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Square One

Australian National University opens coworking space Square One in Canberra

The Australian National University (ANU) has become the latest local university to open a space for students and staff to work on entrepreneurial projects, this week launching coworking hub Square One at its Canberra campus.

With meeting rooms, event space, set desks and hot desking available, access to the space is free for members associated with ANU, who will be accepted on a case by case basis. Already moved in are organisations including university newspaper ANU Observer, Civilise.ai, and Pixelated Induction.

Jack Foster, community manager of Square One, said he was proud of the enthusiasm to collaborate and engage with each other that members had already brought to the space.

“The launch of the space is worth celebrating, but more important is the open and supportive culture and ethos our student teams are instilling in ANU’s innovation community.”

Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, pro vice-chancellor of innovation at ANU, added, “As well as offering a physical location for students to work on their entrepreneurial pursuits, Square One will also make it easier for students to access other valuable resources and networks both within ANU but also the broader innovation community, such as the CBR Innovation Network and Entry 29.”

Square One joins a number of innovation-focused activities and spaces ANU is running.

As well as being part of the CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN), the university runs TechLauncher, a program looking to help students develop the research and professional skills to leverage technology to address problems posed by industry partners, or create their own startups.

A MakerSpace also runs at the university’s Research School of Physics and Engineering, giving students and staff access to equipment including 3D printers, hand and power tools, and a laser cutter.

ANU is the latest university to open a coworking space.

Melbourne’s RMIT University in mid-2017 launched the RMIT Activator City Hub, a new space to support the university’s entrepreneurial programs and students with innovative ideas.

In addition to current students, RMIT staff and alumni can gain access to the space, using it as a base to build their ideas and launch their startups through the RMIT Activator Residency Program.

The University of Queensland (UQ) also last year opened its Idea Hub, a coworking space based at its St Lucia campus.

UQ last month sought to take the work of the Idea Hub further, appointing third year economics student and founder of Backyard Coach Ben Coughlin as its Chief Student Entrepreneur.

In the role, which sits within the university’s UQ Idea Hub, Coughlin will be charged with inspiring and mentoring fellow innovators at the university.

Image source: ANU.





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