Solving the problems of the future requires a strong supply of critical thinkers with a taste for innovation, comprehension of new technologies and a penchant for smart design. Currently in Australia, we face a shortage of such talent. As we transition from a resources based economy to one that is diverse, innovative and technologically based, questions are being asked of whether we can actually support this shift with an adequately skilled workforce.
There exists a multitude of ways in which we can build the necessary skills base in Australia that will allow us to thrive as a clean, green, and advanced economy with a strong sovereign manufacturing capacity. None are more important than nurturing the grassroots of innovation. Our future leaders in technology, engineering, manufacturing and design must be supported and encouraged from an early age, and be shown the many opportunities that exist for rewarding and exciting careers in these areas.
That is why programs like UpRising are so important. UpRising Young Designers has the simple but significant goal of nurturing the grassroots of innovation by connecting Australia’s young designers to business and industry. Design & Technology (D&T) is a critically important but undervalued area of study for High School students. The subject gives young people an opportunity to satisfy their appetite for innovation, get hands-on with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and learn how to prototype, develop and make their ideas a reality – all extremely valuable and sought-after skills in the wider world of engineering, manufacturing and design.
It can too often be difficult for D&T students to clearly see the pathways to a successful career in the design and manufacturing fields. That largely stems from a disconnection between the education systems and industry. UpRising is creating a solution to this problem by providing the opportunity for students to connect with business and industry, research, government and community, to accelerate their ideas, test prototypes and promote their Major Design Projects. It allows D&T students to gain support for their dreams and ambitions whilst helping to build the innovation ecosystem here in New South Wales.
The UpRising Young Designers initiative was launched last year in partnership with NSW Regional Industry Education Partnerships (REIP), The Institute of Technology Educators (iTE) and IdeaSpies share platform. Since launching, they have bought on 11 participating schools and have hosted 30+ HSC design student Major Design Projects (MDPs). The program continues to grow rapidly with more organisations joining the ‘alliance’ such as pioneers of the circular economy, BoxHead Plastic and Fungi Solutions.
Black Lab Design is proud to announce that we will become a supporting member of UpRising Young Designers. Through this collaboration, we hope to accelerate HSC Design & Technology students and their ideas by interacting with pupils to share our design expertise, offering advice and mentorship on projects and the opportunity for select students to utilise our advanced manufacturing facility. With a deep pool of talent under one roof, students will be able to work alongside our design engineers, programmers and machine operators to get invaluable insight into the suite of processes we employ to design and manufacture innovative, quality products.
Black Lab is excited to be on board to assist UpRising in reaching their outlined goals for this year, which include the following:
- Hosting 50 HSC design student Major Design Projects (MDPs) for industry, business and community to support and collaborate.
- Connecting with more regional schools across the state.
- Align the 4000+ design students across NSW with Circular Economy industries and environmentally sustainable / community based organisations by building a network map in the UpRising website.
- Continuing to grow the Alliance and offer opportunities for members to showcase their design process and working practices as case studies.
- Award 3x HSC design students projects with $500 – $1000 seed funding and mentoring support to take their projects into community beyond their final schooling year.