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Cerebral Palsy Alliance

CPA case study

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) has launched an initiative to identify enterprises that develop technologies to help people with disabilities.

In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, CPA is finding more innovative ways to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy, the most common childhood physical disability in Australia.

Joshua O’Rourke, CPA’s head of Relationship Fundraising, says: “In the Not-for-Profit sector we are subject to the same market forces as any other industry and we, too, face disruptive threats and constrained resources. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has forced us to reshape our organisation to better meet the needs of our clients, who now have greater power of choice.”

CPA has focused on two major initiatives to help it adapt to a changing funding environment while delivering the best support possible.

Brilliant ideas

In 2016 it launched Australia’s first disability tech accelerator program called Remarkable, designed to identify enterprises developing technologies that help people with disabilities. The program was launched with support from the Telstra Foundation and the Department of Family and Community Services.

“There are a lot of smart people with brilliant ideas who need help to get to the next level,” says Remarkable founder and program manager Peter Horsley.

“Remarkable helps these enterprises with start-up capital, co-working spaces, mentoring and coaching, as well as providing access to investor networks.”

Better treatments

Another focus is research and development. CPA has established the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation to fund the best Australian and international research into prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for cerebral palsy.

In addition, CPA has established the Ainsworth Chair of Technology and Innovation at the University of Sydney. Professor Alistair McEwan was appointed to the role in 2017 and will focus on harnessing advanced technology and innovation to accelerate the search for better treatments and interventions for childhood disabilities.

“The CPA Research Foundation also runs a global open grants program that has delivered more than $30 million to researchers over the past 10 years. Essentially, we want to put ourselves out of business by preventing cerebral palsy or developing a cure," Prof McEwan says.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The March 2018 CommBank Not-for-Profit Insights Report is based on a sub-set of a wide-ranging quantitative survey of 2,473 business owners, decision makers and managers. This sub-set comprises responses from 413 organisations within Not-for-Profit sectors (including charities, social/advocacy organisations, professional/trade associations, community services and sporting/recreational clubs). The survey was conducted on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank by DBM Consultants between August and October 2017, with further analysis by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank. Participants were drawn from businesses across Australia with an annual turnover of over $500,000 and at least two employees. The survey was designed to benchmark the innovation performance of each Not-for-Profit business, identifying the key motivations and drivers influencing their performance, and highlighting best practice. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.