Remarks at UNSW’s Founders Program Launch

Welcome everybody. And I too pay my respects to the traditional owners on whose land we meet tonight. I am delighted to be here at the launch of what is a very exciting initiative.

One which is full of promise and one which I am confident will be the breeding ground of great success. At UNSW we have developed the 2025 Strategy to guide us in our goal to have a greater global impact.

It is a bold, ambitious and altruistic strategy which underlines our belief that universities should view themselves as servants of the community – local, regional and global.

Part of the 2025 Strategy is to prepare our students for the opportunities and challenges of the global workplace, which is continually changing and constantly demanding better, more efficient ways to do things.

Australia has come to the realisation that a reliance on natural resources for revenue is not sustainable in the long run.

Our own Prime Minister has said that Australia’s greatest natural asset is not what is held in the ground but the people who walk above it. And I could not agree more.

We need to celebrate the power of ‘the idea’. More and more, innovation is being seen as the key to sustainable prosperity and improving living standards.

At UNSW, we have runs on the board when it comes to fostering entrepreneurial talent and we intend to keep producing great tech entrepreneurs and start-ups. As part of our 2025 Strategy we have invested $11.65 million to support entrepreneurial activities.

We have set up a Division of Enterprise, headed up by Brian Boyle, and we have appointed Dr Elizabeth Eastland to the role of Director of Entrepreneurship. We also have our Founders Fund, which is an exciting way for UNSW alumni to give back by investing in the next generation of student entrepreneurs.

This Program we launch tonight is another sign of our commitment to embedding innovation in the UNSW culture and of driving that knowledge exchange which is so critical to success.

Innovation – and the UNSW Founders Program – has a natural propensity for fostering collaboration. Whether it is industry seeking a solution, a start-up in search of an investor or innovators themselves forming teams with complementary skills, collaboration and partnership are core to successful innovation.

To all our innovators and entrepreneurs here tonight, I’m sure you have already learned the power of that collaboration and encourage you to nurture the partnerships you have already made.

I wish you all the best of luck tonight and I congratulate all who have brought the Founders Program to fruition.

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