Strategy positions UTS as innovation game changer

A creative intelligence lab in action at UTS. Students, staff and practitioners solve a real-world problem by applying design thinking. Picture by Anna Zhu

A creative intelligence lab in action at UTS. Students, staff and practitioners solve a real-world problem by applying design thinking. Picture by Anna Zhu

In summary: 
  • Student innovation and entrepreneurship and opening up cutting-edge facilities and resources to startups and the community are key elements of UTS's new Innovation and Creative Intelligence Strategy
  • Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the strategy was a "commitment to transforming our approach to teaching and learning, to research and to industry engagement"

A new plan, focusing on student innovation and entrepreneurship and opening up UTS's cutting-edge facilities and resources to startups and the community, has been launched by UTS Vice Chancellor, Professor Attila Brungs.

Launching the university's Innovation and Creative Intelligence Strategy 2015-2018, Professor Brungs said that while innovation is now in the national spotlight, UTS has from its inception been focussed on collaborating with industry and conducting research and teaching and learning with real-world applications.

"At UTS we have always had an innovative approach to teaching and learning, research and engagement and we want to continue to lead in the innovation space," Professor Brungs said.

"Our new campus in the heart of Sydney's digital and creative industries helps connect and drive opportunities for ideas, collaboration and entrepreneurship.

Bachelor of Medical Science/Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation student Anabel Vici spoke at the strategy launch, Professor Attila Brungs in the background. Picture by Carmen Lee Platt Bachelor of Medical Science/Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation student Anabel Vici spoke at the strategy launch, Professor Attila Brungs in the background. Picture by Carmen Lee Platt

"With more than 52 startups per square kilometre in the Ultimo postcode, this precinct has become a hub of innovative activity. Our new strategy will drive engagement and ideas sharing across the university and with industry and government, building on work that the university has been doing in the area for some time."

Professor Brungs said this new strategy builds on the university's Innovation and Creative Intelligence Strategy 2015-2018 and ideally positions UTS for the opportunity at hand, as the Federal Government prepares its highly anticipated innovation statement, which according to Assistant Minister for Innovation, Wyatt Roy, will be a "game changer."

"Not before time the role of Australian universities as a lynch pin of innovation is being recognised by government and industry," Professor Brungs said.

"Universities are a critical part of Australia's innovation system, skilling and equipping the workforce of the future, producing research with impact and creating new knowledge.

"At the centre of the UTS strategy is a commitment to transforming our approach to teaching and learning, to research and to industry engagement."

One example of this already underway is the highly successful Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. Developed by academics from across seven disciplines, students in this degree employ high-level conceptual thinking to tackle real briefs from real clients.

"We are opening our doors even wider to industry and government, harnessing the collaborative approaches to working used by the startup industry," Professor Brungs said. "Already UTS provides accommodation for Australia's largest co-working startup, Fishburners, and the Federal Government's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has its Sydney base at UTS.

"Front and centre in the strategy is the university's newly created, independent company, Piivot. It is supported by a range of government and industry partners and exists to build connections, foster collaborations, connect aspiring young entrepreneurs with the right people, and support the vibrant ecosystem here in Sydney.

"Initiatives like these, coupled with the newly transformed UTS campus, will see the enriched precinct in years to come be a hub of innovation activity like those in the US and Europe."