Engagement Priorities

By leveraging our unique heritage – and our academic and research excellence – we will create the ultimate test bed for innovation.

We will establish four Engagement Priorities that build on the significant track record of success and the strengths of our University, and that reflect the issues and opportunities relevant to the future of our regions and our world. These interconnected priorities will guide our research, education and engagement efforts and will shape our collaboration with industry and community stakeholders.

The four priorities reflect the mission-driven issues we have the capacity, expertise and civic responsibility to address. We will use our capabilities, experience and collaboration to deliver outcomes that matter for our partners.

The priorities address the challenges our partners are committed to, such as tackling climate change, transforming industries, building a culture of regional entrepreneurship that sparks new industries, creating and educating future workforces, finding practical ways to build stronger and more inclusive communities, and improving the health and wellbeing of people here in our regions and around the world.

Innovation is the product of a collaborative ecosystem and culture.”

Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation, Innovation and Science Australia
Dr Emma Beckett with student, Kiraujit
Associate Professor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez
Professor Paul Dastoor


Engagement priorities

Better, healthier living

We will deliver better health outcomes and contribute to improving the wellbeing of our communities.

Connected communities

We will create a stronger, more inclusive society by collaborating with communities to build local capacity, social connectedness, and sense of belonging.

Next generation resources

We will bring the world closer to a sustainable future with solutions for the use of natural resources and the development of new energy technologies.

Growing industries

We will harness our regions' innovative spirit and history of transformation to help grow our current industries and drive investment into future opportunities.


Key initiatives

Living lab model

To advance our four Engagement Priorities, we will implement a Living Lab model to facilitate partner-led problem solving and innovation that stretches beyond the boundaries of our University.

This model will see students, researchers, academics, alumni and industry and community partners coming together to create new knowledge. They will be empowered to experiment with new technologies, craft policy concepts, explore cultural ideas, break new ground in teaching and learning, and embrace a spirit of entrepreneurship to drive commercial innovation.

Multidisciplinary networks

We will establish dedicated networks to drive multidisciplinary collaboration across the four priority areas. These networks will drive our research, innovation and collaboration efforts. They will also identify ways to involve staff and students in the creative problem-solving process and advise on academic needs to ensure we are preparing students for the future of work.

Engagement pathways

We will develop clear pathways that make it easier for businesses, industry and community to connect and collaborate with us. This will result in new partnerships, new research connections, improved entrepreneurship and commercialisation opportunities, and more Work Integrated Learning partners and employers for our students.

Institutional alignment

We will prioritise our strategic investments to support the four Engagement Priorities and drive true multidisciplinary collaboration between faculties, divisions, students, researchers, and our various stakeholders.




We will see continued growth in our performance in independent external rankings for teaching and research excellence.


We will continually increase the number of students and staff participating in multidisciplinary collaboration, workplace learning, and professional development.


We will grow partner-led multidisciplinary collaborations designed to deliver real-world outcomes, impact and scalability that increase research income and Work Integrated Learning opportunities for students.


We will adopt innovative teaching, research and engagement models that not only support the future of our regions but also drive positive change nationally and globally.

Engagement priorities

We will establish four Engagement Priorities that build on the success and strengths of our University, and that reflect the issues and opportunities relevant to the future of our regions and our world.

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In focus

The hydrogen economy

The University has a strong track record in energy innovation, and our communities have told us they want the University to take a lead in tackling climate change. We are exploring the challenges associated with sustainable hydrogen energy.

Through our Engagement Priorities and a Living Lab, the University will work with industry and community partners to pursue multidisciplinary research, future-focused education and potential commercial solutions that support low-emission hydrogen production, storage, and distribution, energy policy, national and international supply chains and global exports.

This work will help drive the next generation of new jobs and investment in our regions, while also contributing to a clean energy future for our planet.

Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

1 - No poverty2 - Zero hunger3 - Good health and well-being4 - Quality education5 - Gender Equality6 - Clean water and sanitation7 - Affordable and clean energy8 - Decent work and economic growth9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure10 - Reduced inequalities11 - Sustainable cities and communities12 - Responsible consumption and production13 - Climate action14 - Life below water15 - Life on land

Traditional Custodians

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal Nation, Darkinjung Nation, Biripai Nation, Worimi Nation, Wonnarua Nation and Eora Nation. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.