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S Island unis join forces for entrepreneurship

Joint media release from the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the University of Otago

South Island universities join forces to encourage entrepreneurship

One of the projects announced in the inaugural round of the Encouraging and Supporting Innovation Fund involves a three way partnership between the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the University of Otago.

The project has been awarded $3 million - the round's largest single allocation. It builds on the achievements of a joint UC and Lincoln University programme designed to develop entrepreneurial skills in bio-science students through partnerships with local industry.

Canterbury University's project leader Dr Bill Swallow says the new project's goal is to encourage active embracement of entrepreneurship.

He is delighted that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), which administers the fund, has recognised the efforts of all three universities in constructing such an innovative and credible programme.

"Our goal is to creatively leverage the research and intellectual capacity of the three South Island universities and help effect a major change in culture to one which actively promotes entrepreneurship.

"The project will help facilitate the capture of intellectual property and develop technology-based businesses through which we aim to help catalyse the economic transformation of NZ. We will also see a stream of business-savvy New Zealand graduates," he says.

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp has congratulated those involved in the project.

"This is significant recognition not only of the University of Canterbury's strengths, but also the strong linkages our staff have with their colleagues at other institutions and the business sector. I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes of their work."

University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says it is noteworthy that the successful bid is collaborative and encourages linkages between key players in the relevant fields.

Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roger Field, says: "I am delighted at the vision involved in forging this unique partnership between the three South Island Universities and fast-tracking the development of our joint enterprise cultures."

TEC says the new fund has a strong focus on collaborative projects.

TEC Chief Executive Janice Shiner says supporting and encouraging innovation is vital for New Zealand's economic transformation and ongoing social and cultural development.

"We need to find more advanced and sustainable ways of doing things to ensure New Zealand continues to prosper in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.

"The Encouraging and Supporting Innovation Fund supports tertiary education organisations to undertake new projects that will improve the transfer of knowledge between the tertiary sector and industry, and encourage students to study at higher levels."


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