THE launch of The Link website is the first milestone in a plan to make Joondalup an innovation hub through collaboration between local government and the university sector.
A project conceived 12 months ago, The Link is a joint initiative between the City of Joondalup and Edith Cowan University that enables businesses and investors to access information on how to take advantage of business opportunities in Joondalup and connect with ECU research expertise.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard and ECU Vice-Chancellor Steve Chapman officially launched the website – which stands for Location, Innovation, Network, Knowledge – at a business forum at Joondalup Resort this morning.
The site aims to help drive innovation and business growth in Perth’s northern corridor, encouraging people in research and business to work together to develop novel solutions and job-creating enterprises.
Mr Pickard said the City of Joondalup was a “business and investment destination” with a competitive advantage to other metropolitan centres given it has a learning precinct and police academy, hospital, retail opportunities and excellent public transport access.
He said The Link would open the door to collaborative opportunities for improving competitiveness and growing business.
“We are very excited by the arrival of The Link as it will encourage and assist industry-research collaboration, promote innovative business activity and raise awareness of Joondalup as a world-class business investment location,” he said.
“Research from across the world has shown that innovation is the most important driver of long-term productivity and prosperity.
“Innovative businesses create more jobs, grow faster and ultimately contribute more to regional economic growth.
“The Link is a unique project in Western Australia and a great example of what can be achieved when local government and the university sector collaborate to drive regional business growth and innovation.”
Mr Pickard said the City was also working with ECU’s research and innovation office to investigate the creation of an innovation precinct in Joondalup.
Professor Chapman said collaborating with industry was a win-win, with researchers helping businesses to solve challenges and industry providing ECU students with the experience they need to be work-ready.
“With facilities such as our Cyber Security Institute, Electronic Science Research Institute and Health Simulation Centre, ECU is well-equipped to drive innovation in the northern suburbs,” he said.
“The launch of The Link will act as a catalyst for the innovation and collaboration not only locally but to attract students, researchers and businesses from across the globe.”
He said an additional initiative developed as part of the project was Get Linked!, a series of innovation workshops, entrepreneurial seminars, round table forums and networking events at the university’s Joondalup and Mt Lawley campuses.
“It’s amazing how one encounter between two people who didn’t know each other can lead to the creation of a business,” Prof Chapman said.
Also speaking at the business forum was Matt Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State Development, Finance and Innovation and SEQTA co-founder Sharon Grosser.
SEQTA, a Joondalup -based business that developed software to help and support teachers, celebrates its 10th anniversary in August.
“It would have been nice to have something like this (The Link) when we started in Joondalup 10 years ago,” Mrs Grosser said.
“I’m sure so many businesses are going to benefit from The Link.”
Mr Taylor recognised SEQTA as a great example of the possibilities open to other local innovators and their businesses.
“It has gone from being a Joondalup start-up to a Joondalup-based multi-million dollar company whose innovative platform is used across the globe,” he said.