Goal #9

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

UNSW demonstrates its commitment to industry, innovation and infrastructure through:

  • Harnessing of research in materials science, design and engineering to innovatively address the world’s most pressing problems
  • Educational excellence that capitalises on our tradition of innovation
  • Ongoing work ensuring UNSW's spaces demonstrate leading sustainability principles
  • Strategic priority of innovation and engagement with enterprise partners.

What comes first – innovation or infrastructure?

If you had to struggle daily to feed  and clothe yourself and your family, would you have the time and energy to care about the sustainability of clothing manufacturers or the degradation of arable land? While innovation leads to improvements in infrastructure, infrastructure is often required for innovation to take place. Currently, more than half of the world's population is online and almost all of the world's population has mobile phone coverage. However, real infrastructure improvements such as quality water and electricity systems, effective road networks and advancements in manufacturing are required to enable sustainable and resilient innovation and development, particularly in developing countries.


In this video, Dr Sarah Grundy from the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #9.

Industry, innovation, social engagement and global impact

Design Next spans four faculties and over 30,000 students. It is supported by expert staff with access to world class facilities and invites partners from commercial, public sector, community and not-for-profit organisations to engage with us to improve the value and effectiveness of products and services.

Design Next would like to work with industry to ensure every student leaves UNSW with a strong foundation and appreciation of design that combines multi-disciplinary knowledge, complex technical skills and other important skillsets including communication, project management, and teamwork.

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Design Next is UNSW’s centre for integrated design, bringing our engineering, architecture, business, and art and design capabilities together in a world-class learning environment.


Torch Innovation Expo 2023

Torch Innovation Expo 2023

The Torch Innovation Expo was held in October 2023, marking the 7th anniversary of the Torch Innovation Precinct. The Expo highlighted UNSW’s advancements in key areas that benefit global communities for a more sustainable future, including clean energy, health and biotech, digital technology, water and environment, advanced materials and manufacturing, and social sciences.

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UNSW Strategy in Action 2025

Universities are at the heart of the sophisticated global knowledge system shaping our future and UNSW has a key role to play. We aspire to improve lives globally through partnerships, innovative research, transformative education and commitment to a just society. With this context in mind, we believe the strategic priorities of Academic Excellence, Innovation and Engagement, and Social Impact, have become increasingly important to address the key challenges we face.

Wheel showing UNSW 2025 Strategy strategic pillars


The ongoing work and achievements of our community help propel us towards our vision. 

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UNSW 2025 Strategy Update

This document celebrates the key achievements of the first phase of the 2025 Strategy, highlighting where we have come from and where we are now. It also updates the framework against which we will assess, track and measure existing and new strategic initiatives over the next five years.


In October 2022, 100 life-changing UNSW innovations and capabilities were exhibited at the inaugural UNSW Research Translation Expo.

The event brought together founders, entrepreneurs and researchers across UNSW with businesses, investors and industry partners to explore funding and collaboration opportunities. Projects on display included an online platform to help parents monitor their child’s development, a solution for recycling solar energy systems and technology that turns water from the moon into rocket fuel.

The inaugural ‘Powered by UNSW’ event at Australian Parliament House in October 2023 took UNSW’s world-class expertise to government and policymakers. 

UNSW academic and professional staff welcomed Members of Parliament, agency staff and industry leaders to the ‘Powered by UNSW’ event, where the University’s leading researchers, innovators and educators staged a mini exhibition on how they help tackle society’s most pressing issues. 

Experts shared their insights on a range of issues including solar energy, AI, affordable housing, sustainability and manufacturing. 


Prime Minister’s Prize for Science 

UNSW Sydney Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons has been awarded the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for her work across quantum computing and atomic electronics.

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Watch: Toby Walsh on AI's threat to intellectual property

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Podcast: Toby Walsh on the Artificial in Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence takes root in everything from science and social media to politics and policing, world-leading AI expert Toby Walsh seeks to answer a pressing question: can we trust AI or will it increasingly deceive us? Listen to this  fascinating perspective on our increasing reliance on intelligent and autonomous technology and how we might ensure AI is harnessed as a force for good.


UNSW spinouts ranked first in Australia for capital raised

Stock photo of an entrepreneur

In 2022, UNSW Sydney placed first in Australia for capital raised by its spinouts, with 160 start-ups raising US$5.6 billion of capital over the past 10 years.

As reported in PitchBook's annual university rankings, UNSW is ranked #1 in Australia for total capital raised and #2 (#84 globally) for most founders and startups in 2022. The highest funded UNSW spinout was Rocket Internet at $1.1 billion, a company which enables entrepreneurship by incubating and investing in internet and technology companies globally.

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Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety 

Roads at night in western Australia

Facilitates advanced research in all aspects of civil engineering infrastructure, including building structures, bridges, tunnels, roads, railways, pavements and materials.

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Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation

Sydney Light Rail

Unites the wide range of transport research at UNSW and aims to pursue globally-leading interdisciplinary solutions for transport planning and management for positive societal impact.

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Innovation Hub

Team of students working together at a table during ADA Innovation Hub Design Sprint 2023

​​​​​​The Innovation Hub is an interdisciplinary problem-solving initiative at the heart of UNSW’s faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA). It works to solve problems, respond to opportunities and facilitate positive change.

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Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT)

 Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla of the SMART Centre

​​​​​​The Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW works with industry, national and international research partners, and governments across Australia, on the development of innovative environmental solutions for the world’s biggest waste challenges.

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UNSW Materials and Manufacturing Futures Institute

Many future challenges can be addressed with advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. The UNSW Materials & Manufacturing Futures Institute will transform materials and manufacturing research by transitioning serendipity-driven materials research methodology to property-driven materials design.

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Engineering Ethics in the Age of Digital Advancement

The future of multiple industries is being impacted through the advancement of digitisation and AI. Our Civil Engineering industry is no different and the future holds significant change and opportunity as technology plays an ever-increasing role in our work. This advancement also brings up the question of ethics as we are asked to help shape this new future. What will this technology look like? How do we ethically build a model that works at all levels and inspires trust within our communities? And the biggest question of all, how do we become greater ethical engineers ourselves?

Learn more in this Q&A with industry and academic experts.


UNSW SDGs Annual Report 2022 cover image

UNSW Sustainable Development Goals 2022 Report

This report outlines UNSW's performance against the SDGs in 2022.


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