ASPIRE (Advisory System for Processing, Innovation and Resource Exchange) has been created over the last 4 years with support from the Victorian State Government via the Digital Futures Fund, CSIRO, data61, 4 local councils led by City of Kingston, Barwon South West Waste Resource & Recovery Group (WRRG), and over 230 businesses across multiple sectors. ASPIRE has come to the end of the pilot program and is going to be commercialised and expand the concept under a new entity, this new entity will manage the program with the intention to start clusters in NSW, QLD, TAS and SA.

Will the CSIRO/ data61 still have input with the new entity?

Yes, as they are the creator of the platform.

Will the new entity be 100% independent from the CSIRO/data61?

Yes. Structured as a Pty Ltd. CSIRO/ data61 will advise on a particular direction when required.

Is the material availability data shared between all the councils?

Yes. This is a key benefit of ASPIRE. However, this information is presented to the end-users via a match-making algorithm, so they don’t see everything.

How many businesses are currently on the ASPIRE system?

There are currently 230 businesses registered on the ASPIRE system, with over 16 ongoing exchange relationships.

Does the system give alerts if there are no matches and/if when one becomes available?

Currently, monthly emails are sent. Alert emails are under consideration; this is a balance in terms of understanding how much attention we seek from SME users. However, if a match becomes available, the initiating party (i.e. the person who registered the resource) will immediately have contact details for the waiting party. Co-creating the required changes to ASPIRE will be undertaken in the first 12 months of the handover.

How many networks are the current 230 businesses spread across?

A ‘Network’ can be seen as a synonym for City Council, WRRG or industry association. There are currently 4 City Councils and 1 WRRG in the ASPIRE ecosystem. We have 4 new networks joining ASPIRE in 2019-20

How confidential is the information provided by the businesses?

No, sensitive data is not shared between business members in the network, only match data. Businesses can choose whether or not to provide information on resource quantity and frequency, which are then shared. The nominal value of the resource is not shared.

Are large recyclers being excluded from ASPIRE?

No, recyclers are a special case. Most recyclers and fall outside of the normal registration process for councils and businesses. We recognise both the need to engage, and to do so carefully.

Do councils have visibility of all of the products available in their area?

Yes, and we are looking to make the access more user-friendly with the upgrade.

What do the councils get back (individually) for their financial contribution?

The current package includes access to the ASPIRE program, unlimited tech support for issues relating to access to and usage of ASPIRE’s electronic systems, resources for training and marketing purposes, advertising and marketing media, comprehensive training and usage documentation, and approval to advertise member status in ASPIRE. Training on both the website and developing for an effective plan to engage businesses in the council network. All information is detailed in the specific prospectus material.

Do matches from the entire ASPIRE network show in search results?

Yes, currently all matches to searches show when using the ASPIRE system. There are additional fine-grained controls around the range of search (distance from chosen location) which will be added to future versions of the software.

What stops businesses from outside the ASPIRE areas from adding themselves/applying to the ASPIRE network?

All new business applications must pass through an approval process. This happens prior to being added to the ASPIRE system ensuring that only authorised businesses have access.
Networks are responsible for that approval in the first instance, but this falls back to the ASPIRE team in case of questions or difficulty. Networks or councils may approve businesses outside their area in special cases.

Are training/marketing resources available for exposure to businesses; i.e. can ASPIRE staff be made available for site visits or training sessions?

Yes, ASPIRE staff can be made available on request for site visits and for network meeting as it’s a part of the benefits of being a member.

What happens in the event of a council wanting to exit from the ASPIRE programme?

We have processes in place to allow a graceful exit from the programme, although if any ASPIRE members have an issue with the ASPIRE system, staff or data/materials we request that we urgently are made aware so that they can be resolved prior to contemplation of departure from ASPIRE.

Is there a minimum time commitment from each council?

For an effective business uptake, in-kind support of 4 hours a week is needed from network felicitators.
For the ASPIRE program to form a sound network in your region, a 2-year commitment is highly recommended.

Is every resource exchange currently being captured?

No, every resource match is currently being captured but due to the nature of the different business. The system does not capture discussions or agreements/transactions between network members, however, solutions for deeper capture of transactional data will be rolled out with the upgrade