Insights on interdisciplinary innovation

Members of the academic, community and business sector converged for some lively discussion this week (Monday 11 April) at the first public forum hosted by UOW’s Social Innovation Network (SInet).

Interdisciplinary Collaborations – Practical Insights brought together professionals from the region and further afield to share their interdisciplinary partnership experiences and discuss best collaborative practices.

Discussions were in keeping with the SInet objective to act as a platform for knowledge sharing, network-building and ideas generation.

According to guest speaker Professor Kathy Eagar the challenges presented by collaborative projects were hurdles worth jumping.

“Interdisciplinary research works because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” the Australian Health Services Research Institute Director said.

“The real challenge is for us to focus on achieving change for real world issues,” Professor Eagar said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Judy Raper also addressed the SInet forum with an overview of the University’s commitment to interdisciplinary research.

“Current initiatives including the SMART infrastructure facility, Illawarra Institute for Health and Medical Research and the new Retrofitting for Resilient and Sustainable Buildings institute demonstrate our ongoing commitment to interdisciplinary innovation,” Professor Raper said.

“Interdisciplinary partnerships are key to excellence in research and ensure a wide application for solutions to everyday problems in life,” she said.

The event also included a presentation from Regional Development Australia Illawarra Committee representatives Natalie Burroughs and Vicky Sloan who spoke about initiatives in the Illawarra region and reviewed the process of building community partnerships for local government priority projects.

To read more about SInet or future seminars and workshops see here.

By Melissa Coade


  • Speakers at the inaugural SInet forum, from left; MC Associate Professor Heather Yeatman, Professor Judy Raper, Ms Natalie Burroughs, Professor Kathy Eagar and Ms Nicky Sloan