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Partnership to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern Sydney

01/07/2020

Georges River Council, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), ANSTO, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sydney and Southern Sydney councils are collaborating to support and build the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Southern Sydney.   
 
Georges River Council, Sutherland Shire Council, Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Bayside Council and Wollongong City Council have joined forces to help kick-start a project to map the Southern Sydney Innovation Ecosystem.
 
Students studying a Diploma in Innovation, a premium degree offered by the UTS Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, have been invited to take part in the project, which has been integrated into their coursework.
 
“This partnership is a rare opportunity for government and research to come together to shape the future of the South,” said Mayor of Georges River Council Kevin Greene.
 
“Georges River Council and its partners are leading the conversation to put the assets of the South on the map of Greater Sydney, a region that needs focus as part of the next round of metropolitan planning,” added Mayor Greene.
 
Multi-disciplinary teams of students studying ‘Navigating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Initiating Change’ will be tasked with identifying and scoping the entrepreneurial ecosystem of participating Councils and the broader South of Sydney. These include micro-businesses, subject matter experts and local entrepreneurs.
 
Teams will be challenged to explore interrelationships and pinpoint bottlenecks, gaps and other points of leverage to influence the ecosystem, with an emphasis on improving understanding of business ecosystem disruptions and impact due to COVID-19. Findings for each Council will be visualised as ecosystem maps and summarised in reports and a collective showcase on Thursday 16 July 2020.
 
“Our students quickly apply the methods we teach them to tackle wicked problems that are otherwise rarely experienced first-hand by students,” explained Dr Martin Bliemel, Course Director for the UTS Diploma in Innovation.
 
“In this instance, this cohort of Diploma In Innovation students will also lay important foundations for the broader research project being pioneered by Georges River Council, RDA Sydney, ANSTO and UTS; an in-depth project study of how to grow local jobs and economies for massive economic and social impact,” added Dr Martin.
 
Dr Timothy Boyle, ANSTO’s Director of Innovation and Commercialisation and a key project partner, stated that “ANSTO supports the Southern Sydney Ecosystem Mapping project to gain further understanding of the opportunities to connect the brightest scientists, engineers and graduates with local industries and entrepreneurs to develop solutions that will support future growth of our economy, both locally and nationally.”
 
According to Dr. Robert Lang, Chair of RDA Sydney, “This alliance is a great opportunity to build on the inherent spirit of entrepreneurship in Southern Sydney, identify gaps and build on strengths. As we transition through this era of COVID-19, this project will be an important resource as we try to build the economy of tomorrow.”
 
The partnership and project was an outcome of Southern Sydney’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Roundtable hosted by Georges River Council in February this year.
 
For information on Georges River Council, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.
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