Innovation incubator connecting students with industry

Published 9:00am 3 April 2023

Innovation incubator connecting students with industry
Words by Jodie Powell

Start-ups, entrepreneurs, and innovators looking to launch a business in the Moreton Bay Region will be able to use a new co-op space at UniSC’s Petrie campus under a new agreement with Council.

Councillors voted unanimously at this week’s Council meeting to establish an Innovation Incubator at UniSC, with the space likely to be available to hire within four months.

Mayor Peter Flannery says the office space will provide room for businesses within The Mill at Moreton Bay precinct.

|“Think of this space as a ‘landing pad’ for companies entering the market,” Mayor Flannery says.| 

“Council officers have been supporting two New Zealand companies looking to establish in South-East Queensland and this is the perfect environment for them.
“Currently there are limited opportunities in Moreton Bay for potential investors to establish themselves in a temporary capacity - this initiative removes that barrier to engagement in our region.”

Creating connections

Mayor Flannery says by co-locating the space at UniSC, it will enable businesses to connect with their future workforce, UniSC students and graduates, as part of their start-up phase and create additional opportunities for researchers to collaborate with industry.

“I’m hoping by providing businesses with a space where they can have an initial small presence that will translate into those businesses looking for a permanent presence and larger office footprint in our region and the buildings to come at The Mill precinct.”

UniSC Vice Chancellor and president Professor Helen Bartlett welcomed the agreement, saying demand has surged beyond even the most optimistic expectations since the Moreton Bay campus opened in 2020.

“Our enrolments have exceeded expectation, largely due to pent-up demand before a university campus arrived, which is why we are seeing such a high number of non-school leavers enrolling,” Professor Bartlett says.

“We have not only been able to partner with businesses in the region to meet their needs and support rapid workforce, but also to invite businesses to co-locate with us at The Mill site in Petrie, a Priority Development Area.

Earn while you learn

“National and international companies are moving to the region and telling us that they need skills and talent as soon as possible, so we are aiming to get students into the workforce during their university programs, to earn while they learn.

|“The benefit will be two-fold. Businesses can establish and expand with confidence at our Innovation Incubator and this in turn contributes to the prosperity of our growing region.”|

In 2022, 73.5 percent of UniSC students were Moreton Bay residents, 41.2 percent of students were first in their family to attend university and 3.8 percent of students identified as Indigenous.

University participation in the Moreton Bay region is currently at 11.4 percent.

If it were at the Queensland average of 14.2 percent, there would be 20,000 students at the UniSC Moreton Bay campus.

To register interest in the new space email: [email protected]

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