As a dynamic global network, the UIIN brings together individuals and organisations that are committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship through university-industry engagement. Central to its attractiveness is its global reach and thus the opportunity to share knowledge across a global community of likeminded individuals; and to work together to drive best practice and thought leadership globally.
Australia is a country of many opportunities, great ideas and world class science. Yet its vast lands, low level of business collaboration and a competitive, high performing higher education system have traditionally been less conducive to strong university-industry or university-employer collaborations. Today the country has a clear goal to advance innovation and science, and with it to enhance university-industry engagement. So what better time than now to collaborate to create a chapter dedicated to advancing the topic?
Australia has built on the global by adding the local – in the form of a national UIIN chapter. While connected to the global UIIN community, the UIIN Australia chapter facilitates a stronger national community of those people committed to university-industry engagement.
As the first of its kind, the UIIN Australia chapter was launched in July 2017. Guided by a clear vision to maximise opportunities for our Australian knowledge society to support, encourage and develop engagement between university and business for economic and societal benefit, the chapter seeks to achieve five primary goals:
- To collaboratively develop and share practice and knowledge in university-industry engagement across Australia.
- To contribute to the development and formalisation of an international university-industry engagement profession.
- To engage in a national and global conversation and make a contribution to global and national thought-leadership in the area of university-industry cooperation / engagement,
- To advance and drive a more robust, prosperous and equitable Australian society through a dynamic and prosperous university-industry cooperation / engagement sector.
- To support evidence-based policy development related to university-industry engagement.
The future of the chapter aims to create professional development opportunities, symposia and a regional biannual conference, alongside a unique online portal offering collaboration, information and connection opportunities for Australian Chapter members. Importantly, members have already started working together towards advancing three key areas or nodes:
Node 1: Place-based collaboration/innovation districts
Effectively brokering the interface between research and industry to drive global competitive advantage continues to be a challenge for SMEs in Australia. This node seeks to look at the role that place-based multi-stakeholder collaborations can have to significantly overcome some of the barriers. What does success look like in an Australian context? How can our collective knowledge and experience of these districts help support the implementation of the University Precinct Strategy the Federal Government is likely to release later this year.
Node 2: Entrepreneurship and Universities
From commercialisation to lean startup, universities are responding to an increased call to be fast, lean and open to collaborative entrepreneurship models. This node seeks to advance the culture of entrepreneurship within universities, and in collaborations between university and the startup ecosystem. We look at the role of entrepreneurship in university education and the rise and value of startup facilitation within the student body. We investigate how universities can and are working with open I.P. and we seek to understand, and add value to the partnership between university and the wider ecosystem.
Node 3: University – industry cooperation (scaling cooperation)
The topic of university-industry cooperation continues to increase in importance in Australia. With a historical focus on research excellence shifting through the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which places Universities at a central position of the economy. This node seeks to develop the topic of university-industry cooperation focusing on bringing together the boundary-spanners working to develop collaboration, creating practical tools and methods to support its development and developing evidence-base for policy decisions.
If you seek to connect with likeminded professionals in Australia, and jointly advance university-business engagement, we would love to hear from you. For other countries seeking to further strengthen your local community, why not consider your own national or regional chapter? We would be happy to guide you though how we did it.
We thank our organisational members for their continuous support:
Learn more about the UIIN Australia Chapter here
Register if you would like to join the UIIN Australia Chapter as an Inaugural Member here