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26 February, 2019 - 11:00 By Kate Sweeney

Sydney students explore leadership and innovation in Cambridge

The University of Sydney has partnered with the Møller Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge to deliver a programme focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship.

As part of its 2016-2020 strategic plan, the university is transforming the student experience by focusing on global experiences, inter-disciplinary learning and real-world projects. 

One such project, involving 25 undergraduates, was in Cambridge last week at the Møller Institute and addressed the complex challenges of creating an innovation ecosystem in the real-world context of the Cambridge technology cluster.

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney said: “The ICPU programme represents one of the most exciting parts of the new University of Sydney curriculum and we are immensely proud of the work produced by our students’ learning experiences.”

As part of the programme the students focused on a project based on the long-term vision and ethos of the Wellcome Genome Campus – home to some of the world’s foremost genomics and biodata institutes and organisations.

The undergraduates were tasked to envision what that campus could look like in 15-20 years, focusing on the physical, social, economic and cultural aspects of the site.

The students worked in interdisciplinary groups under the guidance of Møller Associates and academic staff from the University of Sydney; they also received project-specific input from the Møller Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. 

Jo Mills, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre manager at the Wellcome Genome Campus, said: “The field of genomics and biodata is flourishing and right now that is creating a great many new opportunities. As a consequence, innovation is immensely important for both the Wellcome Sanger Institute and all of the organisations across the Wellcome Genome Campus. 

“We’re delighted to be involved in this exciting project and to have talented students from the University of Sydney involved in developing our thinking as we look towards the future of our campus.”

Martin Tomitsch, chair of design & director of the Design Lab at the University of Sydney has been inspired by the programme. He said: “I’ve been working with the students since the beginning of this journey and it has been extremely inspiring to see how the programme has transformed their way of thinking and how they work as a group. 

“The skills they are developing through this experience will be an invaluable foundation for their careers as entrepreneurs and innovators of the future.” 

• PHOTOGRAPH: Day one of the programme at the Møller Institute. Front row, centre are Cathy Butler, head of executive Education at Møller and Martin Tomitsch, chair of design & director of the Design Lab at the University of Sydney.  Photograph by Chris Page – Page Photography

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