research Grants provide an opportunity for research teams to trial an innovative idea, research a new concept or methodology, or to develop better supporting evidence relevant to the theory, policy and practice of health promotion.
The scheme funds researchers to undertake a two-year research project addressing specific research priorities related to the VicHealth Action Agenda for Health Promotion.
Leading Thinkers initiative
Connecting international thought leaders with senior policymakers and key local experts
The initiative is designed to to generate and provoke new thinking, inspire momentum, enable change, support and deepen relationships across sectors and deliver results for all Victorians.
VicHealth has worked with a consortium of partners on the initiative, ensuring the strategic focus benefits the Victorian community and beyond.
Professor Iris Bohnet and Dr Jeni Klugman have partnered with VicHealth as part of its Leading Thinker initiative.