Owen donates $2.6 million to Business School

Staff Reporter 

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Billionaire Owen Glenn has donated $2.6 million to the University of Auckland Business School to fund several initiatives.

The School’s Dean, Professor Jayne Godfrey said that the gift will support innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the School and across the University, including a new Innovation Hub.

“Sir Owen is a long-time benefactor to the Business School, and we are very grateful for his latest generous gift. The Business School recognises that this generation of graduates need skills in innovation and entrepreneurship to help drive economic growth, whether they are planning to launch a start-up, join an established company or advance sustainability goals,” he said.

Wide-spread benefits

Professor Godfrey said that the gift will also support teaching and research and help extend its benefits to all students across the University.

“The Business School is focused on conducting excellent traditional and applied research into innovation, and on bringing the latest research insights to our students,” he said.

Sir Owen said that modern universities must equip their students for radically new ways of doing business and of thinking about the relationship between business and society.

“I am excited to support the bold vision of the University of Auckland Business School and its progress in rising to this global challenge. It is about nurturing a new breed of graduate who is innovative, entrepreneurial, business-savvy, globally connected and capable of having both an economic and social impact,” he said.

The New Hub

The Innovation Hub, which is due to open later this year, will follow the ‘Makerspace Trend,’ sweeping Ivy League universities.

It will provide space, tools, support and environment for students to generate ideas and test them collaboratively.

Designed to foster an entrepreneurial mind set through cross-pollination of ideas, experimentation, and a sense of creative play, the Hub will be managed by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a University-wide centre based at the Business School. It has received funding from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Beca and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Top Rated Varsity

The Inaugural Reuters Top 75 (Asia’s Most Innovative Universities Rankings) rated the University of Auckland as ‘The Most Innovative University in Australasia.’

“The ability to generate or recognise good ideas, test them and perhaps develop them into a commercial product or solution, will greatly serve students in their future working lives and the wider society,” Professor Godfrey said.

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Photo Caption:

Sir Owen Glenn

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