Dr Buzz Palmer (STC Australia)
Australia ranks third in the world with respect to excellence in academic research, indicating that Australia is exceptionally pioneering and cutting edge. Many Australian universities rank highly globally for innovation and STEMM, there is an exciting, attainable opportunity to position universities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally as entrepreneurial ecosystem foundations. Achieving this will require focused and sustained initiatives with unique programming that adopts culture change and addressing internal drivers. The role of the university has evolved beyond simply teaching and research, with many universities striving for strong economic development contributions delivered through entrepreneurship and commercialisation. However, institutional entrepreneurship is difficult to engineer. Successful entrepreneurial universities (whether driven ground-up or engineered top down) typically have a culture that includes a willingness to take risks, shared governance and appropriate reward systems. To ensure that Australia continues to contribute to the world’s stock of knowledge we need to create a supportive environment that nurtures and drives entrepreneurship and innovation. Australia needs to coordinate leadership that inspires and directs a shift in government policy that cuts across education, culture with accessible investment platforms to build a progressive ecosystem.