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New partnerships focus on IT and innovation

Nick Wilson from Hewlett-Packard, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, Professor David Lloyd and SA Education Minister Grace Portolesi.Nick Wilson from Hewlett-Packard, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, Professor David Lloyd
and SA Education Minister Grace Portolesi.

UniSA has forged two key partnerships with industry this month which will benefit not only UniSA students and researchers but also industry and innovation in South Australia.

The first partnership is with global IT giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) while the second is with South Australian company Hills Limited.

Under the HP partnership, UniSA will be home to a new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre.

HP is set to begin operations in April at the City West campus before moving into the University’s new health and biomedical building on North Terrace in 2018.

As part of the partnership, UniSA and HP will jointly develop and, next year, launch a new four-year honours degree program in IT and business informatics, coupling leading edge training and education with internships at HP for students during the course of their studies.

A $5.5 million state government grant will help UniSA establish the HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre. The State Government will also commit $150,000 a year for a student entrepreneur initiative that will support innovative students to pursue commercialisation of new ideas in the ICT sector in partnership with HP and other companies.

HP will also be a foundation partner in UniSA’s Science l Creativity l Education Studio (SciCEd) which will also be located in the new building.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the partnership will support education, participation and achievement in science, information and communications technologies, engineering and maths – all key in underpinning the next generation of entrepreneurs who can succeed on a global scale.

“HP’s expansion and investment in South Australia will bring jobs growth but also vital opportunities for students and graduates to engage in industry-based experience and learning,” Prof Lloyd says.

“The new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre at UniSA will provide a unique environment where students, graduates, commercialisation experts and industry have opportunities to explore new ideas for business and products, acting as an incubator for new small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and a pipeline for the commercialisation of new innovations.”

Times Higher Education already ranks UniSA’s IT programs in the world’s top 100, and sixth in Australia.

Managing Director, HP South Pacific, Nick Wilson says HP is excited to be partnering with UniSA and the South Australian Government to help develop further and promote ICT education, training and careers in the state.

“Our collaboration with UniSA in developing a four-year honours degree will give South Australian students access to world-leading ICT education,” Wilson says.

“SMEs, industry and students will also be able to take advantage of the extraordinary new Innovation and Collaboration Centre.

“In addition, HP will increase its workforce in the state by some 400 people over the next four years.

“We are committed to South Australia and to this exciting new ICT partnership.”

The ICT industry currently contributes more than $100 billion to the national economy and it’s estimated that it will generate around $1 trillion in revenue for Australia in 2050.

You can also see our video report of the media announcement of this partnership.

UniSA partners in national design and innovation centres

Students working in design studio.UniSA will be a key player in a new partnership with Hills Limited to put South Australia at the forefront of innovative product design and technology expertise for a wide range of industries, from aged care and health to security and safety.

The partnership, together with Flinders University, will see the development of two new innovation centres in South Australia underpinned by a $5 million co-contribution from Hills Limited and the State Government.

The two new centres – the Lance Hill Design Centre (named after the inventor of the Hills Hoist) and the Digital Research and Commercialisation Centre – will be showcases for smart collaboration in the state, engaging students, independent designers and innovators, researchers and businesses, to collaborate on projects, incubate new ideas and products, and commercialise new designs.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says the project is an example of how clever cities deliver innovation, increase their connectivity, and build capacity for the future.

“This project is an exemplar of how we need to approach business development in the state into the future,” Prof Lloyd says.

“The hallmarks of successful enterprises are that they develop strategic collaborations; harness talents across the spectrum from the theoretical to the practical; have a guiding notion of the problems that need to be solved, and a practical way to make good ideas a reality. This partnership ticks all those boxes.

“This partnership continues our long association with Hills, a South Australian company that has nurtured the careers of many of our graduates in design and engineering. It fosters important collaboration with Flinders University so that we can each bring our research strengths to the table.”

Hills Limited’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Ted Pretty, says the company is undergoing a major transformation to meet the challenges of the global marketplace.

“We are delighted with the support we have had from the State Government and the enthusiasm showed by the universities in working with us,” Mr Pretty says.

He says it is expected that five new permanent roles will be created immediately with the potential of material increases of up to 50 people as the new centres mature.

“We hope the centres will also stimulate and indirectly support up to 30 additional local researchers and developers. We also plan to reinvest 50 per cent of after-tax profits earned in the first three years on any IP developed in the centres up to the $2.5m committed by government,” Mr Pretty says.