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Techweek TV: The mutual value of University and industry partnerships

Why are win-win partnerships between educational institutes and industry essential?

This event does not require registration.

Wednesday 26 May
1:30pm - 2:00pm


Nationwide (more than one region)
Free event
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What's it all about?

The phrase “Partner or Perish” highlights collaborations are essential for organisations to succeed effectively in achieving their goals and strategic plans, yet they can also be significant in fostering the economic development of a nation.

University-industry collaborations are instrumental in strengthening the ability of universities to conduct high quality and relevant research and enhancing the capability of industry to compete globally. These partnerships can also positively impact key initiatives such as equity opportunities for women in STEM, Maori and Pasifika, coupled with future-proofing the talent pipeline and driving innovation.

This panel discussion will address how strategic partnerships between universities and industry can be equally beneficial and initiatives that have made a significant impact to achieve mutual objectives and social impact.


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Dr Yvonne Chan

Director of External Engagement, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT

Dr Yvonne Chan is the Director of External Engagement for the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT. Yvonne has worked for AUT in total over 8 years and worked across the faculty in various leadership roles.

Her current role leading external engagement for the faculty involves developing deepen partnerships with domestic and international stakeholders, strategic engagements, research collaborations and enhancing the student experience via work-integrated learning. Yvonne is a collaborative visionary, thus can distinguish opportunities that would be effectively transverse and mutually valuable.

Yvonne has an interdisciplinary background and is an advocate for transdisciplinary practice through the integration of creative practices within the STEM fields. Her research is in the area of well-being where she develops traditional techniques and cultural practices to create contemporary interactive experiences and solutions. She supervises postgraduate students whose research extends traditional healing practices and technologies to create new well-being solutions.

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Helen Littlewood

Digital Innovation & Strategy Lead, Air New Zealand

Helen has spent 20 years creating digital technology and exporting software to the global marketplace. In her current role leading Digital Innovation for Air New Zealand and proud advocate for their Women in Digital network, she is spearheading the efforts for digital health passports, the industry changing technology that promises to support trusted health security at our border.

Helen works with corporates to accelerate their digital transformation by leveraging a wide ecosystem of cutting-edge innovation partners, from early stage accelerator programmes, funded digital innovation, university talent and global digital developments. She is also the mother to three children, with her daughter planning to study chemistry at university in 2022.

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Dr Troy Coyle


Troy Coyle brings more than 20 years of experience in innovation management covering the private sector, not-for-profits, Government and academia across a range of industries including materials science, medical radiation physics, biotechnology, sustainable building products, renewable energy, and of course steel.

In addition to being CEO at the Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA), Troy is currently a Board member of HERA Certifications, Chair of the Sustainable Steel Council, member of the Construction Industry Council and Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Board (AUT), Co-Chair of the Interim Establishment Board for the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council (TEC) and member of MBIE’s Building Advisory Panel.

Troy has a passion for bringing innovative ideas to market and transforming industry through innovation (currently focusing on digital transformation) and product development. Her particular passions are sustainability, the Living Standards Framework and inclusion.

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Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh

Director of Women in Technology, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is the Director of Women in Technology and a Senior Lecturer at AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. With a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, she is heavily involved in researching and developing high-level AI strategy in contexts such as the future of work and digital disruption.

She is on the Executive Council for AI Forum, and is a board member of NZ Tech representing government and education, and on their sub-board for diversity and inclusion. She was also recently appointed to the board of Variety – the Children’s Charity, an organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people in need across New Zealand. She is an external technical advisor on AI strategy to a few New Zealand SMEs.

Mahsa is also the founder and director of charitable trust She Sharp, which aims to encourage more girls to study STEM fields. She was one of ten finalists for the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In 2019 she was the Champion Award winner of the YWCA Equal Pay awards, and in 2020 presented with the Massey University Distinguished Alumni Award for community service.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AR/VR
  • Biotech
  • Blockchain
  • CreativeTech
  • Construction Tech
  • Education Technology
  • Geospatial Information
  • Health Technology
  • Internet of Things
  • Information and communications technology
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Government Tech
  • Transport technology
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