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Fostering innovation and growth

DG’s innovation challenge

In July 2017 the Director-General launched the first ever TMR Hack. The TMR Hack was an open innovation challenge in which staff were asked to form teams and work on problems and ideas while focusing on customer needs and TMR’s strategic priorities.

Over 250 staff participated in hack teams, creating 54 submissions. 15% of the submissions are being implemented locally, with 32% under further investigation. The top 4 teams were invited to pitch their ideas to the Executive Leadership Team’s ‘Shark Tank’. One of the ideas has been implemented as a pilot and 3 were progressed through the iHQ innovation lab.

iHQ innovation lab

Three of the TMR Hack finalist teams continued their journey in the iHQ innovation lab. Over 6 weeks teams performed research, customer insights, stakeholder engagement and investigated their challenges. They used this information to develop a case for implementation, which was presented to the Executive Leadership Team at the end of the process.

iHQ Hailo team presenting to ELT in the Customer Experience Lab
The iHQ Hailo team presenting to the Executive Leadership Team in the Customer Experience Lab

The 3 concepts that progressed through iHQ were:

  • home-grown material services: investigating how material services could be more effectively delivered in remote areas
  • TMR safe houses: investigating how TMR-owned properties could be repurposed as temporary accommodation for people in need, including victims of domestic and family violence
  • Hailo: investigating ways to make sure buses stop for vulnerable passengers on the public transport network, including people with vision impairments.


We have participated in a range of Hackathons with industry and startups. This includes the KPMG Hackathon in March 2018, where we explored one of the ideas submitted during the TMR Hack. The concept involves using neural analytics to predict bus delays caused by unexpected incidents, like car accidents and flash flooding). This data would be used to provide customers with information to decide on the best way to get to their destination. The idea won the customer award at the Hackathon and is now being developed as a proof of concept through our Digital Incubator program to have it work with our existing systems. 

Building our digital capability

TMR has introduced a digital incubator—in this program, teams work through business problems to create products that can be tested and further developed. Several ideas that went through in the incubator include:

  • investigating how automatic pot hole detection could be used in place of manual processes
  • simplifying customers’ access to our online services by using their email address and password
  • trialling cloud-based process management software to streamline process and procedure management within TMR.

Teams exploring ideas in the digital incubator
Teams exploring ideas in the digital incubator

Read more in our annual report