Western Australia’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs received the Royal treatment today when His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited Murdoch University.
The Duke discovered how innovation and technology is enhancing teaching, learning and research during an official visit to the University as part of Pitch@Palace Australia On Tour Perth.
HRH met University leaders, students, staff and researchers during a short tour of the Perth Campus before presiding over the event.
Upon arrival at the University, The Duke was greeted by Chancellor David Flanagan, Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen and Provost Romy Lawson.
During a short tour, HRH was given a unique insight into the teaching, research and community engagement activities that have made Murdoch one of the world’s top 100 young universities.
Murdoch’s virtual classroom, the SimLab, was demonstrated for The Duke by Dr Sue Ledger. This immersive platform gives pre-service educators the opportunity to experience, practice and improve their teaching techniques in a safe environment.
HRH met two species of endangered black cockatoos, courtesy of Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre, and learnt how Murdoch researchers Associate Professor Kris Warren and Dr Jill Shephard are using satellite and GPS trackers to help them study these iconic WA species.
The Duke also saw a showcase of how Murdoch researchers are training artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately identify invasive species of insects, plants and vertebrates. Professor Simon McKirdy, Director of the Harry Butler Institute and his team explained how future applications of the tool can be used in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture.
Professor Leinonen said it was an honour for the University to welcome HRH to Murdoch University and to showcase how Murdoch’s work across teaching and research is making a positive difference to some of the world’s many challenges.
“We are a University committed to supporting and nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation among our students, staff, alumni and communities, and we embed innovation and endeavour into everything we do,” Professor Leinonen said.
Founded by The Duke in 2014, Pitch@Palace is an entrepreneurial showcase event to amplify and accelerate business ideas and has been brought to Western Australia for the first time by Murdoch University.
Sixteen entrepreneurs and representatives from early stage businesses pitched their ideas to HRH and a room full of business leaders and investors in just three minutes. Eight of these were selected to go forward to the Pitch@Palace Australia Boot Camp and national final in Brisbane later this month.