Macquarie Park Innovation District partners (left to right): John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business; The Hon John Barilaro MP, NSW Minister for Small Business; Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement), Macquarie University; and Gavin Fox-Smith, Managing Director, Johnson and Johnson Australia.
It’s been a bumper week for Macquarie on the innovation front, with two major projects announced at last week’s Australian Financial Review Innovation Summit.
The University has partnered with six other Macquarie Park-based businesses – Optus, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, KonicaMinolta, NAB and AMP Capital – to launch the Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID).
MPID will be a world-class, collaborative ecosystem where researchers, entrepreneurs and some of the world’s most-recognised businesses will come together to incubate creativity and find unique solutions to global and community issues.
Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement), says the MPID will provide a wealth of benefits to the University, and staff will play an important role in its success.
“By increasing the level of engagement with our partners in Macquarie Park there will be more opportunities for collaboration, internships, entrepreneurship training and incubation opportunities, uplift in PACE placements and co-operative employment placements,” he says. “Ultimately for us it’s about making Macquarie Park a great place to learn, work and innovate.”
“The University is a crucial element of MPID, bringing our world-class research and some of Australia’s brightest talent to the district. I am confident that MPID has the right ingredients to become one of Australia’s foremost innovation centres. We want staff to get involved, be part of MPID and help spark the ideas that will bring this district to life.”
The MPID growth strategy is based on existing Macquarie Park infrastructure, with enabling elements including entrepreneurship and start-up support, collaboration and community spaces and, most importantly, innovative events programming. As the area grows, more activities and infrastructure will be added to facilitate collaboration including a potential driverless shuttle-bus service, SMART cafes in the area, ‘hackathons’ and partnerships with international innovation districts.
In addition to the launch of MPID, the University was last week provided with a $1 million grant from the NSW Government to enable the development of the Macquarie University Business Innovation Centre.
The primary focus of the centre will be to stimulate, drive and nurture innovation through process improvement and product development. Aimed at entrepreneurs and start-ups, SMEs, government agencies, and other industry in the Macquarie Park and North Sydney region, the centre is predicted to be a thriving hub of innovation.
A pop-up Macquarie University Business Innovation Centre will foster research collaboration, intrapreneurship training opportunities, outreach activities within the local community and access to technical equipment such as 3D printers.
Stage one, which includes the creation of a pop-up space in E3B, is expected to be up and running by mid-September 2016.
Updates on how staff can get involved and a schedule of MPID events will be shared in the coming weeks.