University of Technology Sydney

94678 Innovation Capstone: Research and Development

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Transdisciplinary Innovation
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 94666 Innovation Internship OR 94667 Emergent Professional Practice
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In this first of two capstone subjects, students are challenged to scope a final project that takes a transdisciplinary approach in their particular field of interest. Building on and extending what was learned in prior subjects, the capstone incorporates elements of both technology and innovation and offers a flexible pathway for students to develop an original response to a current challenge. Projects may be research-focused (e.g. in partnership with a UTS research centre), centred on delivering outcomes for an industry, public sector organisation or community partner, or self-initiated (e.g. creating a start-up or a community of practice). In this first capstone subject, students spend their time networking professionally, planning, researching, assembling resources, gaining organisational or institutional support (if required) and testing their preliminary ideas for proposed products, initiatives or services in real-world contexts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Identify a prospective problem space or a challenge in a chosen organisational or societal context for technological innovation to take place.
2. Interrogate issues from multiple perspectives to gain insights into the selected context and to identify avenues for mobilising technology.
3. Explore, devise and justify generative, experimental, adaptive and analytical processes to understand the needs, interests and values of multiple stakeholders.
4. Propose possible initiatives that are appropriate for specific challenges and/or contexts.
5. Abstract concepts or ideas to create artefacts that test and evaluate proposals.
6. Design and implement a discovery process that utilises data to interrogate issues or generate, test and evaluate proposed solutions or initiatives.
7. Identify, build connections and engage with stakeholders to examine the potential for value creation across organisational or societal contexts.
8. Evaluate alternative approaches in relation to time, quality and cost.
9. Interrogate ethical responsibilities and implications of current legal, regulatory and social practices for the proposed initiative.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Apply abstraction and test proposed design for a digital application (1.4)
  • Explore the relevance and test the value of frameworks, approaches and methods from different disciplines, professional practices or fields of inquiry for gaining insights into particular problems, proposals, technological practices, contexts and systems (2.1)
  • Explore, interrogate, generate, apply, test and evaluate problem-solving strategies to extract social, economic, strategic or other value from data (2.3)
  • Recognise problems, challenges and opportunities that require transdisciplinary practices and identify or assemble relevant teams to tackle those problems, challenges and opportunities (3.5)
  • Imagine and design initiatives within existing organisational structures (intapreneurship) or build a new context for change (entrepreneurship) (4.3)
  • Analyse, understand and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of particular techniques, technologies or creative choices in relation to time, quality and cost (4.4)
  • Identify significant issues, challenges or opportunities and assess potential to act creatively, technologically and ethically on them (5.1)
  • Design and develop technological ideas, strategies and practices for betterment that engage with and respond respectfully, generatively and analytically to different ways of knowing across community and cultural contexts (5.2)
  • Interrogate and appreciate the ethical responsibilities related to social, legal and regulatory practices (5.3)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject provides opportunities for you as a student to draw on diverse disciplinary perspectives through self-directed and collaborative enquiry to apply abstraction and test your designs when interrogating your problem solving strategies. You test methodology and framework using your knowledge in the course through desiging initiaves to change and innovate. You consider constraints and opportunities, resources when reviewing choices against time, quality and cost. You assemble team and engage stakeholders to tackle current problems. Finally, you develop agency to act creatively, technologically and ethically when designing for different cultural contexts and appreciate your ethical responsibilities.

So your experiences as a student in this subject support you to develop the following graduate attributes (GA):

  • GA1: Technological fluency and computational thinking
  • GA2: Create value in problem solving and inquiry
  • GA3: Inter- and transdisciplinary practices
  • GA5: Imaginative and ethical citizenship

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is project-based and will involve students in researching and developing their own innovative responses to challenges in self-identified contexts. Students will proactively devise their own learning strategies and approaches suitable to the challenge at hand guided by academic mentors and supported by peers. Learning will take place in an immersive, experiential, studio-based environment. Feedback will be given regularly at designated checkpoints throughout the semester by staff, peers and industry or community stakeholders.

Content (topics)

  • Project Pitch, Synergy and Connections
  • Project Logging and Progress Reporting
  • Kill Your Darlings
  • Research Skills and Reference Resource Management
  • Project Management
  • Developing a Project Proposal
  • Advanced Stakeholder Engagement
  • Technology Startup and Creative Entrepreneurship


Assessment task 1: Speculative project proposal


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1 and 2

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

5.1 and 5.2

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 30%

4000 words total, please see the assessment brief for a detailed breakdown.

Assessment task 2: The project journey


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 3.5, 4.3, 4.4 and 5.3

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%


Assessment task 3: Mature project proposal


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

4, 6, 7, 8 and 9

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.3, 3.5, 4.3, 4.4 and 5.3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 30%

4,000 words

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the FTDi FYI student booklet. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required.

Required texts

No required texts. Readings and other resources will be provided online.