Universities 'uniquely equipped' to support innovation

Monday 1 May 2017

AMDC LS

In summary

  • Speakers from Swinburne, RMIT and Melbourne to discuss future of university innovation precincts
  • Swinburne Innovation Precinct is the way forward for commercialisation of research, says director

Can university innovation precincts help to sustain the swift expansion of the startup and innovation ecosystem in Melbourne? Or are they a trend with an expiration date?

These questions will inform the discussion at the Innovation Districts: Fad or Future panel hosted by Swinburne on Thursday 4 May, as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week.

Professor Sally McArthur, director of Swinburne Innovation Precinct, says the event is an opportunity to hear from leaders in the space at Swinburne, RMIT and University of Melbourne on how universities are investing in the translation of ideas into innovation – and the resulting social and economic impact.

“I believe that universities are uniquely equipped to power innovation and, in particular, innovation that is fuelled by research,” she says.

“At Swinburne, our Innovation Precinct draws on the extensive research and innovation capabilities of the whole university to support innovation and to work with internal and external partners to identify and solve social and business challenges.

“It is not a temporary strategy – it is a way forward for the translation and commercialisation of fundamental research.”

Speakers on the panel include Pauliina Mattila, coach and facilitator at Swinburne’s Design Factory Melbourne; Jacyl Shaw, director of Melbourne’s Carlton Connect Initiative; and Vishaal Kishore, Professor of Innovation and Public Policy at RMIT and Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Government.

They will be joined by Jacqui Savage, founder and director of medical device startup MedCorp Technologies, and winner of the Victorian Entrepreneur Award at the 2016 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards.

The event comes after Universities Australia released a report, Startup Smarts: universities and the startup economy, that confirmed more than four of five startup founders are university graduates.

“Innovation precincts are being established in one form or another at most universities across Australia,” says Professor McArthur.

“We hope this event will delve deeper into what this means for the wider innovation ecosystem.”

The event, held at Engineers Australia’s Bourke Street office, is free to attend.

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 1 – 7 May 2017, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne.