Southern Cross University has officially welcomed the Premier of New South Wales to launch its world-class Enterprise Lab, based at the Lismore campus.
The Southern Cross Enterprise Lab will see the University engage with the region’s vibrant entrepreneurs and dynamic business community to add further support to the innovation ecosystem in the Northern Rivers.
The Enterprise Lab has been funded by the NSW Government through its Boosting Business Innovation Program which aims to accelerate innovation in New South Wales.
NSW Premier The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian officially opened the Lab alongside the Vice Chancellor of Southern Cross University Professor Adam Shoemaker.
“The Deputy Premier announced our funding for the Southern Cross Enterprise Lab 18 months ago and I am pleased to be here at the culmination of this journey,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is entrepreneurial talent and capability that underpins resilient economies, and the Enterprise Lab will directly support the development of future entrepreneurs and the transition of the Northern Rivers economy to seize the opportunities of the future.”
The Lab has two primary objectives: innovation and partnership. Innovation will come through activating and developing local talent to create extraordinary solutions that make a global difference with regional benefits. Partnership will involve open-collaboration and co-creation with start-ups, SMEs, students, researchers and other partners to put new technology and forward-thinking business models into practice.
Ben Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor (Engagement) at Southern Cross University, was the architect of the Enterprise Lab concept.
Mr Roche said the Lab presented an exciting opportunity for SMEs, who will be able to apply to participate in programs that focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and capacity to increase smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
“We anticipate that the Lab will support more than 30 projects over the next twelve months and is expected to attract a wide, dynamic and diverse community of entrepreneurs from different sectors, with different needs.
“The current entrepreneurial DNA of the Northern Rivers region offers promising opportunity to make real change, we take pride in supporting commercial and social enterprise that create a positive impact,” he said.
Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the University saw itself as having a central role in educating and cultivating future entrepreneurs and creating a pro-entrepreneurship culture in Australia.
“In an interconnected world our future prosperity, health and sustainability is closely bound to our capacity for innovation.
“Southern Cross University aims to visibly drive this cultural change in regional NSW. Working together with business leaders, new and established, we can generate opportunity for all,” Professor Shoemaker said.