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The latest in innovation and entrepreneurship news, research and insights from the University of Auckland and around the world.

The latest in innovation and entrepreneurship news, research and insights from the University of Auckland and around the world.

Latest News

Why the University of Auckland has an innovation hub and maker space

The University of Auckland opened its innovation hub and maker space in February 2018, created for the benefit of all students and staff. Located in the space formerly occupied by the Engineering Library, it comprises of offices, a large space for events and a maker space. Within the maker space is a suite of technology managed by a team of student Creative Technologists who run free create and make workshops and trainings to teach and empower others to use laser and vinyl cutters, 3D printers and scanners, electronics, vacuum formers, CNC routers and sewing machines. But why have an innovation hub and maker space? Read More

Student profile: E-bike creator Tommy Leigh

Unleash Space is where University of Auckland students go to create what they can imagine. For Tommy Leigh, a Bachelor of Engineering and Music student, this meant creating his very own electronic bike. Having access to Unleash Space’s state of the art equipment has allowed him to advance his project to the next stage by prototyping and testing his assumptions and measurements. In particular Tommy has used the 3D printer to create parts to help him attach the battery to his bike such as brackets and drive parts. Read More

Wine Grenade’s game-changing wine technology mimics oak maturation

The use of oak barrels is one of the oldest traditions in winemaking. Wine - particularly chardonnay and red varietals such as cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir — aged in oak becomes softer and takes on delicious flavours. The porous nature of the oak also allows slow oxygenation of the wine without spoiling. However, investing in oak barrels is costly, especially for smaller wineries. Managing the barrels is also labour-intensive. Read More

Solving the world’s problems takes students to Canada

University of Auckland students have placed in a prestigious international competition that aims to solve the world’s most pressing problems, winning $15,000 CAD to pursue their solution. The World’s Challenge Challenge (WCC) encourages students from around the globe to work collaboratively on innovative solutions to global problems and helps them develop their academic, oral presentation, and entrepreneurial skills. The challenges are based on the Sustainable Development Goals put forward by the United Nations in 2015 - 17 important targets for issues such as poverty, food sustainability, clean energy, climate action, education, technology and infrastructure. The competition finals took place at Western University in Ontario, Canada. Read More

Student’s pilot maggot farm in India to process waste

A student’s venture which uses maggots to process waste into fertiliser and chicken feed has set up its first treatment plant in India. Hexacycle is the brainchild of University of Auckland PhD student Neil Birrell, an entomologist who is studying insects for human consumption in the Faculty of Science. His idea to use the larvae from the Black Soldier Fly to reduce organic waste in landfill was first developed when he participated in the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Summer Lab programme. Buoyed by his experience, Neil continued to develop and validate his venture concept through participating in the Centre’s Velocity programme. Neil went on to win the social entrepreneurship category of the University’s Velocity $100k Challenge. Read More

Thoughts on Design Thinking: In conversation with the DesignThinkers Group NZ

The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship thrives in part due to the professionals who lend their time and expertise to our programmes, helping to connect our students to current industry practice. We are thankful to the DesignThinkers Group, who recently supported our Get Good Done weekend hackathon through facilitating a design thinking tutorial run within the programme. Business partners Martin Sawbridge and Darryl McClay discuss the discipline of Design Thinking with Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme Manager Sinead Watson. Read More

Student profile: Prosthetics innovator Connor Talbot

Connor Talbot, a final-year electrical engineering student, is the co-founder of Prosthet-X, a start-up that aims to make prosthetics with recyclable materials that are cheaper, faster and more comfortable than existing options. Prosthet-X recently won the TechWeek competition ON:Futures in Tech and have been receiving mentorship through our Founders Hatchery. Connor discusses the start of his entrepreneurial journey, what it has taken to get this far and where he is headed next. Read More

LEGO Serious Play workshops on offer

Staff of the University of Auckland are invited to contact the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to run LEGO Serious Play workshops for their staff or students. In particular, Unleash Space staff are interested in facilitating the use of LEGO Serious Play in curricula.LEGO Serious Play was founded by Swiss professors in the 1990s. It is a method of facilitation that can be used to explore a huge variety of topics such as innovation, values, team culture and processes. Staff at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship are accredited LEGO Serious Play facilitators and are able to facilitate workshops for staff and students at the University. Read More

StrutFit are taking the guesswork out of buying shoes online

More people than ever are buying clothes and shoes online, and for good reason: it’s quicker, cheaper, and there’s more to choose from. It used to be that wanting to try things on first was a major obstacle to people purchasing on the internet. But like most things born out of convenience, people got used to it. A lot of companies over the years have tried to fix that last hurdle with things like blended-reality and 3D body-scanning mirrors that let shoppers ‘virtually’ try on clothes. But with shoes, that same hi-tech focus has been somewhat lacking, something which Auckland-based tech company StrutFit is now looking to dramatically change. Read More

The headset that allows you to use a computer just by blinking your eyes

For most individuals, using a phone or laptop couldn’t be easier. But for thousands of people around the world, scrolling, swiping and clicking can be a lot harder, even impossible, to do. They might be paralysed from the neck down or they might have difficulty speaking, leaving them excluded from a major tool for communication in today’s world. This is where Nous comes in. Developed by Velocity spin-out social enterprise Thought-Wired, Nous consists of a wearable headset that allows individuals to control assistive software by blinking. While the hardware for Nous is manufactured by a third-party company, the software is made by Thought-Wired’s multidisciplinary team who have been developing novel assistive technologies for almost seven years. Read More


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