News & Analysis

Innovyz announces strategic partnership with Western Sydney University

- March 7, 2016 2 MIN READ

South Australia-based startup program Innovyz, which helps entrepreneurs develop and commercialise their startup ideas, has announced the launch of a strategic partnership with Western Sydney University (WSU) to help researchers at the university commercialise their work.

The university has over 1,500 researchers working in fields like medical tech, agribusiness, and renewable materials. With Innovyz committing to a target of creating 30 new companies a year through its three yearly nine month-long programs, the partnership with WSU will see the university put forward research projects to be included in these programs.

Professor Deborah Sweeney, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at WSU, said the collaboration with Innovyz opens up a “really advantageous commercialisation model” to the university’s researchers.

“Working with Innovyz, we have access to distinctive commercial capabilities to give the new businesses we will create the best chance of success,” she said.

“The opportunity is multi-faceted, with WSU feeding new technologies into the Innovyz incubator, and in return Innovyz is assisting academics and students to understand the potential of their research, identify market need, develop industry orientated skills and facilitate links with stakeholders across the industry.”

Philip Vafiadis, executive chairman of Innovyz, said building relationships with innovative institutes such as WSU is “integral” to the organisation’s mission to increase the proportion of commercial value held within Australia from Australian-generated research.

Launched in 2012 with the support of the Government of South Australia and Adelaide City Council, Innovyz has helped commercialise almost 60 companies across industries including health and wealthness to advanced manufacturing.

These companies include Makers Empire, which provides classrooms with 3D printers and related learning materials to help kids learn about the potential of 3D printing, Be Intent, a company focused on wellbeing in the workplace, and K-TIG, which has created a new welding system.

The partnership comes less than a year after WSU launched a rebrand, changing its name from The University of Western Sydney in order to “put Western Sydney first.”

Professor Barney Glover, University Vice Chancellor and President, said in August that WSU is “helping to unlock the potential of Australia’s current and future leaders and it is about equipping its students to not only build careers, but build an entrepreneurial spirit to create jobs.”

Glover said the rebrand is a three year investment aimed at “improving the student experience in the digital age” and delivering targeted career services and development programs to students.

“[It] is about clearly defining what prospective students can expect from the university in terms of quality teaching, learning, and research, and also reflects the way in which we connect with our alumni and our broader community. We believe our students have unlimited potential, and the university provides unlimited opportunities.”

As such, the partnership with Innovyz is not the university’s first foray into the innovation space: WSU is home to the Research Engagement, Development and Innovation (REDI) team, focused on identifying opportunities for commercialisation, while the university also launched the Innovation Corridor economic development strategy in October last year.

Linking Campbelltown to Hawkesbury, the proposed Corridor will look to create business hubs across Western Sydney and support entrepreneurs in the region.

Innovyz is currently taking applications for its Water Innovation program.

Image: Philip Vafiadis. Source: indaily.