2018 ASEAN-Australia Codeathon

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AUSTRAC  is the first known government law enforcement or intelligence agency to run a global Codeathon forum. AUSTRAC leveraged innovation, collaboration and exploited technology to improve its business operations, develop efficient new solutions in consultation with government partners, industry, academia and the private sector.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Australia’s financial system is vast, complex and vibrant. Organised criminal syndicates are sophisticated and dynamic and constantly develop new ways to exploit any vulnerability they can find to launder the proceeds of their illegal activities.

Those motivated to support terrorist ventures mimic legitimate activity in financing those who wish to cause harm.

How can an agency of 300 people possibly detect and disrupt terrorism financing and criminal abuse of Australia’s financial system? Simple… Have the courage to ask for help!

One the eve of the historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney in March 2018, the Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) hosted Australia’s first ever Codeathon – dedicated to generating novel approaches to solving Australia’s most complex law enforcement and intelligence problems.

Thirteen teams made up of highly experienced specialists from government agencies, industry, the finance and banking sector, FinTechs, RegTechs, consultancy firms and a range of academia across Australia and all of our ASEAN partner countries collaborated and competed to discover and develop new solutions in a gruelling 32 hour challenge. We also had AUSTRAC intelligence and compliance analyst expertise as ‘mentors’ on the ground throughout the event to fuse skillsets collectively in an attempt to best solve the money laundering, terrorism-financing and cyber threats we face on a daily basis.

Our participants pitched their solutions to our eminent panel of experts and following the judging, awards and bounties for the most innovative and pioneering solutions for the following categories were awarded:
• the use of big data to combat terrorism financing
• the disruption of money launderers across the ASEAN
• exploiting financial data to gain insights
• applying AI to improve compliance
• the use of blockchain
• collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The very best ideas from the ASEAN-Australia Codeathon will continue to be incubated and prototyped in AUSTRAC’s Innovation Hub, which provides a safe space for us to co-design potential solutions with partners.

The Codeathon achieved a global success with television, radio and print coverage estimated to have reached an audience of 700,000 people.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2018
Level of government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on

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