Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Australia’s economic growth is under threat but we can remain competitive with the help of strong and collaborative university-industry connections, say the organisers of an international conference being held in Adelaide this week.
The University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University are working together to deliver the inaugural Asia-Pacific University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) conference in Adelaide (15-17 February).
The UIIN Conference - From Best Practice to Next Practice - Asia-Pacific Opportunities and Perspectives - brings together global experts focused on driving university-industry engagement, innovation and entrepreneurship that addresses and solves real-world issues, supports the transformation of industries, and drives economic growth.
The University of Adelaide's Pro Vice-Chancellor (Entrepreneurship), Professor Noel Lindsay, says one of the key issues to emerge from the conference will be its focus on helping universities and the State to become truly entrepreneurial.
"Collaboration with industry in itself is not new but the environment has shifted greatly in the 21st century. Now more than ever, there's a real opportunity for universities and industry to better understand and build on each other's strengths, enabling each sector to tap into new opportunities," Professor Lindsay says.
Professor Lindsay, who is also Director of the University's highly successful Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), says the state's universities have a key role to play in generating the right "ecosystem" for innovation.
"At the conference, we will help university leaders and business to better understand what it means to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their thinking, to respond nimbly to opportunities and challenges while also being backed by a world-class knowledge base, which is one of the greatest strengths of any research-focused university,” he says.
"The University of Adelaide has been working tirelessly to generate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in South Australia for decades. Since 2001 we've been running the Australian eChallenge, which is the nation's leading student entrepreneur 'investor ready' program, to help foster new generations of business leaders.
"We've now successfully introduced our eChallenge model into France – operating in engineering and business schools in Paris, Nice, Strasbourg, Lyon, Troyes, and Chalons-en-Champagne – and announced our first ever French-based business incubator, the ThincLab Chalons, which will start this year. This venture will greatly benefit new business ideas and opportunities in both France and South Australia, in collaboration with the exciting new development, the ThincLab Adelaide innovation hub, to be launched later this year," he says.
Workshops across the Asia-Pacific University-Industry Engagement Conference are being held across Adelaide from February 15-17.