South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur: How a sense of entrepreneurship can benefit the engineering profession

South Australian Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley, along with the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur, is establishing a new model for entrepreneurship in South Australia. Called FIXE, the Future Industries eXchange for Entrepreneurship, the program stands to enable South Australia’s engineers to build their entrepreneurial skills and capitalise on the opportunities presented in our state’s future workforce.
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Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley

More than 80 local engineers and industry professionals recently had the opportunity to hear from South Australian Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley at the Engineers Australia South Australia end of year celebration.

Whalley has been appointed to the role, the first of its kind in South Australia, to provide strategic advice to enable entrepreneurialism across all forms of business, industry and public sector in the state.

Together with the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Whalley will support entrepreneurs to build their capabilities and their confidence, helping to ensure that they have the skills to grow a business from concept through creation, bring their ideas to market and turn their innovations into commercial outcomes.

As local and business landscapes are rapidly changed by international forces and developing technologies, new opportunities emerge across industries such as space, defence and biotechnology – to name a few. The engineering opportunities are endless.

However, as engineering roles face the challenges associated with rapidly developing technologies, roles and industries, we are seeing increasing value placed on non-technical skills.

A strong entrepreneurial culture and the associated skills will enable South Australia’s engineers to capitalise on the opportunities presented in our state’s future workforce.

Recognising this, the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur is establishing a new model for entrepreneurship in South Australia, which Whalley presented to guests at the end of year event.

Called FIXE, the Future Industries eXchange for Entrepreneurship, the program is designed to become a beacon for South Australian future industries and entrepreneurship.

FIXE will guide key decision makers through a set of objectives, organised under the following headings:

  • Inspire individuals, groups and organisations to embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship
  • Equip South Australians with the tools, mechanisms and resources to start and grow successful businesses
  • Enable a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem underpinned by business and investment activity
  • Celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs.

Guests were provided with an overview of the program and how it stands to benefit South Australia’s future engineers, as well as how South Australia’s current workforce can best prepare for the future.

The public lecture also preceded the end of year function, where guests had a preview of Engineers Australia’s activities lined up for 2020 and a chance to reflect on the year to date.

In 2020 Engineers Australia is working on new events to provide members with opportunities for knowledge building and sharing, thought leadership and networking. Keep an eye on the events page for more information.

If you missed the presentation, or would like more information, learn more about the Future Industries eXchange for Entrepreneurship here.

Image: South Australian Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley presenting at SA's end of year celebration