Priorities:University of Technology Sydney Student Priorities

From University Innovation Fellows
Jump to navigation Jump to search



2023 Under Graduate FEIT UIF

As the undergraduate leaders of UTS's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology and UIF, our overarching goal is to revamp and prioritise I&E engagement and development post COVID-19. There has been a decline in accessible information, student-faculty engagement and faculty-based community innovation. Though this is a space that is rapidly changing, our group sees potential to make a long-lasting impact and change to foster UTS's 2027 Vision and beyond.

Strategy: 1 - Increase Student Awareness and Engagement of I&E activities available at UTS

Our first strategic priority aims to widen the reach of innovation spaces at UTS and increase the number of students who are exposed to and actively engaged in I&E in some capacity around UTS. While there is currently a large range of facilities, programs, subjects and courses surrounding the area of I&E at UTS, there is a lack of awareness of them within the general student population. This may be due to a variety of factors including the lack of engaging exposure, promotion and gateway activities. TD school has been described as a 'bubble' in which students who are in it are actively engaged and interested while students outside have little knowledge of the associated activities. This strategy aims to burst that bubble, opening up opportunities to students from multiple faculties and disciplines and allowing them to interact with the university's innovation space in a capacity that suits them.

Milestone: 1 - (Preparation) Collaborate with change-makers, TD school and faculty to understand barriers to student engagement in I&E facilities

Our first milestone will involve information gathering. Previously, there have been efforts made to promote innovation and entrepreneurship at UTS. It is therefore important to understand what has been previously done and the effectiveness of different strategies. This will be done through collaboration, conversations and interviews with change-makers, TD school and faculty. Additionally, students will be consulted about what marketing strategies they have found to be effective and what level of previous exposure they have had to innovation within UTS.

Milestone: 2 - (Peak interest) Increase student awareness around innovation spaces through a practical showcase of I&E, aiming to increase interest and engagement

The second milestone will involve a gateway activity that aims to increase awareness within the student body about innovation. It will act as a 'hook' into the I&E and will be a low-commitment activity that provides basic, engaging materials, educating students on design thinking and innovation principles. We will aim to run workshops during either the Summer holidays, early in the year or during orientation and open day in order to reach new UTS students.

Milestone: 3 - (Engagement) Inform students about I&E spaces that are available and initiate their engagement with them

Following this peak in interest, we will educate students on the different I&E spaces that are available throughout the university. We will ensure that their is a range of activities advertised with differing commitment levels as time can be a barrier for students when signing up for activities. Not all students have the same needs and as such it is important to adapt and promote activities that are suited to each student.

Milestone: 4 - (Retainment) Maintain connections and community with these students, encouraging them to apply new knowledge

Milestone 4 has an emphasis on building community and maintaining connections. Many students are unwilling to attend new events or try new experiences if they do not already have an established community there or are unable to convince a friend to join them. Having a strong community that is welcoming to newcomers is an important part of maintaining students in the long run. This milestone may take the form of group chats, individual outreaches and future catch ups for those who have attended the innovation spaces previously. Additionally, we will encourage TD students or past students who have been attended the workshop and to run the workshop in the future, allowing the project to run sustainably and long term.

Strategy: 2 - Emphasize the importance of community engagement and education through recognising and working towards a common goal

In today's rapidly changing world, universities are not just centers for academic learning but also hubs of community engagement, innovation, and societal impact. The second strategic priority recognises that education is not confined to the walls of a classroom. Rather, it extends far beyond. By finding a way to encompass the entire community and society at large to work towards a common goal, a positive learning environment is fostered and will indefinitely led to generations guiding generations to encourage and make positive transformations in the world.

Milestone: 1 - [Planting the Seed] - Establish a community and define a common goal

They say a movement begins with a leader, but history has shown us that every monumental change needs a community. The first milestone is establishing a collective force that embodies shared values to build a network of individuals with a common goal in mind. In this phase, clearly defining a common goal is important to define the impact the community would like to make. As discovered through student interviews there was a collective desire for a creative outlet where they could freely experiment, tinker, and innovate without the constant weight of exams and marks. Seeking a relaxed and inclusive environment, students want opportunities to explore and develop their design, creative, and communication skills. Furthermore, it became evident that society shares a profound concern for pressing global issues that frequently dominate headlines: climate change, carbon emissions, sustainability, and the like.

These matters have ignited a sense of urgency and responsibility among students, stakeholders, and potential industry sponsors. They recognize the pressing need for collective action to address these challenges. Consequently, the common goal must harmonise with the core values and mission of the institution, resonating with all stakeholders involved and the broader community it aims to serve. By aligning efforts as a community with this shared objective, a positive change that the world so urgently needs can be brought forth.

Milestone: 2 - [Nurture the Sprout] - Create a space that brings people’s passion for the common goal together

The next milestone on this journey is the creation of a dedicated space or event that serves as a hub for bringing people together. To achieve this, a series of diverse strategies will be employed, both physical and virtual, to connect individuals who share the community's values and passions. Central to the approach is the organisation of an engaging event that taps into common interests. We propose launching a faculty-wide, or potentially university-wide, competition. This initiative not only serves to raise awareness of critical global issues but also provides students with valuable opportunities to actively engage and expand their knowledge and skills. By igniting and nurturing their passion at this stage, we are shaping how our community members approach problems and perceive the world.

A proposed tactic to build engagement and market the event is to harness the power of social media as a channel to facilitate communication and share information quickly. With this new platform, students are able to find like-minded individuals and be notified of any upcoming events. Collaborating with existing programs such as UTS BUILD, Think Global, SOUL, WEIT, and others extends our reach and contributes to the organic growth of our community. Leveraging methods such as newsletters, email campaigns, student boards, and campus-wide advertisements will be key tactics in promoting our dedicated space and event.

Milestone: 3 - [Cultivate the Growth] - Provide resources to guide passion into projects that promote the shared goal

With a dedicated space/event in place, students are curious and want to create change in the world. This competition challenges students to take everyday items like rubbish, pre-loved materials, and scraps and transform them into artistic masterpieces. These creations will be showcased in an exhibition accessible to industry partners and the wider public. This approach serves a dual purpose: it raises awareness of the crucial roles of engineering and art in addressing pressing environmental issues and provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their creative and technical skills.

To actively promote collaboration and education among community members, educational workshops, seminars, or guest lectures related to design thinking and sustainability can be held to support the design thinking process and develop creativity skills. These events should align with the competition's themes and the community's core goal. With this in mind, the sessions empower participants with the knowledge and skills needed to approach creative projects with a sustainable mindset. An important aspect of cultivating growth is providing access to facilities on campus. Students should be encouraged to explore resources like Protospace, the mechanical and mechatronic labs, electrical labs, darkrooms, photography studios, and more. Exposure to a wide range of equipment and technical skills is crucial to building confidence and provides practical experience in a lighthearted and digestible manner. This hands-on experience not only enhances their creativity but also equips them with practical skills that can be applied in future projects and the mindset that they are capable of turning their ideas into reality.

Milestone: 4 - [Harvest the Fruits] - Showcase projects to others in a means that works towards achieving the common goal

This stage of the project is not just about creating; it's about leveraging art and engineering to drive positive change on multiple fronts. This event is not merely a showcase of artistic talent; it is also a charity auction that serves as a catalyst for positive change. All profits are donated to sustainable organisations and charities to fund critical initiatives and research efforts aimed at addressing global environmental challenges. A distinguished panel of judges comprised of faculty staff and industry sponsors adds credibility to the evaluation process. Prizes are awarded to individuals whose works exhibit exceptional creativity, innovation, and alignment with sustainability goals. This recognition not only motivates participants but also highlights their contributions to the cause.

The project aims to reach the wider public. Through the exhibition of these artworks, the public gains access to a visually stimulating experience that also carries a powerful message. The creations serve as a catalyst for conversations around eco-conscious living and sustainable practices. Artworks that find new homes through the auction fulfill their purpose by contributing to positive change. For pieces that remain unsold, the commitment to sustainability continues. These artworks are either donated to charitable causes or upcycled to become part of future competitions, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

To amplify the project's impact, external media exposure is actively sought. Coverage by outlets like SBS, 7News, or A Current Affair can significantly expand the reach of the sustainability message. Such exposure has the potential to influence policy discussions, inspire broader community action, and drive positive change at a societal level. A promotional video showcasing the project's journey and its goals can serve as a powerful marketing and promotional tool for UTS, both internally and externally. It not only highlights the institution's commitment to sustainability but also captures the spirit of collaboration, creativity, and social responsibility that defines the common goal.

Furthermore, the event aims to establish valuable networks and partnerships, offer educational opportunities, and create a lasting impact by nurturing a culture of sustainability and creativity. The involvement of volunteers from organizations like SOUL and student-led societies strengthens the sense of community. These volunteers not only contribute their time and efforts but also bring diverse perspectives and skills to the delivery of the project. Their participation helps foster a supportive and inclusive environment.

Milestone: 5 - [Sustain for Future Blossom] - Integrate into pre-existing structures or manifest into the faculty

This milestone serves as a long-term implementation plan to incorporate the strategic priority into the core curriculum at the university. The initial launch will act as a trial period where the tactic is presented as an extracurricular competition. Working alongside student societies and faculty, the creative competition will be tailored to meet the common goal initially established by the community.

Based on feedback and the lessons learned during this phase, a focus will be to develop a dedicated subject that can be offered as an elective within relevant faculties or be integrated into existing subjects as a module or exercise. This can be launched to students as part of their academic curriculum and encompasses the key themes of sustainability, hands-on project learning, design thinking, and innovation fundamentals. By encouraging feedback from students, it can be refined and enhanced to improve the learning experience.

The ultimate aim is to seamlessly integrate the project's core principles into the fabric of the faculty. As the project becomes an integral part of the academic experience, its impact on students' skills, perspectives, and contributions to sustainability efforts will continue to grow. This impact can extend beyond the university, influencing how graduates approach real-world challenges. Success is measured not only by the number of students participating but also by the enduring impact it has on their education and future endeavors. Regular assessment and adaptation are key to ensuring sustained relevance and effectiveness.

Strategy: 3 - Capitalising and Commercialising research students' IP at UTS

Universities spend thousands on IP and patents that research and PhD students work towards throughout their degree or employment. However, universities "back-pocket" these researched ideas and very few actually have the chance to commercialise and share the impact the research can have on the world. UTS is a rapidly growing institution, with approximately 10+ patents and 50+ intellectual properties begin filed each year. The gap within commercialising these ideas can be tapped into with access to Sydney's largest startup and scale-up community through its partnerships with TechCentral and SXSW. This network can enhance the commercialisation of IP and put UTS on the "map" as a change-maker in each ideas' given industry. Glimpses of this area have been explore with research ideas in the medical device space being successful in R&D network and collaboration with Cicada Innovation raising $2.04 Million (AUD).

Milestone: 1 - [Research and Preparation] - Understanding Commercialisation and IP at UTS, Stakeholders and MVP

The first priority is understanding how UTS's commercialisation and IP systems work. The primary focus will be in FEIT, but if the project is successful, it can translate to other faculties. Networking and interacting with vital stakeholders is also a key factor into the strategy of this project as changing an already developed system within an educational institution is very difficult and needs proprietary future-scale design. Once this initial stage is done, creating a framework and minimum viable product (MVP) is crucial to present to stakeholders and go onto the development and testing stage of this project.

Milestone: 2 - [Development] - Collaborate with Graduate and Current Students/Academics

The second priority is developing a network of graduates and current students/academics to test out the MVP. Rather than trying to create the "perfect" program or project, it's more important to understand what your current and potential customers want from this project. By developing the project in a "customer-focused" manner aids in the commercialisation of their research and gives UTS an opportunity to spend their funding on ideas and research that'll have lasting impact. Also involving high-order stakeholders in the process of development shows the time and effort being put towards the development of a program that benefits UTS and they cam have a say in the direction of where to project will head.

Milestone: 3 - [Journey] - Connect with Industry Partners/Organisations

The third priority is an area UTS has excelled at since its foundation. With more and more industry partners and organisations funding and tagging along with UTS's development, it is far more important to use the network and connections effectively. When connecting to partners or organisations such as TechCentral, Sydney Startup Hub, SXSW, Cicada Innovation, CSIRO, etc. it is important that we connect the right people to the research project. The overall organisation is a place to make connections and find customers to the research project, while our role is to find those "1 in 1 million" kind of connections to help everyone who is apart of the process succeed.

Milestone: 4 - [Sustainability] - Retaining and Commercialising New IP and Patents

The fourth priority is ensuring that the project can self sustain. It is no use if the project runs once or twice and then completed scrapped. There is always going to be more to research and for new ideas to sprout. Hence, the goal is to maintain a healthy and sustainable project that will have a lasting impact towards researchers and academics while simultaneously benefitting UTS and making it a haven for people with research ideas, potential patents and IP to join UTS and potentially commercialise their idea or research successfully.

Strategy: 4 - Promoting Cross-Disciplinary Innovation Visibility at UTS

In an increasingly interconnected world, innovation thrives at the intersection of diverse disciplines. However, traditional academic structures often create silos that hinder the exchange of ideas. No single discipline can solve the complex challenges of our time, and students deserve a platform that brings together information about initiatives happening across the university, offering them visibility into innovation occurring in various fields. This platform will serve as a bridge, allowing students to explore opportunities for collaboration, fostering a culture of cross-disciplinary innovation that mirrors the real-world environment, where the most impactful solutions emerge from the convergence of knowledge and expertise across disciplines. Moreover, it will enable students to create valuable networks, seek feedback on their ideas, and even find sponsors and investors who share their passion for innovative endeavors, providing them with the resources and support needed to turn their vision into reality.

Milestone 1: Research and Pilot Phase

Initiate the research and pilot phase to assess the feasibility and gather insights for the platform. Begin by conducting a thorough needs assessment and market research to understand the specific requirements and expectations of your target audience. Then, develop a pilot version of the platform with basic features to test its functionality and user-friendliness.

Milestone 2: Platform Development

Based on the feedback and data collected during the pilot phase, move forward with platform development.

Milestone 3: Platform Launch and Community Building

Launch the platform and initiate a community building phase. Open registration to students, faculty, and potentially alumni. Encourage members to create profiles, showcase their innovative projects, and begin connecting with others. Host a launch event or webinar to introduce the platform and its features.

Milestone 4: Engage and Retain Members

Implement strategies to engage and retain community members. Continue to facilitate collaboration, discussions, and knowledge sharing. Recognize and reward active participants. Host regular interdisciplinary events, webinars, and opportunities for cross-disciplinary project funding.

2020 Under Graduate FEIT UIF

Strategy 1 - Increasing I&E Engagement through Awareness and Accessibility

Our first strategic priority focuses on improving student engagement using existing I&E facilities around the UTS campus, with consideration for the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial pressures this has placed on the university, and the growing importance of a virtual space for students to engage within.

Resulting from the Landscape Canvas, we learnt that there was an incredible amount of I&E resources available throughout UTS, however these were either not well known by students, or lacked an online presence and therefore were currently struggling with the pandemic forcing students online. Following on from this in our student interviews, we learnt that there was a threat of exclusivity amongst some I&E programs, including UTS Startups and the iHub. Many students were unaware of how to access the spaces and programs, and felt they were designed for specific students.

We also learnt the importance of introducing I&E from day one. This strategy focuses on involving students with I&E from orientation so that they may carry these skills and resources with them through their entire degree.

Milestone 1:  Incorporating I&E from Day One - Orientation 2021

Our first milestone focuses on introducing the concepts behind I&E at both Orientation and within the classroom for first semester classes. We aim to run workshops during orientation through the iHub to teach design thinking, and again during the first week of semester when subjects generally don't have a tutorial. The main subjects we are focusing on are Engineering Communication and Communication for IT Professionals, as a large amount of FEIT students take these classes.

Milestone 2:  Retaining Engagement with I&E - Semester 1 2021

Our second milestone focuses on how we can retain these students once we have introduced them to I&E. By improving the virtual space for the iHub, we hope to attract students back to the space through showcases, what's on information and a booking system. As well as this, we hope to introduce our workshops to clubs and societies in order to bring them into the iHub space.

Milestone 3:  Lead In Programs - Semester 2 2021

Our third milestone introduces a lead in program for our successful, exisiting I&E programs such as UTS Startups and Techcelerator. This program targets students who have a light bulb moment and want to explore the idea more, before progressing to the programs aforementioned. The program would help them learn and explore I&E skills, provide networking opportunities with peers and faculty, give them access to resources to turn ideas into something tangible and provide a platform to receive feedback.

Milestone 4:  Making the transition more accessible - 2022

Our student feedback demonstrated to us that there are high barriers surrounding programs such as UTS Startups and Techcelerator. Our fourth milestone aims to bring down these barriers and increase accessibility into these incredible I&E programs that already exist. By introducing a reverse pitch night, we hope to prove to students these programs are worthwhile. The typical means to join these programs currently is to prove the worth of your idea and then be accepted. By reversing this, we hope the leaders of these programs will demonstrate the value and entice them to explore further.

Strategy 2 - Online Resource Map

Creating the UTS 2020 Landscape canvas, interviewing students, and talking to faculty members through the UIF program allowed us to understand the abundance of Innovation and Entrepreneurship resources available for students. These resources ranged from physical spaces, subjects for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and events. Through meetings and online research, we were able to understand a few key issues with their resources. One of these issues was the lack of communication between students about I&E resources, facilities, events, and opportunities. There are so many ways that students are able to interact and learn about I&E, but there is no current streamlined communication. This lead to the development of our problem statement "How might we connect Innovation and Entrepreunshup resources with students?" We wanted to set out to understand how to reach the most amount of students to tell them all about the I&E resources that UTS provides, in a way that is easy to understand and interpret.

2019 Fall University Innovation Fellow, Siena Reynolds, also highlighted the lack of communication between I&E opportunities and students. For her project, she created a mindmap that categorises resources based on the stages of an entrepreneur; introduction to I&E, developing your idea, incubators, and pitching. Her aim was to display the mind map across campus on tv screens and physically in the iHub. My goal is to be able to build upon Siena’s project to transform it so that students can interact with it in the current online studying climate.

The project would display the mindmap on the UTS website as an interactive mindmap for students to discover and learn more about I&E resources. The aim is to have stakeholders directly enter events, opportunities, and other resources into the database. The mindmap software will automatically classify the new event or opportunity entered accordingly. This is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the resources and up to date information for students.

On the webpage, students will be able to click on a resource and taken to a new page where all the resources are listed and structured in a bit size way. The structure of the resource information is aimed to be easy to interpret for students while aligning with the current web templates of the UTS website. It will include simplified visual information such as external links and virtual tours of physical spaces.

In order to maximize the reach with current UTS students, we need to engage with them using the channels they use the most. This includes UTS Online for Undergraduate students, Canva for Postgraduate students, Email, Facebook Groups, and inclusions in Lectures. Students will be able to click on mindmap through these communication methods and it will take them to the UTS website so they can zoom in and explore all the resources.

Milestone 1:  Mindmap Creation and Collaboration

Edit and finalise the interactive mindmap by collaborating with I&E stakeholders to ensure all information is correct and up to date. This will also include discussions and collaboration with UTS Web Developers to understand how to integrate the mindmap onto the UTS website.

Milestone 2:  Launch webpage and display on UTS Online

Launch the webpage with the mindmap onto the UTS website and link the webpage on UTS Online to initially target Undergraduate students. The criteria for success are defined as an increase in student engagement with I&E resources. This criteria is data-driven as we are able to collect quantitative information on the interaction of students on the webpage.

Milestone 3:  Expansion of Accessibility

After successfully launching the webpage and utilising UTS Online, we will expand the reach of the resource by displaying it on Canva for Postgraduate students, through email newsletters such as Careers, including the resource in orientation lectures and Facebook Groups.

Milestone 4:  Stakeholder Workshop

The webpage will need to be updated on a regular basis to include relevant information and resources for students. Running a stakeholder workshop focused on how to edit and make changes to the mindmap and webpage is essential for the long-term sustainability of the resource. This will ensure that students will have up to date information as stakeholders will take responsibility to upload their events, opportunities, and resources.

Strategy 3 - Engineering Success in an Innovation Field

Engineering success in an innovative world in a 2 week long summer studio, designed to show students the benefits of innovation and entrepreneurship and empower them to explore it co curricularly. This will be achieved by a combination of interesting lectures and workshops, introducing students to the I&E facilities and services on campus (such as startups and protospace), and working on an industry partnered project. Many students who I have spoken to have said that they don't think I&E is relevant to engineering and I hope that the industry project could help to break this barrier. Other students I have spoken to have talked about how they have designed cool projects and then not known what to do with them once the semester ended, so I hope that by introducing people like startups we can empower students to keep the momentum going.

Strategy 4 - The Industry Springboard

The Industry Springboard strategic priority is aimed at providing as much value as possible to students, with already existing resources and spaces. The social climate at the time of writing is currently under isolation to avoid the spreading of COVID-19, proving the educational enrichment of Innovation and Entrepreneurship difficult to engage with for students. Simultaneously, universities are attempting to cope with the difficulties of a pandemic.

After conducting research and student engagement, it was found that the initial assumptions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship being unknown to students was incorrect. It was often the case that whilst students didn’t know the exact definition of I&E, its lack of perceived value did not draw many students to engage further.

This defined our first opportunity space: "How might we demonstrate the benefits of Innovation & Entrepreneurship to students?". How can we engage students with innovation and entrepreneurship in such a way that it demonstrates a value and benefit?

This premise inspired the proposal to utilise the FEIT iHub as a space to centralise resources, mentoring opportunities and the potential for ideas to grow in an environment that is a hotspot for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As a (currently) open plan space, this could be utilised as a connection hub for students looking to propagate themselves in industry and add value that reaches far beyond their degree, even if they don’t know what they are looking for. ...

How do we do this?

Delivering new assets to the iHub are unfavourable in the current climate as research and development provide little return for the space. As such, an opportunity for partnership with an organisation referred to as Real Skills Education (RSE) was forged. RSE offers programs, events and experiences to university students that have proven successful over a number of years in universities such as UNSW and WSU. Key milestones in the development of a partnership with RSE in the iHub include:

Milestone 1 - Testing the waters

RSE hosts events centred in the iHub that provide students with opportunities to engage and learn industry skills that will benefit them in the future. The aim of this is to test the engagement of students and expose them to the uses of iHub as a unique resource.

Milestone 2 - A light swim

Engagement with students and the iHub is proving successful and space is being utilised as intended. RSE will begin rolling out its STEM Career Launchpad Program, where skills including goal setting, inventive/systematic thinking, applying brainstorming and reasoning frameworks and numerous other skills are fostered. This is intended for students looking to engage in the innovation space, and first year students to introduce them to the innovation ecosystem at UTS.

Milestone 3 - The Race

All students are invited to the STEM Leadership program hosted by RSE, whereby students are tasked with solving real industry problems and engaging with Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Students fortify the knowledge conveyed to them in past programs about the uses of I&E, and understand how the job market is changing toward a more creative and innovative workforce.

Milestone 4 - One with the sea

The influence and integration of innovation and entrepreneurship is centred around what has been facilitated by Real Skills Education in the iHub. The iHub is recognised as the place to go for all things industry engagement and development. The events and influence hosted here inspire more bodies around the university to provide students with the opportunity of enriching their education using I&E.


The overall intention of the above milestones are to challenge the current environment where only students who are interested in I&E will engage with the relevant opportunities. The idea in this case is not to sell the Innovation Hub as a useful space, rather, to present the benefits of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to students who would not engage with it otherwise. To convey the iHub as the go-to place for educational opportunities and a chance to further students in industry. Where the best case scenario is someone strikes gold with an award winning startup idea facilitated by their engagement with events at the iHub and the worst case is they leave with new skills supporting them and a widened outlook on the opportunities available to them.

2019 Fall Under Graduate FEIT UIF

Strategy 1- Integrative Calendar 'My Uni'

Whilst researching the different I&E programs, courses, funding opportunities and events offered at university we were surprised that so many students in our interviews had highlighted that there are not many avenues to pursue innovation in their experience at UTS other than in class.

We have developed an Integrative Calendar based platform for students to Subscribe to different filter of I&E Events, programs, competitions and other opportunities to develop their I&E skills and develop their own ideas. The filter that students select and subscribe to will automatically sync with the application calendar and the students class schedule. This platform will funnel all events ranging from various university groups such as UTS Startups, University Societies, University Faculties and UTS Careers who all run events and programs relevant to students.

To ensure this strategy is executable, these entities must all be contacted to provide information for their events and programs. Furthermore, an automatic channel should be developed for these entities to funnel in their programs automatically rather than manually.

This ‘My Uni’ App will also benefit by being included in the ‘UTS’ Application that has been launched by the university containing direct access to student enrollment pages, class timetables, grade centres and Exam information. This will ensure that a greater amount of students will have access to the application and will view it as a legitimate tool supported by the university. As such, the UIF team will need to contact the University department which has developed this platform and gain access and permission to integrate with it. 

This application, which will increase student participation in I&E, will stimulate growth in such events and programs due to the student demand and interest. This will further develop the I&E canvas at university as well as enrich the environment, I&E culture and student perception of I&E.

Strategy 2 - Innovative Case Challenge

What was found during the Landscape Canvassing process and the peer interviews that have occured thu far, is that students often lost a sense of worth and value regarding I&E principals at an early level due to the lack of perceived impact and valuation of the skills and methodologies learnt under the Structures of I&E. Despite UTS approaching I&E in a fantastic way, these introductory issues have caused a shift in the perceptions of later students views towards I&E. Having established this idea and problem area, the solution that has been developed is the Innovative Case Challenge. The ICC will give students the opportunity to put I&E into practice to shape the UTS campus to be a better place by applying these principles to solve problems identified by either the students themselves or the faculty and will occur monthly. During this monthly period students will form teams and work on the assigned problem for that month period before presenting their idea at the end of that period, the winning team will receive resources and support needed to put their ideas into practice. By applying these methods to solve problems on campus and create a measurable and visible impact within the students ecosystem, students will gain a far greater appreciation and value perception of I&E both at an introductory level and into the future

Joshua will oversee the creation of this monthly competition. It will require campus involvement namely through the iHub, marketing, activateUTS and access to problem spaces for students to come forward and identify these issues. UTS recently held a summer hackathon with can be used as a base plate for the development of this future program. The goal will be to get an initial event to occur over the summer study period at UTS or early Autumn session next year after the initial stakeholder meetings. After this initial event, feedback can be obtained and used to improve the event before moving along to a larger trial period during the entirety of the Autumn session.

Strategy 3 - Innovation in Sustainability 

Students study at university because they want to learn to apply their skills to real-world problems. The current problem faced in today’s current political landscape is the ongoing social, environmental, and economic impacts of climate change. By sticking to the conventional methods of learning in lecture theatres and having pen and paper exams, it does not give students the opportunity and experience come up with a solution to tackling these real-world issues. Adopting the Innovation and Entrepreneurship concept in student’s learning will give them the experience to evolve in their learning and work collaboratively to produce an effective solution. 

Fortunately, by completing the current landscape canvas, we found that UTS is progressive in weaving I&E understandings throughout the courses. However, we also noticed that these opportunities are not properly projected in subjects with the fundamental goal of solving new world problems came from. Thus, the idea of ‘Innovation in Sustainability’ was born; a compulsory studio subject directed to penultimate and final year university students to work collaboratively and solve the issues of climate change. Climate Change is global issue that will have detrimental impacts on the environment if an immediate solution is not implemented in the coming years. Innovation in Sustainability will be achieved through a variety of ways including, teaching students the scientific method and how to source reliable information so that in the future they uphold a high level of credibility. Students will have the opportunity of practicing this methodology through a variety of case studies. This will give them the ability to take the initiative to learn more on their own and apply their relevant technical skills. Some other aspects of the course would include background and context of global warming; renewable energy options; sustainability and chemical sustainability; as well as people's perceptions on climate change and how it can impact the process of solving problems. 

Jasmina will be in charge of this project, with assistance from the other UIF’s. In order for this project to run successfully, there will need to be huge support from the university administration, as well as feedback from students to improve this new method of learning. A number of university tutors and professors will need to be involved and onboard with this idea to implement it into the course. The idea is to pitch this idea to students and to gather as much feedback as possible to accommodate their needs. 

Strategy 4 - I&E Badge Program

When investigating the issue of maintaining collaboration and consistent engagement in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) at university, we found that though the culture of I&E is prospering at UTS, sometimes students lose interest or are not made aware of opportunities such as panels, industry talks and more. Many students have also expressed that there is lack of a strong incentive to pursue I&E and if it will go on to help them in their respective fields and long-term career. 

Through our Landscape Canvas process, we were able to understand the process of recognising and addressing campus issues and truly regarding the issues that students particularly are facing by conducting peer interviews and receiving feedback. This allowed us to further understand the state of I&E at UTS and how we can improve the culture to student collaboration and engagement. Through this process, one of the key issues we identified is the lack of collaboration and consistency in I&E engagement at UTS.

With a defined problem, we focused on gathering ideas and established the solution to create an ‘I&E Badge’. The I&E Badge Program works like a rewards program. To complete the program successfully, students will be required to attend introductory, core workshops and events and will also be expected to engage in a range of I&E related opportunities such as hackathons, case competitions, project development and more. The Badge will have a range of levels to be completed: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and will have additional awards to be handed out to students who excel in their pursuit of I&E at university. Additionally, the core of the program will be to integrate real-world examples and relevant industry challenges to address the mentioned engagement issues. 

With this program, as it is relevant to students with real-world engagement, there is a bigger incentive for student participation. Furthermore, with the flexibility of completing the award on a range of levels, students will be able to engage on a level that is comfortable for them. We also found that this program would foster collaboration across different faculties as I&E opportunities can be interdisciplinary and will allow students to build stronger team work as they can complete the program alongside their friends. Some of the milestones in regards to the program are highlighted below:

Milestone #1: Develop the I&E Badge using current university spaces and programs (hackathons, case competitions, etc.)

Milestone #2: Introduce inter-university events and programs to encourage collaboration

Milestone #3: Engage and partner with relevant industry to create additional programs such as long-term case competitions and innovation challenges. 

Satya will oversee this program with assistance from other UIFs. This program would also utilise existing spaces such as the iHub, Innovation Labs and UTS StartUp space so that students are further exposed to the available facilities on campus, fostering further innovation even after they complete the program. The program will be run on a yearly basis with specific hour requirements and a graduation ceremony. This idea will cater to the needs of students while giving them the flexibility to explore I&E on their terms.

2019 Fall Postgraduate UIFs

Strategy 1: Personas

Through our interviews and talking with other postgraduate students we were able to identify common backgrounds of those who entered a higher degree by research (HDR). We thought a user-centred approach would greatly benefit UTS in its ability to deliver an improved HDR journey, and that a key component of that was to develop the personas that best represent the incoming candidates. We also extended this approach to create personas that were representative of where candidates could see themselves after graduation.

Strategy Leader: Jess

Strategy 2: Journeys

We were able to discern that whatever the stage an HDR student is at in their candidature, the process is messy: induction processes were inadequate, information was missed and hard to locate, and many were confused across multiple platforms. We thought more tailored support would benefit UTS in its ability to deliver the required information. This spoke directly to our development of personas! By identifying incoming student backgrounds, their development throughout the HDR journey could better suit their needs and direct them to the information they would benefit from most. A student having come from an industry background, for example, would likely benefit from workshops directed at academic-style writing; a student having undertaken only study might benefit from industry linkages; and those reinventing their careers might require advice from career personnel. Through prototyping, we were able to improve the model by adding in check-in points that allowed for candidates to re-assess their desired destination and add in necessary components (training modules, network growth, etc.) to help them reach their fullest potential.

Strategy Leader: Mel

Strategy 3: Communication

The I&E ecosystem at UTS is already very rich - what’s missing (and this has been identified by our UTS UIF predecessors already) is the awareness of the available opportunities - this could be because students are either not connected to many/any information channels or the opposite - they can’t sift through all the information they receive.

Establishing the Personas and the Journeys led us to re-envisioning the communication strategy: Content curation is key Incoming students will start with self-assessment - where they’re coming from and what their goal is (to establish their incoming and outgoing personas) Students will receive regular ‘newsletters’ with curated listings appropriate for their persona - exploration will be encouraged by linking out to HDRConnect (Strategy 4). Information needs to be delivered at the right time to the right people Students needs and their focus depends on where they are in their Journey - pre-Stage 1 students might need to connect with resources on methods but Stage 3 student is well passed that point - they might want to connect with commercialisation experts. Regular check-ins will allow communication adjustments Social networks need to be built early Every incoming student after their self-assessment will be able to opt in to a BuddyConnect program - where they’ll be able to connect with the more experienced students

Strategy Leader: Anna

Strategy 4: HDRConnect (Canvas)

Common theme that kept appearing in our interviews and informal talks with students was the need for an HDR-dedicated online space. As noted earlier, research students maneuver across several platforms to find resources and information - often struggling to find what they need at the time.

To enable current and future PhD / HDR students to access relevant information across their entire PhD journey, a learning management platform will be leveraged to CONNECT PEOPLE, CONNECT CONTENT and CONNECT learning experiences across faculties, schools and industry partners.

Strategy Leader: Ephraim

2018 Fall UIF's 

Strategy 1 - Campus Quest 

What was noticed during research was that there was such a vast array of opportunities available to students within the sphere of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. What we also found was that there was limited knowledge amongst students about these opportunities and as a result less than desirable engagement. Identifying this as an issue and an opportunity to make an impact, the idea for Campus Quest was borne. Campus Quest is a virtual world that is aimed at encouraging engagement between students and the wider I&E university ecosystem. Students (referred to as players) enter the virtual world through a smartphone or tablet. From there they are able to create a customizable Avatar and are asked to attribute them with skills that reflect their own skills in the real world. Students, societies, faculties and teams can use the virtual world to connect and collaborate on projects and tasks. Players also have access to real time information on opportunities, classes, workshops and more with a focus in multi disciplinary collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Nicholas will oversee the development of this project. This idea will require a large amount of University involvement, funding and support. Also involved will be a large amount of software development, with the potential to engage software and IT students within the University to assist on development of the virtual world. The idea will be to quickly develop a minimum viable product (e.g. Beta version) to be able to test as quickly as possible. There should be a strong focus on gathering as much feedback as possible in order to develop further iterations. Ideally the beta version should be completed within a 6 month period with major development iterations to continue for the next couple of years.

Strategy 2 - Hall Of Fame 

All across campus students are incessantly creating and contributing to very successful projects, yet are still left unseen or unappreciated for their efforts. We believe that we can meaningfully redefine ‘empty spots’ around campus that are not being used in the most efficient way, by instead displaying projects and materials from other students as a tool for motivation, engagement and a guide as to how students can go above and beyond and indulge in the creative experience beyond their degree. Mary Anne Radmacher once said ‘Your success will shine as a light of hope and inspire numbers you cannot total.’  

Jacob, will primarily be incharge of this project, with assistance from the other UIF’s. In order for this strategic plan to be successfully implemented on campus, he would potentially need the support of the university as well as students who are willing to contribute and display their achievements.

Strategy 3 - Rethink How We Learn  

Through conducting interviews and facilitating conversations with peers on campus we have come across typical gaps around the whole idea of ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. There is this large stigma around what ‘design thinking’, ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ really means. With many individuals left questioning ‘why innovation?’ and ‘what does it achieve?’ the questions only accumulate from there. This has therefore allowed us to actively strive for solutions to mitigate the misconstrued perception students have of I&E. The aim is to adopt innovation within our curriculum. We have an array of extracurricular programs centered around design thinking, but why stop there why not push for innovation within the classrooms, to truly showcase to students the importance of I&E in shaping our every so rapidly altering future.

Kritika will be overseeing the movement on this project with the assistance of other UIF’s alongside faculty and possibly innovation incubators on campus namely UTS StartUps. The goal would be to ideally begin these movements at a pilot stage, and test the reaction from both staff and students as well as observe the effectiveness of such changes upon both the individuals morale and academic chart. Initially we wanted this project to be spread across UTS, across various faculties (including non-traditional faculties that are still underrepresented for innovation namely Nursing) this was to promote interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. However, as we begun prototyping and realistically assessing the feasibility of such a large movement, we established that it would be best to begun this plan on one faculty assess the reactions and then roll out to other potential faculties.

Strategy 4 - UTS StartUps in Classrooms 

To bring UTS StartUps to the classroom, we will need to be in contact with members of UTS StartUps and Subject Coordinators to ensure that the collaboration has a smooth transition. Work will be required to make sure that UTS StartUps will be incorporated into variety of subjects, eventually across several disciplines, while not being repetitive. Students will see how innovation and entrepreneurship begins and that it doesn’t just end when the subject does.

Georgia will be in charge, striving for these objectives and incorporating the following tactics:

  • Create a better link between faculty, faculty subject coordinators, and UTS StartUps
  • Find areas where I&E can be incorporated/are already incorporated and slot UTS StartUps into these areas
  • Monitor Student engagement with UTS StartUps

2017 Spring UIF's 

Strategy #1 Creation of an innovation space

Recently, UTS has begun encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship around campus, made evident by starting two team in the University Innovation Fellows program. Created by the previous and new candidate UIF’s at UTS, this strategy aims to provide a place to facilitate innovation collaboration and teamwork for students. Currently this strategy is already off the ground and we have already pitched our ideas to the heads of the Engineering and IT faculty and they are more than enthusiastic with our idea.

Milestone 1: Initial Stakeholder meeting - Completed

What got our project started was when the heads of the Engineering and IT Faculty emailed us expressing interest in re-purposing a previously unused space in the Engineering and IT building.

Milestone 2: Idea Pitch - Completed

Two weeks from our initial stakeholder meeting, we re-scheduled a meeting with the faculty leaders to pitch our ideas. We generated three ideas for our innovation space which had varying levels of creativity and many different features. We gained valuable insigth from the faculty leaders, as they provided many thoughts and opinions on what they thought would work and what was too far out there to be practicle.

Milestone 3: Investor Pitch - Completed

To provide funding for the room, the faculty leaders had a potential investor lined up who was interested to know what kind of opportunities this space could provide for students. We had a short meeting with the investor where we gave him a summarised version of our three pitches and explained why this un used space should be re purposed. Over all the investor had a positive opinion of our ideas and even had his ideas and suggestions to improve our ideas.

Milestone 4:  Project Follow Up – Planned Feb 2018

In this milestone we aim to discuss potential strategies to take our ideas to the final stages and eventually turn the innovation space from an idea into a reality.

Milestone 5: Working with architects or designers – Planned March 2018

In this milestone we aim to create a design for the final product by working architects and designers. We aim to have a professional looking design that will be enticing to students as well as serve their practical needs for innovation and collaboration.

Milestone 6: Construction - Planned April 2018

For the construction of our space we aim for it to take as little time as possible, to minimise disturbance for the students, with the construction taking place outside of peak university times.

Milestone 7: Grand opening - Planned July 2018

In this milestone we intend to open our innovation space to the students. It is very rare to see new and interesting spaces open from existing spaces inside UTS, so we aim to have an awesome opening ceremony.

Strategy #2 Formal Recognition of student involvement in extra-curricular activities

During interviews with first year students at UTS we discovered that a lot of students were extremely unengaged with extra-curricular acitivites, were intidimated to be involved, were not aware of opportunities or were wanting to be involved but didn't have the belief they were capable enough. Many students would go to class and go back home or to work.

As well as this, a lot of students also felt that they were unable to differentiate themselves when applyng for a job and felt that the only way to do so was through extra-currcular activiites, however, communicating their involvements was extremely difficult when integrating it in their CV. 

By combining these 2 issues, we were able to ideate a solution to incentivise students to become even more engaged with university life outside of classes. This resulted in the idea to implement and recognise students’ involvement formally in their academic transcript to show employer's a student's involvement during their course of their degree.

As a result of this, students would feel the need to beomce involved in university to help distinguish themselves from others when seeking a job and feel rewarded for doing so.

The Plan:

Milstone 1:

We would begin speaking to employer's about what they seek when hiring people. We would conduct an empathy interview about students and the hiring process, and how extra-currcular activities could be implement when going through the job application process.

Milestone 2:

We would speak to the Faculty of Engineering and IT about the demands of industry when it comes to job application, and provide them a list of reccomendations that industry expect from universities in regards to student exmployment. 

Milestone 3:

We would then get students to voice their concerns to Faculty about the needs of formal recognition in the Academic Transcript and then being to work closely with Faculty to being integrating this system. 

Milestone 4:

After this, a checklist would be created to ensure that extra-curricular activities are monitored and thoroughly examined to give students opportunities to have these involvements formalised in their transcript. 

Milestone 5:

Implement a IT system to ensure the smooth running of the documentation and recording of student involvement at UTS.

Milestone 6:

Announce the creation of the new section of the Academic Transcript.

Strategy #3 - Social Events to Break Down Faculty Separations

When interviewing students from various degree backgrounds, it was often evident that rarely interacted with students who were apart of a different faculty to themselves. In many occasions, they barely interacted with people outside of their own course. We have often seen that students who know more people in a cross disciplined environment often get involved with a much grander range of activities and therefore enjoy their university experience more.

Tactic #1 - Run innovation workshops for cross faculty students to encourage innovation and meeting of friends

A continual aim of the UIFs at UTS has been to foster innovation and promote student engagement at our uni. We are modifying it slightly so that it is no so much as a strategy and instead making it more of a goal we will achieve by doing other activities. In this case we are getting there by bringing together students from a range of backgrounds and using their different skills so that they work on the theme that we have for that particular workshop.

Tactic #2 - Run social events that are not discipline specific

We have found during our empathy work that students are most likely not to go to an event because they do not know any other people who will be going. A good way to overcome this first hurdle is with social activites as these are often vary popular and can be used to familiarise people with the cohort they could be working with for a rnage of other events.

This then means that we will be able to have a much larger audience to promote our events to, along with the change that people will be interacting with students not apart of their usual friend group.

Tactic #3 - Host uni wide hackathons to get people involved

This tactic follows on from tactic #2 as students who have become familar with us as a staple of uni life. This tactic will begin to integrate the uni courses with the social side of the university. The innovation methods that we have discussed with the group can be integrated with real life problems cementing the knowledge they learn at uni as an actual useful thing to have. It will also expose students to the grander scheme of what their knowledge can be used for.

Milestone #1 - Host a networking event at which there is no more than 35% of students from a particular faculty

Due to the make up of the university a reasonable goal of faculty mix would be around 35%, this would allow for the slightly larger faculties in the universities, while still making sure that we have an almost equal mix of backgrounds across the university.

Milsestone #2 - Expland the UIF program at UTS outside of the Engineering Faculty

Currently all UIF program at UTS is hosted from the engineering faculty. This has been fantastic at the start, but it would be a true step forward to expand this to other faculties around the university as to gain different perspectivies and new ideas.

Milestone #3 - Make orientation a uni wide event with activites for all students.

One of the most influential times at university is in the first week of the first year of a student's university life. Here many friends are made and perspectives are grown. At the moment most, if not all introduction sessions are run on a faculty level with many being dealt with in cohort and major groups. By growing this so that the activities include a range of different backgrouds the university would be in a much better position to host cross disciplines events and grow strengths as the encouragement to take classes out of a specific faculty would come from the students.

Milestone #4 - commence uni subjects that are not tied to one particular faculty

The final milestone after the range of improvements would be for the uni to introduce subjects that were not directly related to any specific faculty and instead were based around the aim of solving real life problems. Here students would come from a range of backgrounds and would be able solve issues in a challenge based learning environment. This would fit in well with the graduate attributes that UTS promotes and also would prepare students for real life work.

Ultimately the aim is to connect current communities on campus and allowing new students to find ways to get involved. This strategy hopes to influence the success of other strategies being implemented at the University.

Strategy #4 - Creating a Cohesive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Environment

UTS is a large university with approximately 45,000 students currently enrolled. As a result, the UTS campus is vast and spread out over a large geographical area. As each building is home to a specific faculty, this creates a sense of pride and belonging within each faculty however it can also contribute to a feeling of disassociation with the rest of the university. This is especially true in the case of the innovation building which most students are completely unaware of.

After interviewing several students from the Faculty of Engineering and IT, we could not find a single student who was aware of the existence of this innovation building where so many of UTS' I&E programs take place. Through our own experiences at UTS, we have observed a rift between the students who frequently engage in I&E activities and those who do not. After speaking with students, most told us that they would have gotten involved in these activities had they known about them. From these discussions coupled with our own experiences, we believe the main cause of this is poor advertising and the physical isolation of I&E programs and initiatives within the innovation building.

Instead of perpetuating an environment in which students are forced to seek out I&E programs and events themselves, we believe the solution to this problem is to bring small I&E experiences into the everyday life of the UTS student. We are still investigating how best to do this with ongoing ideation, prototyping, and feedback.

Milestone #1 - Widespread I&E Advertising Across Campus

In order to increase studnet awareness of the current I&E offerings around UTS. We want to expand the advertising efforts of these programs so that they aren't aimed solely at those who are already involved in I&E. Currently, the majority of I&E advertising can be found around our innovation building and is much more scarce around the rest of the campus.

Milestone #2 - Integration of I&E Activities into University Wide Events

By integrating I&E activities into events like Open Day, we can create a culture of innovation amongst the future students of UTS. If we keep on track, by the time they get here there will be incresed opportunity and awareness to satisfy the needs of this culture.

Milestone #3 - Student I&E Ambassadors from Each Faculty

We aim to form teams of I&E ambassadors from across the university campus. These ambassadors would help us to disseminate information regarding I&E events and offerings while also educating students in I&E tools and techniques. As these teams grow and develop, we hope to create new I&E offerings with their help.

Milestone #4 - Innovation Islands Across Campus

Once a culture has been developed across the university, our goal is to create physical innovation islands in thoroughfares across the university. These islands would have information on I&E offerings, examples of past student creations, and student I&E ambassadors to teach new skills and answer questions.

Milestone #5 - Innovation Spaces Across Campus

As an extension to the innovation islands, we hope to create dedicated innovation spaces in each building at UTS. These spaces would originally be used for extra curricular activities and events relating to I&E however we hope that over time they could be used for subjects in which a component of I&E can be taught.

Related Links

UTS Campus Overview

UTS Home Page:

UTS Start Ups Home Page:


UTS Facebook Page:


Spring 2019 HDR Spring 2019 FEIT Autumn (Fall) 2018 Spring 2018 Spring 2017
Anna Józefina Rutkowska Siena Reynolds
Nicholas Berriman Laurence Presland Matthew Childs
Jess MacArthur Joshua Keegan Georgia McCarthy Alastair Bate Peter Cole
Ephraim Patrick Jasmina Dang  Jacob Vartanian James Ryan Irene Hsieh
Melanie Lewis Satya Pranavi Gangapuri
Kritika Khanna Gavan Huang Corey Stewart

Related links