VC speech Innovation Centre 15 year celebration
8 Dec 2017
For those of you who haven’t heard the story before, the spark for establishing the Innovation Centre was struck in 1999 when USC graduated its first batch of students and an uncomfortable question bubbled up, “What the hell is someone going to do with a degree on the Sunshine Coast?” There wasn’t nursing and teaching and the broad range of disciplines available today – it was just Arts & Business and Science making a start.
Simplistic economy – so the university decided to play a role in building the economy of the future where USC graduates would find local employment and drive business innovation and the knowledge economy. That was 15 years ago now and the Innovation Centre has become a very well-respected institution on the Coast. Based on its graduating companies, the opportunities it has created for USC students and USC graduates, it’s an outstanding success.
As a regional university our success relies very heavily on the relationship we have with the local community and the things we do that have the highest impact often aren’t closely related to our core business in teaching and research. The Innovation Centre is an example of this or we could refer to the Sunshine Coast Lightning or the Thompson Institute. Partnerships with Sunshine Coast Council and government, and with community members like Roy and Nola Thompson, enable these sorts of community building initiatives to proceed. And we’re very proud, and pleased, to be able to do our share in this space.
So, congratulations to Mark and his team, Peter and the Innovation Centre Board, and all those who have contributed to the Innovation Centre over the last 15 years.