11/06/2008 - 22:00

Innovation Lab develops ties

11/06/2008 - 22:00

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The City of Wanneroo has bolstered its relationship with small business through an initiative with Edith Cowan University.

Innovation Lab develops ties

The City of Wanneroo has bolstered its relationship with small business through an initiative with Edith Cowan University.

The Innovation Lab is a project designed to cultivate relationships between small and medium-sized enterprises, local entrepreneurs and ECU business and law students, by assigning skilled students to solve real-life business issues through appropriate submissions.

ECU Associate Professor David Clark-Murphy, who is also head of marketing and tourism, said the free scheme allowed his students to tackle issues and challenges in business with a decent level of complexity.

"The criticisms by industry are that when students come out into the workforce, generally graduates don't know how to contribute," Professor Clark-Murphy told WA Business News.

"They're not worth any money because they're not productive. This brings the two together, where students gain real life experience and industry can see productive results."

Professor Clark-Murphy has a PhD in management psychology, was awarded the business faculty prize for excellence in teaching in 2000, and mentored Australia's Young Businessperson of the Year in 2002.

He said the Innovation Lab appealed to SMEs short on funds to outsource problem solving.

"But it's not always money, sometimes they need fresh brains," Professor Clark-Murphy said.

According to Wanneroo Mayor Jon Kelly, the Innovation Lab allows students and local business to collectively develop skills and garner support, while providing hands-on experience for students.

ECU executive dean for the faculty of business and law, Professor Robert Harvey, said the scheme presented opportunities for students.

"It provides students with a competitive advantage by producing readily employable business and law graduates with experience in solving real business issues," he said.

"Students will be work-ready, something employers have asked us for."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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