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Collaborate with universities

Harness the 'collective intelligence' of Australia's biggest

intellectual resource pool: 1.3m university students

About the UNSW-Qantas Innovation Challenge

UNSW and Qantas teamed up to put a question to over 50,000 UNSW students and staff:

How can we make air travel better?

More sustainable, comfortable, cheaper, quicker, simpler and tastier. We're talking about flight travel in every sense, from the moment you're thinking about a trip, to arriving back home with your bags.

167 ideas were submitted in 3 weeks which attracted 313 comments and  620 votes. This collaboration developed the ideas and helped the expert evaluators who shortlisted 50 ideas from which Qantas selected 15 'winners' ie people whose ideas they thought were worth progressing.

Students are hungry for career opportunities

We discovered this during the campaign. In the week before the Qantas challenge was launched, by coincidence another faculty launched an innovation challenge which had as prizes a return trip for two to Paris.

Not good news for us, as we had no prizes other than the winners were given the opportunity to pitch their idea - Shark Tank style - to Qantas senior management.

We never saw any sign of the Paris-prize challenge and heard later that it was cancelled due to lack of interest. The buzz around campus was the Qantas Challenge, and the winners who were to be announced by the Chancellor Mr David Gonski at the opening of the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre.

How does it work?

Basically it just requires a 'Sponsor' (a business, industry body, government, NGO) with a challenge or problem and a university willing to participate. Campaigns can involve multiple universities or even be designed as a national / global university challenge.

The university or participating faculty appoints a member of staff as 'Campaign Manager' to coordinate the on-campus aspects. The Sponsor pays for the platform license, setup, training and support for the Campaign Manager and their team. The cost depends upon the campaign as each one is unique, designed to achieve the Sponsor's objectives within the confines of the university's operations.

Campaigns need to be planned around semester dates and student exams and are time-limited to get students to focus: generally 2-4 weeks for idea submission then a further 2-4 weeks for evaluation, shortlisting and wrapping up.

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