Engaged University of the Year Award

Swinburne University of Technology

Finalist of the Engaged University of the Year Award

"Working collaboratively to build an impactful research and innovation ecosystem"

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Swinburne University of Technology has a long history of positive engagement, both internally and externally, supported by a strong university-wide strategy and approach. The university’s strategic plan and operational structure highlights engagement with industry and community as central to achieving its vision to be ‘A world class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation.’

In 2016 Swinburne’s new research strategy ‘Research and Innovation Strategy 2020 – Transforming Industries, Shaping Lives and Communities’ further articulated this commitment to engagement. The Strategy and aligned work plans outline an ambitious approach to research engagement across the university, with industry and community, locally and globally. It details innovative engagement methods to grow Swinburne research excellence and reputation and to create research outputs that are readily translated to societal impact. Key innovative engagement initiatives outlined in this strategy that are creating an integrated and engaged Research and Innovation Ecosystem at Swinburne include:

• An Innovation Precinct - to encourage and integrate research-led innovation and an innovation culture across the university, linked with industry and community.

Interdisciplinary Research Institutes - to encourage and enhance our multidisciplinary engagement internally and with external partners, to enable the development of research projects that can address real-world, complex issues.

• Digital Research and Innovation Capability Platform – to create strategically differentiating digital research capability, growing expertise and forming key relationships, and linking with global industry partners.

• Expanding local and global reach - by developing partnerships with aligned research institutions and business partners to cost effectively build scale, reputation and impact reach.

Key People

Prof. Aleksandar Subic
Deputy Vice-chancellor – Research and Enterprise
Swinburne Research,  Swinburne University of Technology

Prof. Ajay Kapoor
Pro Vice-chancellor – Research Sarawak
Swinburne Research,  Swinburne University of Technology

Prof. Matthew Cuthbertson
Pro Vice-chancellor – Research Commercialisation
Swinburne Research,  Swinburne University of Technology

Prof. Alan Lau
Pro Vice-chancellor – Research Performance & Development
Swinburne Research,  Swinburne University of Technology

Prof. QingLong Han
Pro Vice-chancellor – Research Quality
Swinburne Research,  Swinburne University of Technology


Siemens Capgemini Wipro DXC Amazon Web Services CSIRO Australian Government Victorian Government The wider Swinburne University community, the Swinburne Industry Research Advisory Committee and the many other businesses and research organisations locally and globally that have teamed up with us to deliver impact.


Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 SME Hub Announcement Victoria Gov

Amazon Web Services Data For Social Good CIC Opened at Swinburne

Capgemini & Swinburne launch BlockChain COE in USA

Thought Leadership Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Collaborative venture DXC Digital Transformation Centre at Swinburne

Thought Leadership collaboration Capgemini & Swinburne

Leading the Way for Social Good - Society 4.0 Forum

Siemens and Swinburne launch Mindsphere Centre for Australia

Joint Research Centre Shandong

6. Webster

7. Van Gramberg

8. Fox

9. Sellis

10. Farmer

11. Burry

12. Lambert

13. Morrison

14. Adams

15. Xiang

16. Bezzobs

17. Hore


Impacting lifes

The very first project (Guide Dogs Victoria) of the collaboratively formed, and embedded on campus, DXC Digital Transformation Centre At Swinburne (DTC@Swinburne), is a demonstration and evidence of how Swinburne’s Research and Innovation Strategy 2020 is achieving impact. The DTC@Swinburne brings together capabilities from DXC and Swinburne (researchers and students) to tackle challenging industry and community problems. Guide Dogs Victoria were quick to approach the DTC@Swinburne with a problem that they were finding difficult to solve – social isolation and difficulty in accessing quality relevant information for those who are blind or vision impaired. Working collaboratively with visually impaired people, Guide Dogs Victoria, Swinburne and DXC, we arrived at a co-designed solution to this problem, a Peer Support Platform that enabled improved access to information and increased the independence, social connections and community participation of people with low vision and blindness. The collaboration is now seeking ways to deliver this platform to the wider visually impaired community across Australia.


Lessons learned

Set a clear vision for what you want to achieve from the outset and track you progress closely.

Be ambitious and innovative, collaborate and take risks.

Seek out partners that align with your vision and build relationships on trust and integrity. Work together as a team not as a transaction.

Lead with passion, positivity and openness. All are contagious and people will want a part of it.


What's coming?

All of the pieces are now in place and are already achieving great results. Swinburne will now utilise this ecosystem to explore more complex societal problems, working closely with government, community and industry to tackle questions that have until now been very difficult to answer. Problems that require a new level of multidisciplinary and multi-organisational collaboration as we work together as a team, sharing resources – data, technology and expertise, to achieve holistic quality outcomes that make a real difference and impact.



Global businesses embedded on campus


New Institutes developed to focus on multidisciplinary collaborative projects


Government funds


Grants from Siemens


Industry project university income


Universities research income growth

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