Earlier this month the Business Centre, together with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter’s ME Program and the Department of Defence, celebrated 11 high school students who pitched their inventions to a room full of industry leaders and business experts for the STEM Defence Pitch Night.
Held at Business Centre’s office and opened by Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC, the pitch night was the graduation of the STEM Innovation and Defence program, developed by RDA Hunter and the Business Centre.
Scot MacDonald MLC said the sophistication of the high school inventions was clear and demonstrated the bright future these students have in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“I congratulate each of the students who have put in the time and energy to pitch,” Scot said.
“We are seeing an exciting emergence of opportunity for the young people in our region and a flourishing industry for STEM graduates in the Hunter.”
The 11 students dreamt up a range of projects from mind-controlled prosthetic hands through to rockets, drones and autonomous trolleys. For months their teacher David Bonzo at St Philip’s Christian College has guided them through experimentation and technology development.
Thanks to a federal scholarship from the Department of Defence delivered by RDA Hunter’s ME Program, these students have been supported to pursue their innovative ideas to the commercialisation stage through the Business Centre’s incubator program.
Business Centre CEO, Pierre Malou said he was proud they could offer this opportunity to the 11 students.
“Through a distributed model, the Business Centre’s incubator program is a proven program which can be applied to cohorts diverse in age, background or industry,” Pierre said.
“We’re very excited to be able to work with key partners to deliver an exciting opportunity for these students to sample the commercialisation process.
“We are seeing the makings of the next generation of big thinkers in our local innovation ecosystem and wish them all the success in their future.”
The Pitch Night marks the region’s commitment to its young innovators and a greater effort to work collaboratively across the region to see broader opportunities for our young people in the STEM and innovation space.
IMAGE | Business Centre CEO, Pierre Malou; Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC; and five of the successful pitchers.