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Unleash Space development team awarded for outstanding results

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The development team behind the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s new innovation and entrepreneurship hub Unleash Space have been recognised at this year’s University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards. The team won the “Delivering Results” category for the exceptional work done to create, plan, develop and bring to life the Unleash Space concept and resulting cross-disciplinary place for innovation to flourish.

The awards showcased the diverse range of important work achieved by University staff in the past year. Host of the awards ceremony was Director of Human Resources, Andrew Phipps, who commented on the high standard of the nominations, noting that the quality gets better every year.

The Unleash Space development team is led by Wendy Kerr, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Reuben Brown, Faculty of Engineering; Himendra Ratnayake, Business School; and Colleen Seth, Property Services.

Unleash Space officially launched in February 2018. Now, three months on, there are over 1,100 members who have free access to support, tools and inspiration to unleash their potential. This includes access to various maker-space equipment and training, workshops and seminars. Clearly, there is a demand for the opportunities the space is providing.

“Developing Unleash Space was a large and complex project, and alongside the development team there were so many other people who also played significant roles, contributing their advice, ideas and counsel to make Unleash Space come to life and be a magnet for students and staff,” Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wendy Kerr, said.

“At the heart of the success of the development of Unleash Space was the collaboration across faculties and service divisions. This is a space for all students and staff of the University to create, play, make, collaborate, invent, experiment and do – so input from across the University was vital to ensuring an inviting space for all.”

The Unleash Space has not only been recognised and used by a variety of students and staff as the best available space to embark on their entrepreneurial journey, but it has also created a new benchmark of learning spaces at the University.

In bringing the space to life, the development team carried out a range of activities from visiting leading US university maker spaces to learn best practice, working with designers on bespoke furniture and fittings, sourcing equipment to meet the needs of the maker-space and users and most importantly getting feedback – and acting on it – along the way so they could make adjustments that enhanced the usefulness of the space for all.


Unleash Space is a unique and iconic student-led collaboration and education space managed by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2018, the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will offer more than 150 workshops, seminars and events to more than 2,000 students at Unleash Space. These are designed to build innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities enabling graduates to thrive in their careers, whether they choose to work in a large corporate, join a start-up or begin their own business.

The University raised $9.6 million in sponsorship to establish the space. The founding donors are Sir Owen G Glenn KNZM ONZM HonLLD, Beca, Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation, Hynds Foundation, Li Ka-Shing (Canada) Foundation and PwC.

For more information, visit the Unleash Space website.

Andrew Phipps, Wendy Kerr, Reuben Brown and DVC (Operations) Adrienne Cleland

Andrew Phipps, Wendy Kerr, Reuben Brown and DVC (Operations) Adrienne Cleland

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The development team behind the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s new innovation and entrepreneurship hub Unleash Space have been recognised at this year’s University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards. The team won the “Delivering Results” category for the exceptional work done to create, plan, develop and bring to life the Unleash Space concept and resulting cross-disciplinary place for innovation to flourish.

The awards showcased the diverse range of important work achieved by University staff in the past year. Host of the awards ceremony was Director of Human Resources, Andrew Phipps, who commented on the high standard of the nominations, noting that the quality gets better every year.

The Unleash Space development team is led by Wendy Kerr, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Reuben Brown, Faculty of Engineering; Himendra Ratnayake, Business School; and Colleen Seth, Property Services.

Unleash Space officially launched in February 2018. Now, three months on, there are over 1,100 members who have free access to support, tools and inspiration to unleash their potential. This includes access to various maker-space equipment and training, workshops and seminars. Clearly, there is a demand for the opportunities the space is providing.

“Developing Unleash Space was a large and complex project, and alongside the development team there were so many other people who also played significant roles, contributing their advice, ideas and counsel to make Unleash Space come to life and be a magnet for students and staff,” Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wendy Kerr, said.

“At the heart of the success of the development of Unleash Space was the collaboration across faculties and service divisions. This is a space for all students and staff of the University to create, play, make, collaborate, invent, experiment and do – so input from across the University was vital to ensuring an inviting space for all.”

The Unleash Space has not only been recognised and used by a variety of students and staff as the best available space to embark on their entrepreneurial journey, but it has also created a new benchmark of learning spaces at the University.

In bringing the space to life, the development team carried out a range of activities from visiting leading US university maker spaces to learn best practice, working with designers on bespoke furniture and fittings, sourcing equipment to meet the needs of the maker-space and users and most importantly getting feedback – and acting on it – along the way so they could make adjustments that enhanced the usefulness of the space for all.


Unleash Space is a unique and iconic student-led collaboration and education space managed by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2018, the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will offer more than 150 workshops, seminars and events to more than 2,000 students at Unleash Space. These are designed to build innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities enabling graduates to thrive in their careers, whether they choose to work in a large corporate, join a start-up or begin their own business.

The University raised $9.6 million in sponsorship to establish the space. The founding donors are Sir Owen G Glenn KNZM ONZM HonLLD, Beca, Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation, Hynds Foundation, Li Ka-Shing (Canada) Foundation and PwC.

For more information, visit the Unleash Space website.


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