STEM Defence + Innovation Builds on Success

STEM Defence + Innovation Builds on Success

Following the success of the 2018 pilot program, a cohort of 12 high school students will participate in the 2019 STEM Defence + Innovation Program developed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter and delivered in partnership with the Business Centre.  

STEM Defence + Innovation is a springboard to commercialising students’ prototypes.  

They each bring a project they’ve developed during their studies in RDA Hunter’s high school subject, iSTEM, and experts from the Business Centre guide them through a professional process to help them commercialise it – teaching them techniques to help transition their innovative ideas and prototypes to commercially available products.  

In early June, 12 students from All Saints’ St Mary’s Maitland, St Philips Christian College Waratah, Newcastle Grammar School and West Wallsend High School kicked off the program with a three-day Business Centre commercialisation boot camp, Business Model Canvas.  

They will pitch to peers, family and industry leaders at a live event at The Business Centre on 25 July, as part of the program.  

STEM Defence + Innovation is a component of RDA Hunter’s ME Program that facilitates school and industry collaboration to provide secondary school students with STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) and enterprise skills in preparation for, and as an introduction to careers in defence industries.  

Entry into the program is competitive and is approved by RDA Hunter.  

Topics covered in the training include:  

  • Start Up Entrepreneurs Commercialising Good Ideas Collaboration Works  
  • Innovation in Practice Goal Setting SWOT 
  • Value Propositions Customer Segments Marketing Creativity 
  • Business & Project Operations Financial Basics Pitch for achieving set goals 

“RDA Hunter is delighted to be working with the Business Centre again in 2019 to facilitate the STEM Defence + Innovation program. The program was a great success in 2018 and has been expanded to include 12 students from four of our partner high schools this year,” RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Manager, Mr. Rick Evans said 

“The workshop series gives students a unique understanding of the professional commercialisation process as if they were Business Centre clients. They have access to business owners and entrepreneurs who are on the front line and willing to share their experiences, and they gain practical knowledge that will help kick-start their careers.” Mr. Evans said.  

Industry mentors impart life-long business and entrepreneurship skills to high school students.  

“The program is particularly excited as we are not only setting these students up for a raft of opportunities, but more importantly, we are changing the way they think about solving problems,” CEO of the Business Centre, Steve Wait said.  

“By introducing them to the commercialisation process early, we enable them to think like entrepreneurs.”  

RDA Hunter and The Business Centre invite members of the public to the STEM Defence + Innovation program presentation evening from 6 pm on 25 July at The Business Centre – 6 Dick St, Newcastle West.  

IMAGE | Natalie Burn Brooke Philips, Steve Wait, Amber Sunner, Rob Barter, Lloyd Davis, Charlie Imig, Josh Mills, Yayra Agbola, Mackenzie Roddenby, Daniel Abrams, Jadon Routley, Laura Mackay, Alec Campbell, Jake Muller, Zahnee Bridge, Charles Fawcett, Lyn McKendry, Rick Evans, Paulina Mangano, Sarah Kane. (left – right) 

RDA Hunter

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter is the key economic development organisation in the Hunter region. Led by a Committee of regional business and community representatives, RDA Hunter is supported by federal and state governments.
Established in 2009 they provide independent advice to all levels of government and our stakeholders on priorities for the Hunter's future.
RDA Hunter works to strengthen the Hunter as a competitive and modern metropolitan centre of excellence. It does this by securing funds for regionally significant infrastructure projects, providing effective connectivity between industry, education and the wider region economy and by driving investment to the Hunter region.

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