Western Sydney University to invest $40 million in new academic and research strategy

The article was originally published on The Western Sydney University’s Website

Western Sydney University is investing up to $40 million over five years in three new Research Fellowship Schemes and expanding its innovative 21C Curriculum Project.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said these new initiatives will provide the highest quality learning and teaching opportunities to Western Sydney and build on the University’s already world-class research expertise.

“This new investment will deliver extensive benefits to our students, our community and our partners and leverage existing strengths in the Schools, Institutes, Strategic Research Initiatives, and other emerging areas of strength across research and teaching,” said Professor Glover.

Funding will be provided to support the following Research Fellowship Schemes:

  • The Research Fellowship Scheme – will invest in 50 research-focused fellows. Targeting high-performing early and mid-career researchers whose work aligns with the University’s research strengths, Western will build on its already established and rapidly emerging cohorts of research excellence.
  • The Distinguished Visiting International Fellowship Scheme – will target international research leaders, including those from industry. The scheme will support fellows at the University for six to twelve months to enable broad and sustainable collaboration with our researchers.
  • The Outgoing International Fellowship Scheme – will support Western’s researchers to travel to universities with which we partner, allowing them to spend up to two months in-residence working on joint research projects and outputs.

The University’s Academic Division will also use this investment to enhance the quality of teaching and learning to improve graduate outcomes. This will be done through the expansion of the University’s 21C Curriculum project – a large-scale curriculum reform, focused on meeting the challenges of sustainability, the digital revolution, and the future of work.

New initiatives will include:

  • The development of transdisciplinary curriculum with flexible degree options;
  • New leadership opportunities for staff and students;
  • New global opportunities for partnership and collaboration;
  • Expansion of the Advance Higher Education Fellows program to further recognise teachers of international standing; and
  • The introduction of the Western Teaching Academy to recognise our outstanding teachers.

Collectively, these initiatives are an investment in Western’s capacity, capability and quality, advancing the University’s strong international reputation.

How manufacturing businesses can successfully partner with universities to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies

As part of the NSW Advanced Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy, the NSW Government is partnering with the NSW Smart Sensing Network and the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Ltd to deliver the ‘Successfully Adopting Smart Sensing Technologies’ series.

Yesterday we hosted the first of the series at Western Sydney Launch Pad – discussing how manufacturing businesses can successfully partner with universities to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies that enhance their competitiveness and resilience.

Check out two of the case studies below:

Launch Pad Case Study: How STEMTera kept all their production onshore in Western Sydney

From working with semiconductor testing machines to writing software for mobile phones, JP is known for his skills in debugging, R&D and product development. With many years of experience in full product development life cycle, he continually expands his experience and knowledge in delivering quality software and hardware solutions.

JP now works out of Launch Pad where he sells, manufactures and delivers all STEMTera products.


Launch Pad Case Study: The impact of Academic Partnerships for LA Services

David believes that engineering excellence is the foundation of the long term prosperity of Australia. Without this standard of engineering across all disciplines, we cannot design and manufacture the equipment and tools that will deliver jobs and a continuation of our standard of living for our children.

LA Services has for the last 40 years added to Australia’s productive capacity. We have consistently provided bespoke equipment that delivers operational productivity and efficiency to our customers that enables them to compete on the world stage.

As GM of this small family-owned manufacturing business, I am proud of the opportunity to have made a contribution, and look forward to continuing to do so, while maintaining my passion for hands-on engineering.

Learn how David and LA Services was able to leverage the knowledge and connections of Western Sydney University to develop new world class technology and equipment for their customers.


Federal Election: Labor promises $7.2m Digital Discovery Centre for WSU Bankstown

Western Sydney University’s new Bankstown campus will get a state-of-the-art Digital Discovery Centre if Labor wins the 2019 federal election.

The article was originally published on Canterbury-Bankstown Express, The Daily Telegraph, Author: Lawrence Machado

Blaxland federal Labor MP Jason Clare said today his party will spend $7.2 million on the world class centre at Bankstown, which is home to a sizable manufacturing sector.

This investment is part of Labor’s $300 million University Future Fund.

Jason Clare: I want to make sure that local kids can go to university in the heart of Bankstown and get the skills they need for the jobs of the future. Picture: Jeremy Piper/AAP

Mr Clare said this sector is seeing a massive change because of technology and automation with the new centre making a big difference.

“I want to make sure that local kids can go to university in the heart of Bankstown and get the skills they need for the jobs of the future,” Mr Clare said.

Western Sydney University will build a new ‘vertical campus in the Bankstown CBD. Picture: Carmela Roche

The Digital Discovery Centre will be part of Western Sydney University’s vertical campus planned for Bankstown CBD .

“Australia’s workforce will continue to change into the future, but the Liberals have done nothing to plan for those changes or make sure workers and local students have the skills they need,” Labor candidate for the marginal seat of Banks, Chris Gambian said.

Labor candidate for Banks Chris Gambian. Picture: Carmela Roche

Dr Andy Marks. Picture: Damian Shaw

Dr Andy Marks, the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University, welcomed the funding promise.

“The Digital Discovery Centre will support south Western Sydney’s engagement with digital technologies. It’s an opportunity to leverage, rather than be destabilised by digital disruption,” Dr Marks said.

“It’s not just about digital technology. It’s about community and businesses thinking differently, collaborating, and innovating to solve the region’s challenges.”

Labor said its commitment to delivering the Digital Discovery Centre will support digital technologies and support capabilities enabling, development, prototyping and testing of technologies in areas including:

  • Industry 4.0 and industrial Internet of Things.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Neuromorphic engineering (biology computational and electronic systems)
  • Collaborative robotics and automation.
  • Big data analytics and data visualisation.
  • Virtual and augmented reality.
  • Additive manufacturing.
  • Advanced sensing and haptics.

In conversation with: Prof. Barney Glover AO

The VC of Western Sydney University says the university is there as an advocate for its region as massive new developments bring sweeping change to the area.

The article was originally published on Campus Morning Mail, Author: David Myton

There was a time, and not so long ago, when the people of the vast reaches of Western Sydney were reduced to a stereotype. They were “Westies” and, as the stereotype would have it, they inhabited a bleak, rough and tumble Sydney seemingly so very different from the prosperous and privileged northern and eastern suburbs.

Well, that was then and this is now and that stereotype – any stereotype – captures nothing of the essence of today’s West. It’s one of the most richly diverse areas in Australia, home to more than two million people comprising 170 nationalities, with the population projected to reach three million by 2036.

Big things are happening there. The NSW State Government plans to develop two connected, inter-related cities – The Central City District, centred on Parramatta and Olympic Park; and the Western Parkland City District including Campbelltown, the Hawkesbury, Liverpool, and Penrith. New rail links are planned, and road infrastructure expanded and upgraded.

And work has already begun on perhaps the most significant development, the new Nancy-Bird Walton Airport at Badgerys Creek – an “aerotropolis” envisioned as a catalyst for economic growth.

Bang in the midst of all this is Western Sydney University with its 10 campuses in Sydney, some 45,000 students, 3,300 staff and a vision “to secure success for our students and the Western Sydney region through innovation and discovery in a dynamic and technology-enabled world”.

“This is a very dynamic region and will be for some time,” says Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO.

“We are here for our region, and we need to be very conscious of the connections we have, and the responsibility we have to support every part of that region.”

WSU has joined forces with three other universities that form the NUW Alliance – University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney and the University of Wollongong – to create a collaborative “multiversity” centred on the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis with the goal of delivering world-class innovative teaching and research centred on science, technology, engineering and maths.

“There’s a very interesting set of new partnerships models emerging between universities in the west,” Glover says. “We can achieve a great deal for our region working in collaboration with other universities that compliment our strengths and share our vision.”

University management and leadership

Glover – who served as chair of Universities Australia from 2015-2017 – took up the VC role at WSU on January 1, 2014, on the retirement of long-standing VC Professor Jan Reid who held the post from 1998-2013. “She left the university in a wonderful position,” Glover acknowledges.

Before joining WSU, Barney Glover had been at the helm of Charles Darwin University for five years. Prior to that, he’d been DVCR at the University of Newcastle, and had held senior roles at Perth’s Curtin University.

Born in Geelong, Victoria, Glover attended the local Newcomb Secondary College, before going on to study at the University of Melbourne graduating with a Master of Science in Mathematics, as well as a Diploma of Education in Mathematics Education followed by a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

After a brief stint as a teacher he embarked on his higher education career at the University of Ballarat (now Federation University). Here, and later at Curtin, he developed an interest in university management and leadership with a focus on research, research infrastructure, intellectual property, and capital development projects.

His time as VC at Charles Darwin University taught him much about community engagement, he says.

“CDU is a great Australian university in so many ways. I have had a huge amount of respect and affection for the institution and for the people of the Northern Territory.

“It plays such an important role in the fabric of life in the Northern Territory, both as a higher education provider and also as provider of vocational education and training. It is a magnificent institution that is richly research intensive. I had a great five years there and there was wonderful support from the local community.”

Leading advocate and champion for Western Sydney

The University of Western Sydney – renamed Western Sydney University in 2015 “to reflect our strong commitment to our region” – was formally constituted on 1 January 1989 and within five years there were more than 16,000 students at the university – a figure now approaching 45,000 plus 3,300 staff.

The university is, Glover says, an “anchor institution and leading advocate and champion for Western Sydney” and is now embarked on a mission to become a “thought leader” in the region.

“The rapid way in which technology is changing the way we live, and definitely the way our graduates will work in the future, means students have to be equipped on graduation with the ability and desire to engage in lifelong learning to adapt to and engage with the changing labour market.”

And so the university is now engaged in large-scale curriculum reform driven by the 21C Curriculum Project focused on “an step-change reform of our curriculum architecture and then deeply across many of our courses” and looking to meet the challenges of sustainability, the digital revolution, the changing nature of work, and the future of work.

“We are conscious of the need to work in partnership, so we’re looking at partnership pedagogy, and working very closely with partners in the design and co-design of the curriculum of the future,” he says, addressing “the different ways in which people will engage in learning through things like curiosity pods and access to micro credentials”.

Transformative infrastructure and health plans

The university is and will continue to be hugely engaged in the transformative infrastructure and health plans set to re-shape Western Sydney. This will require much adaptation by the university but, Glover says, it’s up to the task.

“One of the great characteristics of university education in this country, especially over the last 40 years, is that it has been very adaptive, responsive and in many ways a world-leading sector.”

One of the ways WSU is preparing for the future is through a number of Decadal Strategies to meet its commitments to the region – these included the recently released Flight Path targeted at the new airport, and Western Health centred on the health challenges facing the region which in 10 years, he says, will have an extra million people living there.

That creates an obligation on Western Sydney University to begin to think through how do we meet the anticipated needs of our community in that time?

“It’s about how we position ourselves in our region and respond to all these changes, not just in the immediacy of the next two or three years, but looking out at over a decade or more.

“If you look at Western Sydney in a decade’s time, a significant proportion of the current major infrastructure projects will have been realised. We will have new metro systems in place, we will have north-south rail connections, and we will have the international airport at Badgerys Creek.

“In a decade it will just be a couple of years into its life as a 24/7 international, commercial scale airport, opening up connectivity particularly to Asia, with next generation long haul planes coming in – that’s a big opportunity for Australian export industries in various ways, particularly in the Greater Sydney context.

“There’s nationally significant development and growth occurring throughout Western Sydney and it’s been driven by infrastructure investment – there’s billions going into the new airport, into transport generally, and equally billions going into hospitals and health infrastructure in the region,” he says.

Developments at the Blacktown-Mount Druitt hospital will see it become “one of the top five or six hospitals in Australia when the next phase is completed,” he says. There will also be a significant growth in the number of beds in major hospitals in Liverpool, Campbelltown, Nepean, and Westmead.

“We will literally have hundreds of additional beds in high quality tertiary hospital precincts – both public and private hospitals. The major hospitals of Western Sydney are creating precincts around them which will attract investments, job creation and industry co-location with universities – not just with WSU but other universities too.

“That’s a wonderful way of staying very connected to the next generation of workers for the health industry in this country and in our region. We need to adapt to those circumstances.”

An advocate and thought leader for the region

An important role for the university, Glover says, is to be a thought leader in the region as well as being an advocate that “champions” the Western Sydney region.

“There has been an important shift for the university over the last few years to be seen to express strong views about the development of our region. We need to be a voice, for example, for the developing urban form of Western Sydney, and for the environmental challenges that the region faces – about the fragility of Western Sydney,” he says.

“Whether that’s about the impact of heat load in our region – which we’re doing a lot of work on at the moment – or whether it’s about ensuring the quality of our ground water into the future when we’ve got such intense development underway such as new rail systems.”

As an anchor institution in the region – “with significant intellectual capacity” – he says it’s important to have researchers and academics focus their disciplinary expertise on local challenges and for the university to be seen as an advocate for the region. The university is committed to “change the narrative” away from the “deficit model” of the region to one that advocates for its strengths.

“That’s an important part of advocating for the university through its Vice-Chancellor and our senior researchers with their expertise – to be willing to stand up and very publicly discuss the challenges for economic development and social development and the health and wellbeing of our region, for the urban form.”

Significant social, cultural and economic change

Glover highlights a new architecture program at the university, which he says will “bring in expertise that can contribute to the way our region will develop in terms of urban transformation architecture”.

Such courses are important “and not just symbolic statements” for universities in their role as a “thought leader”.

“We have a role to play in stimulating, encouraging and leading an open and evidence-based debate and discussion around the issues, problems, challenges, and difficulties that a region faces when it’s going through a very significant social, cultural and economic change – to suggest alternative way of imagining the future of the region.”

WSU has increased its advocacy for the local area “from a time when the university was perhaps less vocal in expressing views about some of the critical issues facing the region. I think that’s a positive transformation and one that we need to see continue”.

“In terms of changing perception, you need a champion, you need advocates and you need people who are community leaders to be powerful in their statements about the region, particularly at the moment with all the investments being made and the difference they will make for Sydney overall, not just Western Sydney.”


Inspace XR raises $750,000 and prepares for Global

Inspace XR was founded in 2017 by Justin Liang, who is an ex-AMP Ventures team member and Eric Fear, ex-VR Lead at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Having only been in the market for less than two years, Inspace XR has achieved great heights in closing deals and partnerships, and more recently, their recent funding round of $750,000 to support their global expansion. Investment of their latest round comes from groups of investors including Australia’s largest angel investment group, Sydney Angels, Artesian, Taronga Group, and Investible.

Inspace XR is developing a range of AR / VR software products to transform the way buildings are designed, constructed and sold. In a new world with Inspace XR, architects are running client meetings in virtual reality by simply converting their projects into a VR-ready experience.

Product Video shown above.

“The global building industry wastes $55 billion annually as a result of construction mistakes due to the misinterpretation of building designs,”


Clients of builders and architects are frustrated because they don’t understand floor plans and are also questioning the certainty of rendered images. This results in slow decision making and a high chance of design regret once it’s too late.


We created software that easily allows architects and their clients to walk through virtual buildings so they could be happy with the design before commencing construction.


Being backed by great investors such as Sydney Angels and Investible allows us to further develop River Fox, create new products, and launch these into overseas markets, starting with the US and China. We’re excited about the positive impact we’ll have on the building industry in 2019 and beyond,” concluded Mr. Liang.


Inspace XR CEO and Co-Founder, Justin Liang.

Justin and Eric have already established partnerships with VR hardware providers, university architecture faculties, including Western Sydney University and professional bodies to establish River Fox as the industry standard. This round of investment will support the Inspace XR team to take their business global as they prepare for expansion into the US and China markets.

River Fox is available for purchase. Click here to get a free trial of the product.

See original post on Startup Daily.


Launch Pad kicks off The Global Tech Leader Series with the Managing Director of Amazon Web Services APAC

Western Sydney University Launch Pad presents The Global Tech Leader Series featuring Ed Lenta, Managing Director of Amazon Web Services APAC

As part of Launch Pad’s focus to transform Western Sydney to an innovation-driven future, we are bringing a host of successful Global Tech Leaders to Sydney’s West to share their stories.

Ed Lenta is a 7 year veteran of Amazon Web Services (AWS). As Managing Director of APAC, Ed is responsible for operations and growth for the 20 countries in the region.

At this event, Ed shared with us his personal journey and approach to the technology sector, advice and tips for startups and practical strategies for government and large organizations to approach the cloud, AI, and other technology changes presenting new opportunities, and new challenges.

Amazon is famous for running lean and efficiently, even at hyperscale. Ed shared the practical steps used to function like a startup, and maintain a fast pace of innovation and flexibility while operating with more than 600,000 employees worldwide.

New Innovation Corridor to Power Western Sydney Entrepreneurs

Western Sydney University is launching the Innovation Corridor economic development strategy to drive the ambitious new development of commercial and research hubs across Western Sydney.

The Innovation Corridor Discussion Paper by Professor Donald McNeil will be launched at the Ideas Lab, on the University’s Parramatta South campus on Tuesday, October 27. The discussion paper was a collaborative partnership between Western Sydney University and Celestino – the development company behind the proposed Sydney Science Park.

The Innovation Corridor will stretch from Campbelltown to Hawkesbury, and include Badgery’s Creek Airport Precinct and the Western Sydney Employment Area. It will link the NSW Government’s designated North-West and South-West Growth centres.

The Corridor will provide sites for emerging industries, and spur growth in the accelerator model of business development, where angel investors, corporations, governments and universities provide seed money and mentoring.

To discuss the strategy and the release of the Innovation Corridor Research Paper, the Ideas Lab has gathered an informed audience and panel of industry, government and community leaders, including:

  • Professor Barney Glover, Western Sydney University Vice Chancellor
  • Lindy Deitz, General Manager of Campbelltown City Council
  • Professor Donald McNeill, Institute for Culture and Society and author of the Innovation Corridor Discussion Paper
  • Dr Tim Williams, CEO, Committee for Sydney
  • David Borger, NSW Business Chamber
  • John Vassallo, Sydney Science Park (Celestino)

The Ideas Lab will also provide a forum allowing audience members to have their say, through an online poll and real-time Twitter feeds.

The article was originally published on Canterbury-Bankstown Express, The Daily Telegraph, Author: Lawrence MachadoThe Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Development, Professor Scott Holmes, says the Innovation Corridor will provide much needed support for emerging and growing businesses in Western Sydney.

“Western Sydney is home to some of Australia’s most inventive entrepreneurs,” says Professor Holmes.

“By creating an innovation growth corridor spanning across Western Sydney, the University can act as a mechanism to connect start-ups to emerging and growing business in the health, automotive, education and social enterprise sectors, all key areas of strength in the west.”

“Digital and other start-ups in London are already looking further afield, such as locating in Croydon, south of the city. It’s time we start thinking about how to encourage new locations for our emerging digital activity and markets in Sydney – and Western Sydney makes perfect sense.”

John Vassallo says the paper shows there’s a unique opportunity to create a globally significant ecosystem of innovation in the region.

“The planned Sydney Science Park will be an integral element of this innovation ecosystem and we look forward to working with government, industry and academia to deliver this vision,” he says.

The article was originally published on Western Sydney University.