Students look to the future of human identity through innovation challenge

Over 50 students from the STEM, humanities, business and health disciplines at Western Sydney University have come together virtually to develop solutions to the pressing challenge of human identity in the digital age.

Together with foundation partner DXC Technology, the University hosted a two-day innovation hackathon as part of Venture Makers, its new entrepreneurship training and development program delivered by its innovative business incubator based in Sydney’s west, Launch Pad.

Venture Makers provides applied training and innovation opportunities to STEM students based on developing solutions to current global challenges in collaboration with leading industry partners.

John Teague – an experienced software and product developer studying the Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) with a major in Technology Entrepreneurship – said the Challenge was an opportunity to utilise his skills as an Industrial Designer to expand his professional network.

“Throughout my career I’ve put into action what’s possible in the digital world and now is the time to bridge the digital with the tangible. Through the Challenge, I was able to contribute to a solution that could potentially pave the way to the future of digital living,” said John.

Susan Manners – a PhD candidate within Western Sydney University’s Translational Health Research Institute with a passion for bettering the health system – said digital identities are happening right now, and will affect everyone.

“My interest centres around health. We’ve already seen initiatives like myHealthRecord, and the in-progress single digital patient record – these show commitment towards improving digital health identities. The challenge is to maintain the focus and priority on the owner of that identity,” said Susan.

Don Wright, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Western Sydney University, said the Venture Makers Innovating Human Identity Challenge provided students with valuable real-world experience to develop their entrepreneurial skills, work readiness and make key industry contacts.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with DXC Technology to stimulate student thinking around digital identity technologies including in areas such as biometrics and artificial intelligence to understand the role they will play in the future – covering applications from vaccine passports to a seamless traveller experience, to the management of a public health crisis,” said Mr Wright.

Seelan Nayagam, President Asia Pacific, DXC Technology said the partnership was part of DXC Technology’s commitment to developing talent in western Sydney.

“DXC Technology is proud to be collaborating with Western Sydney University on a range of technology initiatives and work-integrated learning focused projects. Venture Makers is a valuable opportunity for the industry to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and STEM graduates who will be critical in supporting the growing western Sydney region,” said Mr Nayagam.

Students who took part in the hackathon will pitch their innovative ideas and solutions at a special event on 26 November, where DXC will provide a range of prizes for winning teams and career mentoring opportunities.

For more information on Western Sydney University’s Venture Makers program and the Challenge, visit Launch Pad (opens in a new window).


16 September 2021

Media Unit