Partnerships and alliances flourish, from a focus on Innovation and Engagement

06 Dec 2021
Innovation and engagement

Professor Jacobs’ passion for collaboration shines through in the second 2025 Strategy pillar.

Our Vice-Chancellor has been consistent in calling on the UNSW community to make collaboration second nature in all we do, reminding us that working together – across disciplines, institutions and borders – has never been more important, as we emerge from the pandemic and face such critical global challenges as climate change and inequality.

“Professor Jacobs’ vision and his ethos of ‘generosity in partnership’ have been immensely important as we developed many deep, trusted alliances with our partners around the world and in Australia.  These alliances have worked to transform not just our own institutions, but also provide broader positive impact,” said Vinita Chanan, Director, Alliances

We have witnessed the many rewards of collaboration and will continue to seek the partnerships that help us carry out our research and education mission to advance society.   

Australia’s leading University Entrepreneurial Program

Over the past decade, UNSW has proudly developed a strong culture of entrepreneurism with the Innovation and Engagement pillar of the 2025 Strategy reflecting UNSW’s ambition to establish itself as one of the best Australian universities for aspiring entrepreneurs. As the platform to deliver this vision, the UNSW Founders Program empowers students, staff and alumni with the skills and knowledge to launch new companies that solve real world problems.

The program has grown significantly since inception and each year supports more than 200 startups, provides in excess of 10,000 educational experiences and delivers flagship programs. Our world-class education and research networks provide the bedrock upon which our founders teams can flourish.

PLuS Alliance
The PLuS Alliance, UNSW’s partnership with King’s College London and Arizona State University celebrated five years in 2021. The 2021 Snapshot sets out an inspiring sample of the achievements the alliance has made towards its vision of ‘Global communities empowered through innovative and accessible education and research.’

Through partnerships in fields including sustainability, global health, social justice and technology, and innovation, the PLuS Alliance has already achieved much in a partnership of enormous potential. TEDI-London, the flagship engineering education enterprise, launched this year, with the institution well placed to transform the lives of its students and those who benefit from the products they create. Educational experiences such as field trips to Botswana, online course exchanges and summer schools for UNSW students, as well as research collaborations between staff, have flourished under the partnership.

Western Sydney engagement  

UNSW has partnered with Western Sydney University in a state-of-the-art facility for teaching, research, and industry collaboration at the Parramatta Engineering Innovation Hub. UNSW is also a member of the EducateAT Parramatta Alliance, uniting universities that have a presence in Parramatta to advocate for, and attract talent to, the Western Sydney region.

NUW Alliance

The University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong, UNSW Sydney and Western Sydney University – collectively the NUW Alliance – launched the Multiversity program of specialist technology courses in 2021. The partnership includes TAFE NSW and industry, to drive job creation and upskilling at Bradfield, the site of Sydney’s Aerotropolis.     

Sydney Quantum Academy growth  

A partnership backed by the NSW Government between four world-leading universities for quantum research – UNSW, Macquarie University, the University of Sydney and UTS – the Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) has been tasked with supercharging the sector’s growth, and to develop Sydney as a global quantum hub. SQA provides a pathway for UNSW students through engagement in research projects, coursework, and internships. 

Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways through the PLuS Alliance 

The Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways (TWLP) program is a key offering of the PLuS Alliance, led by Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Equity Diversity and Inclusion. The TWLP vision is to ensure university leaders, company/industry executives and government decision makers implement action plan recommendations across the three PLuS partner countries to see tangible change by 2030. It is a program to share knowledge, raise awareness and increase visibility of women leaders. 

Maridulu Budyari Gumal: the SPHERE Network  

Maridulu Budyari Gumal, the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE), is a collaboration between leading experts in the health, research and education sectors that aims to develop new and innovative ways to deliver better healthcare for communities in NSW. 

In 2021, research conducted by SPHERE member organisations provided vital inputs into the response to COVID-19. SPHERE facilitated connections for the NSW COVID Critical Intelligence Unit with researchers doing COVID work in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Working together with NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, and in consultation with NSW Ministry of Health, SPHERE produced health promotion messages in half a dozen of the key languages across South-Eastern and South-Western Sydney, to help people learn how to better manage existing illnesses in the context of COVID-19.  

Climate Alliance pilots Strategic Framework 

Climate change targets present the world with both an enormous challenge to overcome and an opportunity to come together: this is the core work that unites the 50 members of the International Universities Climate Alliance

Established in April 2020 and convened by UNSW, these leading climate research universities come from every inhabited continent, encompassing some of the world’s most accomplished climate researchers. During 2021, the Climate Alliance unveiled its Strategic Framework and piloted several global programs, including a student engagement program, virtual conference, flagship program and a global climate literacy survey. 

Transforming health through our precincts

For more than 60 years, UNSW has aspired to integrate health, research, and education to improve the health outcomes of everyone in our local and global community. Anchored around our UNSW Kensington Campus, UNSW is making a $500m investment over the next 10 years to grow its health precinct initiatives in South-East Sydney. Our home for this ambition is the Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct (RHIP), the single largest strategic investment UNSW has ever made. As the university and foundation partner in the RHIP, UNSW and Professor Jacobs drove the creation and initial implementation of RHIP.