Universities have an essential role in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in private, public and non-profit sectors. Entrepreneurship and innovation requires enthusiasm, a persistent drive to succeed, and leveraging informal knowledge networks.
In an effort to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia, the University of Sydney has established an on-campus innovation hub known as The Sydney Social Innovation Hub to provide early-stage student ventures with the enabling knowledge, resources, physical infrastructure and financial support needed to develop high-impact innovations and create high-growth startups.
The Sydney Social Innovation Hub will provide a central facility for undergraduate and postgraduate students across all programs in the University to co-create, develop and innovate with other students, academics, alumni, community and industry.
IBM Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Cameron Barnes has been roped in as an expert-in-residence for the hub’s flagship program, Hatch at Sydney. The program will provide early stage cross-disciplinary projects and fill need to demonstrate a “social benefit” in order to qualify for support. Barnes said,
Passionate young innovators and entrepreneurs need more than an education in their chosen field— they need mentoring, guidance and support to materialize new ideas and solutions for a new and rapidly evolving world. In the innovation hub, we are seeking to provide that support with access to industry-leading expertise and a developmental environment that is need to fast track development of their innovations. If you have an idea, the Sydney Social Innovation Hub will ensure that you have the resources to bring it to life.
Former Australian Chief Scientist Ian Chubb has previously mentioned that the key to a successful entrepreneurial economy is close involvement and collaboration with the country’s universities. Entrepreneurship is a human endeavor, not independent of it and is thus, inseparable from education.
To be a more innovative country, we need to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset at every level of education— starting in schools, continuing in higher education and enduring throughout working lives.