Universities power up industry innovation opportunities

UIIN ConferenceAustralia’s economic growth is under threat but we can remain competitive with the help of strong and collaborative university-industry connections.

To help achieve this the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide are working together to deliver the inaugural Asia-Pacific University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) conference in Adelaide this week.

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.

University of South Australia’s Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President of Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro is delighted South Australia’s three universities are working collaboratively to bring university managers, researchers, policymakers, and innovation and entrepreneurship managers from all across the world to share their knowledge about collaboration between universities and business in Adelaide.

“Global economic uncertainties are forcing a renewed emphasis on the critical role of innovation and productive partnerships in underpinning thriving, resilient economies,” Prof Monro says.

“The University of South Australia is committed to solving complex, real-world problems through close collaboration with government, industry, commerce, the professions and other community groups.”

UniSA’s Head of Partner Engagement, Natalie Forde, says the Federal Government’s recently announced new innovation policy, NISA, puts innovation at the heart of Australia’s economic future.

“Woven throughout this government statement and priorities is recognition of the important role that collaboration between universities and end-users will play in this agenda,” Forde says.

“The UIIN conference is a key forum for sharing best practice from across the world, and to learn from local organisations that are leading the way in building the conditions for successful collaboration and ultimately, economic impact.”

Executive Dean of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Flinders University, Professor Phyllis Tharenou, says the conference will provide access to global thought-leadership and best practice and help initiate new networks and collaborations for further collaborations and R&D in South Australia.

“Flinders University has a long history of engagement, collaboration and innovation with industry, including at its new state-of-the-art facilities at the Tonsley innovation precinct in Adelaide,” Prof Tharenou says.

“By hosting the inaugural UIIN Asia-Pacific conference here in Adelaide, we are reflecting the increasing contribution university-industry collaboration is playing in driving socio-economic advancement in our State and signalling the ability of our three universities to act as thought-leaders in the wider region.”

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," Prof 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.

Workshops across the Asia-Pacific University-Industry Engagement Conference - University-Industry Engagement: From Best Practice to Next Practice - Asia-Pacific Opportunities and Perspectives are being held across Adelaide from February 15-17.

Media Contact Katrina McLachlan office (08) 8302 0961 email katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au mobile 0414972537

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