Entrepreneurial excellence awarded

The University’s entrepreneurial ethos was celebrated at an international awards ceremony in Barcelona this June.

Darsel Keane
Director of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Darsel Keane accepted the award.

Staff and students are thriving as innovators and inventors, and a recent award is recognising this entrepreneurial spirit, with Waipapa Taumata Rau scoring runner-up for Entrepreneurial University of the Year (Asia Pacific) at the 2023 Triple E Awards.

In addition, Business School professional teaching fellow Peter Rachor was recognised as a finalist in the Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year (Asia Pacific) category and received the most votes in an international people’s choice survey.

Professor Susan Watson, Dean of the Business School, was delighted to hear the good news.

“The Hynds Entrepreneurial Fellows programme, which Peter leads, has integrated innovation and entrepreneurship content across seven faculties with significant results,” she says. “Our people working in curricular and co-curricular education through our Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have the recognition they deserve for their work.”

Director of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Darsel Keane accepted the runner-up award on behalf of the University. She also presented at the Triple Helix conference, which was held during the same week as the awards. The conference theme was ‘entrepreneurial and engaged universities for sustainable development: linking education, research and innovation to the United Nation’s sustainability goals’.

“It was wonderful to learn from others working in the field and to discuss potential collaborations,” she says.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) Erik Lithander.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) Erik Lithander.

The University has made a significant investment in recent years in creating an environment where students and staff can grow as innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) Erik Lithander.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital tools for achieving economic, social and environmental prosperity, and the University of Auckland has enormous ambitions for how we will continue to serve our communities by creating exceptional talent.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Frank Bloomfield says it’s great to have had recognition from the Accreditation Council of Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities.

“The University of Auckland has a legacy for creating impact through research, and as we increase our focus on generating tangible solutions for health, clean energy and other contemporary problems, we will continue to grow the scope and scale of our innovation.”

The Triple E awards are the first to focus specifically on a university’s economic and social mission and its contribution to its communities. Implemented regionally, they aim to foster change in universities and emphasise their role in their communities and ecosystem.

The 2023 awards ceremony was held in Barcelona, with honours also presented to entrepreneurial educators in categories for Africa, Europe and the Americas. Hundreds of submissions were received.

/University of Auckland Public Release. View in full here.