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Telstra R&D talent quest inundated

Telstra claims it has been inundated with hundreds of entries for its research and development talent quest to be judged in November by the telco's chief technology officer.

update Telstra claims it has been inundated with hundreds of entries for its research and development talent quest to be judged in November by the telco's chief technology officer.

The competition, announced in August and operating under the banner of Telstra's External R&D program, has drawn "hundreds" of entrants in the short space of time given to make submissions.

Technologies submitted covered a vast array of applications, including security technologies to protect against denial-of-service attacks (DoS). For example, the DoS launched against the Prime Minister & Cabinet's website earlier this month, identity protection on SIM and smart cards, and phone tracking software for population analysis amongst others.

Talent quest judge, Telstra's chief technology officer, Hugh Bradlow said he was impressed by the applications it received. "Both the quantum and the quality of the submissions to date demonstrate the creativity and innovation across the board in Australia. It is really great to see submissions from a wide range of organisations as well as the more traditional R&D centres," said Bradlow in a statement.

The R&D competition was a result of Telstra's change in leadership, which put a greater emphasis on engaging with innovators, ZDNet.com.au understands. Former chief executive Sol Trujillo didn't have a big focus on research and development, whereas new CEO David Thodey does.

Submissions had to meet two basic requirements: that they provide a benefit or new service to industry or Australian consumers, and be relevant to Telstra's business.

Other submissions included a social networking site for school teacher support, voice biometrics for a secure voice service, a tool for small businesses to read their carbon footprint, new questioning techniques for Triple Zero operators, an e-health application for tele-rehabilitation for chronic lung diseases, a remote obesity monitoring tool, and early warning systems for water leaks.

The competition closed on 16 September, and a shortlist of entrants is expected to be made within the next month, while judging has been set for November where candidates will have to make an "elevator pitch" to a panel of Telstra executives.

Telstra outlined in its terms and conditions that applicants would retain ownership of their intellectual property, but, if selected for the "Collaboration Phase" of the competition, will be required to enter into an agreement with Telstra for the commercialisation of the project.