UC students have unprecedented opportunity

09 April 2013

University of Canterbury students have a massive, unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the Christchurch rebuild, says former New Zealander of the Year, Sir Ray Avery.

University of Canterbury students have a massive, unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the Christchurch rebuild, says former New Zealander of the Year, Sir Ray Avery.

The prominent scientist and inventor will be a guest speaker at the launch of UC Innovators on campus next Tuesday 16 April.

"UC students will get a rare and exciting chance to help reshape the Christchurch landscape," Sir Ray says.

"They need to understand the power of ‘us’ and make sure their voice is heard. They can create the Christchurch that they want and lead the world in innovative design of products and services.

"The coming years will be an amazing time to be a University of Canterbury student. Christchurch has a unique opportunity to rebuild itself both structurally and intellectually into a place where talented people want to live," Sir Ray says.

The Student Innovation Centre will be open to students with bright ideas to develop their entrepreneurial skills and inspire fresh creative business ideas.

The centre will offer a portfolio of extra-curricular entrepreneurial opportunities for students that complement and enhance the existing innovation opportunities already on offer at UC.

It will host New Zealand’s first specialised hatchery for incubating students’ bright ideas into new commercial and social ventures. The centre will be run by executive director Dr Chris Kirk and manager Dr Rachel Wright.

"The centre needs to be totally customer-centric and not product-centric. Students need to identify all their customers and ensure that their products or services meet or exceed expectations," Sir Ray says.

"I’ll tell UC students they need to communicate their ideas to all customers. No one is as clever as all of us, so work collaboratively and dream big.

"Legendary computer pioneer Alan Kay famously once said ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’. Big changes come from the adoption of disruptive technologies. Our human endeavours are only limited by our imagination.

"We need to invest in teaching our students the rules of innovation. The New Zealand innovation landscape needs to be revamped so we can successfully develop the student innovation landscape. So I like the idea of UC’s student hatchery where innovations may be commercialised. We have to think globally and develop global product realisation strategies.

"UC students can be the agents of change. Former Student Volunteer Army president Sam Johnson epitomises that,’’ Sir Ray says.

"An example of what can be achieved is developing fresh disruptive technologies which make quality healthcare accessible globally. One sexy company we have just launched is Vigil, which develops and manufactures biometric monitoring devices.

"We are on the brink of a major global medical breakthrough which can predict adverse healthcare outcomes in the home."

Vigil has already entered into a partnership agreement with one of New Zealand’s largest emergency health services providers to conduct clinical patient trials and has ongoing negotiations with Australian and Asian healthcare providers.

 

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz