Swinburne University of Technology has a focus on innovation and delivering impact from its research findings. This mission is actively progressed in a number of innovative ways including the creation of its Innovation Precinct hub – The Swinburne Fire Station - with a remit to: engage and build a culture of innovation with staff and students across the university’s faculties and research centres; upskill and grow enterprise; and connect innovators with industry and investors to enable the rapid scale-up of research-led ideas into real-world solutions. Uniquely this hub combines various elements to enhance effectiveness including: The Innovation Precinct Team; the Design Factory Melbourne (DFM) Team; a thriving start-up community including Swinburne’s new and rapidly growing start-up The Data Experience; and an Amazon Web Services Cloud Innovation Centre (AWS CIC) with a focus on Data for Social Good projects. Rounding out the Innovation Precinct and inter-connected with the Fire Station are the Factory of the Future – a hub for industry exploration of new technologies and digital connectivity; and the Digital Innovation Lab – a lab focussed on the translation of digital research into impactful outcomes.
In the Swinburne Fire Station two commentary teams, the Innovation Precinct team and the DFM team, work side by side to encourage innovative ventures to thrive. The Innovation Precinct Team host various programs supporting the creation of new ventures. DFM, one of the founding members of Design Factory Global Network, a network of 27 Design Factories around the world, focus on the creation and early validation of new ideas. Supporting DFM’s work is another unique feature of the Fire Station, being a permanent video link to Global Network and other collaborators around the world. DFM’s main activities are geared towards community engagement for fostering innovation culture, innovation and design thinking programs for all Swinburne students, interdisciplinary research and short-term skill development and training.