Innovating ideas at uni

INNOVATE: UniSA Whyalla Regional Manager Paul Havelberg (left) and Whyalla City Council CEO Chris Cowley are collaborating on a new Innovation and Collaboration Hub.
INNOVATE: UniSA Whyalla Regional Manager Paul Havelberg (left) and Whyalla City Council CEO Chris Cowley are collaborating on a new Innovation and Collaboration Hub.

The University of South Australia want to create a garden to cultivate unique ideas from entrepreneurs and potential business owners through a new facility in Whyalla.

The Innovation and Collaboration Centre will be funded through a partnership between UniSA, the Whyalla City Council, and the federal and state governments.

Should it go ahead, the ICC will be located in the library of the UniSA Whyalla campus.

It will function as a co-working space for start-ups and entrepreneurs to access the Aranet High Speed internet, featuring speeds of 10 Gigabites per second.

The ICC Hub will also provide access to mentoring, expertise, and programs provided by the university’s existing innovation hub at the City West campus.

Currently UniSA are seeking a federal funding for the project, which is worth $1 million over two years, to get it off the ground. Council will be contributing $100,000 towards the facility.

UniSA Whyalla Regional Manager Paul Havelberg said the facility would best support those with disruptive ideas, giving them access to global markets and organisations.

“We’re really excited to be able to link the campus to the broader community in terms of providing opportunities for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow their business,” he said.

“The plan is for someone with an idea to come in and germinate that idea. There are a range of tools we can support those individuals and groups with to enable them to grow a successful business.”

One of those programs is Start-Up Fundamentals, which provides a step-by-step guided expertise process to support new businesses.

Council CEO Chris Cowley said the hub would help drive innovation in Whyalla.

“We’re quite proud to partner with the University of South Australia to look at how we can harness the ideas that people want to develop and expand upon,” he said.

“The exponential value new companies can create plays a key part in our future. When you get the best minds together, we’ll be looking to create something very special here.”

Those who are looking to provide their ideas on what services or programs would help them to grow their ideas at the ICC are encouraged to fill out a survey at surveymonkey.com/r/TZBFWN9.

The survey results will be used to inform what programs the ICC hub will offer. The university expects to open the facility in October.