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Goal 17: Partnerships

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

Developing business capability in the Pacific Islands

Market Development Facility (MDF) is a multi-country initiative which promotes sustainable economic development in partner countries. University of Auckland alumna Carline Bentley is supporting the organisation’s mission through her role as a Business Advisor in Fiji for MDF’s High Value Agriculture team.

Fiji’s main commodities in agriculture for foreign markets include kava, dalo, turmeric, and ginger. Value adding, resulting in premium products, has been identified as an immense opportunity for Fijian farmers and businesses. Bentley says “We collaborate with businesses to improve farmers’ access to quality agricultural inputs and markets, with a goal of increasing their yield and income and improving their livelihoods.” Read more


Future Voices Forum – Voicing the need for a revolution for New Zealand’s natural capital

University of Auckland students and staff were recently given the opportunity to influence the thinking of the New Zealand government and business leaders on creating a sustainable and inclusive New Zealand. The Future Voices Forum was a workshop organised by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Aotearoa Circle. A group of 68 participants were canvased on their thoughts and concerns regarding Transport, Food and Energy. The results were reported back to CEOs from organisations such as ASB, Mercury, Sanford and Treasury at the related Fenwick Forum event.

University community voices the need for a revolution for New Zealand’s natural capital
Listening closely to the next generation’s vision for the future

TakiWaehere, the New Zealand Geospatial Hackathon

In 2021, 230 students from universities across New Zealand competed in TakiWaehere, the New Zealand Geospatial Hackathon powered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Maxar Technologies, a global space and data analytics company that owns and operates the world’s most sophisticated constellation of Earth-imaging satellites. The Auckland venue for TakiWaehere was Unleash Space, the University of Auckland’s vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship hub run by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The 24-hour hackathon challenged participants to use satellite imagery to solve real-life challenges faced in New Zealand. Dr Peter Crabtree, General Manager of Science, Innovation, and International at MBIE says, “TakiWaehere is a great example of what our partnerships with international companies can achieve, helping to address the big challenges we face as a country.” Read more

International competition identifies billion-dollar idea for bio-waste solution

An innovative online competition called ‘What’s Your Billion Dollar Idea?’ has provided Indian students with an opportunity to pitch their ideas to VCs and CEOs for the chance to win a virtual internship with top New Zealand companies and universities. The initiative was created by higher education platform Leverage Edu in partnership with Education New Zealand as a way to connect entrepreneurial talent in India with New Zealand’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The top 3 entries won virtual internships with Lincoln University, the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury.

The ultimate winner was Joel Joseph, a mechanical engineering and marketing student. Joel’s idea is to convert bio-waste into bio-fertilisers and animal feed through enhanced fermentation technology using lactobacillus microbes present in biodegradable waste such as chicken and fish. The resulting products, which are protein-rich, can then be sold to farmers as animal feed.

Joel’s mentor was Wendy Kerr, Director of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Wendy says that both Joel’s idea and the design of the competition itself are inspirational. “The way that the competition has been designed means that New Zealand universities are working together to help global talent address global problems, giving the right support to the right people. Joel’s idea is a brilliant example of social entrepreneurship – tackling a social and environmental problem in a financially sustainable way. He has proof of concept and the right skills and attributes to bring life to his idea, with the right support from the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I can’t wait to see how his venture develops”. Learn more

GovHackGovHack – Open data hackathon

GovHack is the largest open data hackathon in the southern hemisphere. It aims to bring together people of all abilities who seek to make life better through open data. The 2020 Auckland chapter of GovHack was facilitated by the University of Auckland’s Unleash Space, bringing together students, staff and the wider community. Government Data was utilised to ‘hack’ and prototype solutions to community problems. Read more

UoA students and staff taking on the world, one SGD at a time, as Future 17 trailblazers 

Twenty students and five staff will be the University of Auckland Future17 trailblazers, taking part for the first time in a global education programme that focuses on sustainability challenges and bridges the worlds of higher education and work.    

With an emphasis on developing 21st century skills, students and mentors from universities across Europe, Africa, South America and Oceania team up with international partner organisations to collaborate on real-world challenges related to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This culminates in a showcase event where student teams present their proposed solutions to the partners — which range from corporate organisations to charities and NGOs. Read more 



Generation Changemakers- Study abroad students learn to become global changemakers 

The University of Auckland’s latest cohort of inbound study abroad and exchange students have embraced the opportunity to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship as tools to address climate issues. Students were given the opportunity to participate in the University’s Generation Changemakers programme, organised by the International Office in partnership with the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  

Study abroad students are from a wide variety of subject disciplines and while in New Zealand will take courses that can be credited towards their degree at home. The latest Generation Changemakers cohort have come from more than 49 different universities in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, USA and more.  Read more 



Let’s talk consent: Students take consent education to Milan

With rape and sexual violence regularly in New Zealand news headlines, the value of consent education cannot be underestimated, say the founders of Let’s Talk Consent.  

University of Auckland students Jasmine Gray, Laura Porteous, and recent graduate Genna Hawkins-Boulton travel to Milan this month to share their mahi around consent education and compete in the inaugural Sustainability Impact Forum, hosted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 

Read more 


Formus Labs: World-first AI-powered orthopaedic surgery software start-up wins big at the 2023 Hi-Tech Awards

Double honours are flowing for Formus Labs as the start-up led by Thor Bessier, an alumnus of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), snatched two prestigious titles at the 2023 NZ Hi-Tech Awards.  

Formus Labs has been recognised twice over for its outstanding innovation, contribution, and success as winner of the Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution and winner of the Soul Machines Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution. 

The company, co-founded in 2016 by Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland Professor Thor Besier and alumnus and bioengineer Dr Ju Zhang, developed the world’s first AI-powered orthopaedic surgery software. Read more 



University of Auckland Internationally Recognised for Excellence in Entrepreneurship 

Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, has been named as runner up for Entrepreneurial University of the Year (Asia Pacific) for the Triple E Awards. 

The Triple E awards are administered by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities and are the first awards to focus specifically on different dimensions of universities’ third mission – the economic and social mission of a university and its contribution to its communities. Implemented regionally, the Triple E Awards aim to foster change in universities and emphasize their role in their communities and ecosystem. Read more 



RobogalsHacking the STEM diversity issue

Robogals is a global volunteer student-led organisation founded in 2008 with the goal of inspiring, engaging and empowering young women into engineering and related fields. The University of Auckland’s Robogals is an active chapter of this global network, and this year ran the annual Science and Engineering Day (SED) with great success at Kura Matahuna – Unleash Space, one of the innovation hubs managed by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). 

The Science and Engineering Day was an in-person event held as part of the international Robogals Science Challenge competition, an international outreach initiative that engages young women and gender-diverse students aged 5-15 to become involved in STEM beyond the classroom. Activities are designed to promote innovation and exploration through hands-on projects, which can be completed with a friend, parent/guardian, or mentor. Read more 




World-first collaboration Medtech-iQ off to a healthy start 

Medtech-iQ Aotearoa is a national collaboration of innovation with the purpose of accelerating the success of the New Zealand MedTech sector. It is a virtual national innovation hub that is linked to a backbone of four physical regional hubs in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland, Poneke Wellington, Otautahi Christchurch and Otepoti Dunedin. According to a recent Deloitte report, Medtech-iQ Aotearoa is a “world-first” initiative that aims to capitalise on the global medical device and digital health market estimated to have a value of US$815 billion. A strategic, coordinated approach helps leverage a significant opportunity for New Zealand, which will have a positive impact on the economic and physical health outcomes of all New Zealanders. Read more 





Vanguard Programme 2023: “Life changing” study tour of Silicon Valley 

To truly comprehend a culture, nothing can replace experiencing the place where it thrives. Silicon Valley is world-famous for its culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and relentless pursuit of cutting-edge technology, where risk-taking and disruption are celebrated. The Vanguard Programme is about exposing a cohort of highly engaged, high-achieving student leaders to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Empowering them to learn and grow as innovators and entrepreneurs, but more importantly, infuse their knowledge and experience back into Aotearoa’s own entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

The Vanguard Programme is facilitated by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and is made possible by the generous support of philanthropist and entrepreneur Tony Falkenstein, who accompanied the University of Auckland cohort this year on the study tour. Selection for the Programme is via invitation only and a rigorous application process. Read more