The Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre’s strong affiliation with the University of the Sunshine Coast is proving to be an asset for its client companies, fuelling business growth, research and product development.
CEO of the Innovation Centre, Colin Graham said having a strong link to the University allowed its client companies to take advantage of the benefits that the location brought, including access to student talent and training, state-of-the-art facilities and networking opportunities with industry experts and academics.
“Our connection with the University of the Sunshine Coast enables the companies to benefit from the University’s dynamic and creative campus environment. The campus location also makes it easy for businesses to tap into talent via student internships and graduate recruitment,” Mr Graham said.
“One of our client companies, Auzion, is making full use of the unique opportunities offered here at the centre, working with USC on a number of projects,” Mr Graham said.
CEO of Auzion, Mark Leckenby said the very model by which Auzion operates was developed through association and with the support and guidance of USC.
“The collaborative environment and the collocation of other complementary businesses within the centre means we have also developed some strong business alliances,” he said.
In 2010, Auzion teamed up with the USC Sustainability Research Centre to conduct a scoping and pilot study of their product innovation, the AuziMax Energy Maximiser and later in 2010, a research project that allowed them to identify the motivators and preferences of people purchasing and taking up sustainability technology.
The AuziMax is Auzion’s own revolutionary management system that enables customers to monitor energy in the home or business via an Internet portal and maximise their savings by potentially reducing their energy consumption by as much as 20%. Receiving Australian Standards approval just a few months ago, the AuziMax is in its final stages before it goes into commercial production.
“The University’s research study played an integral role in the development of the AuziMax,” Mark said.
Colin Graham said the University encourages sustainability and regional engagement, and welcomes the opportunity to work with companies, like Auzion.
The Innovation Centre, a University of the Sunshine Coast company, is dedicated to the economic development of the Sunshine Coast region and specialises in assisting businesses in the information and communication technology (ICT), clean technologies, health technologies and creative industry sectors.
Currently home to more than 30 entrepreneurial businesses from a range of knowledge based industries, the Innovation Centre has supported the start-up and growth of over 78 businesses and created around 350 jobs.
“Being a resident of the Innovation Centre, provides us with the rare opportunity to build strong links with academic and business professionals and easy access to the University’s state-of-the-art research and development test lab,” Mark said.
“Our alliance with the University has also allowed us to network our research and development team with industry specialists in the field of Sustainable Energy Solutions,” Mark said.