Thursday, 6 July 2017
The University of Adelaide will today launch a major new innovation hub aimed at giving locally based start-up companies the best opportunities to succeed and grow.
Called ThincLab Adelaide, the facility will provide a supportive business environment and will drive commercialisation and entrepreneurship opportunities for students, staff and like-minded members of the community, helping to foster innovation in the State.
This month, more than 50 new ventures are moving into the ThincLab headquarters, located in the city of Adelaide as part of the University's North Terrace campus.
These new ventures feature innovative business solutions that span a range of industry sectors, including: health and exercise, agriculture, aerospace and automotive engineering, environment, energy, digital gaming, science communications, and food and drink.
"ThincLab Adelaide is an incredibly exciting initiative – not just for the University of Adelaide but also for the State," says Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Brooks.
"ThincLab represents a boosted commitment to commercialisation and entrepreneurship in South Australia. It reinforces our leadership nationwide of entrepreneurship, and in education and outreach programs aimed at fostering innovation, a leadership position the University of Adelaide has held for many years.
"The best universities around the world contribute enormously to the economic and social wellbeing of their nations. The University of Adelaide has a long tradition of translating or applying our research; many of our research strengths have grown into or contributed to highly successful business ventures.
"ThincLab will be a critical part of this culture of innovation, helping to create an environment in which new business ideas can thrive," Professor Brooks says.
ThincLab Adelaide is located next to the University's Adelaide Business School and its Entrepreneurship Commercialisation & Innovation Centre (ECIC), which runs the nation’s biggest investor-ready program, the Australian eChallenge. The eChallenge now has multiple streams across different sectors and is also being licensed to run overseas. Over the past six months alone, last year’s Australian eChallenge finalists have collectively secured more than $5 million in funding for their start-ups.
"ThincLab Adelaide builds on the years of success we've achieved with the Australian eChallenge and our suite of educational programs," says Professor Noel Lindsay, Pro Vice-Chancellor Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide, and Director of ECIC.
"We see ThincLab as a place where unconventional thinkers can give their ideas an unfair advantage. It’s home to creative thinkers, to disrupters, people who are willing to challenge the norm and give new ideas a go. These are the people – from students and staff of the University to business-minded people in our community – who see the world differently. For them, ideas are everything.
"Entrepreneurship is about creating new jobs in industries that might not yet exist. With ThincLab, our goal is to ensure that every student, staff member and start-up in the State has access to the best possible resources and opportunities to support them on that path," Professor Lindsay says.
ThincLab offers start-ups a space in which they have access to a range of tools, resources and networks.
It provides access to the University's brightest academic minds and business mentors, and enables ThincLab tenants to connect with the experts in residence at the University's technology transfer unit, Adelaide Enterprise, as well as ECIC.
ThincLab also includes a state-of-the-art prototyping lab and design studio, housing the latest 3D printers and fabrication technology. These are operated by highly skilled lab technicians to support the rapid development of product designs.
Professor Lindsay says participants in ThincLab Adelaide will also have the opportunity to develop global experience:
"ThincLab Adelaide is our local innovation hub headquarters; however, the ThincLab concept is based on a distributed network model – called 'ThincNet' – with ThincLab nodes located in other parts of the University, and with sister ThincLab Innovation Hubs in France and Singapore, which will help to connect our Adelaide start-ups with the heart of the European and Asian markets," he says.
For more information about ThincLab Adelaide, visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/thinclab