Press release from UTS

The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) today announced the appointment of global doyen of creative industries Hael Kobayashi. Hael's appointment as Associate Director, Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC), cements the university's leadership position in this space, further backing Sydney's rise at home and abroad.

"As a hub for creative industries and innovation, Sydney is rapidly becoming a catalyst and hot house environment for collaboration," Hael said. "Sydney represents the next wave of the digital revolution which transformed San Francisco in the nineties."

Hael Kobayashi was at the heart of the digital revolution when California's Silicon Valley meshed with the entertainment industry. His appointment at UTS garners more than 30 years experience in film, digital and new media, design and performing arts for the university, experience gained in senior management roles with Lucasfilm's Industrial Light + Magic and DreamWorks Animation.

Canadian born and beginning his career as a professional dancer, Hael then moved into management roles at the Toronto International Film Festival, Festival Canada and overseas at Canada House in London. He was a producer for Animal Logic on George Miller's Happy Feet and for the five years since, has been fully involved with Sydney's emergence as a creative and entrepreneurial hub.

"I've crossed multiple thresholds in my working life, in great part inspired by working in San Francisco and Copenhagen where innovation and collaboration are highly encouraged," Hael said.

Hael is Chair of Digital Sydney – an Industry and Investment NSW program established to promote NSW strengths in the converging ICT and creative industries – and has experienced firsthand the dynamic intersection of enterprise and education in greater Sydney: "That kind of nexus of creativity and technology, along with the support it needs from industry and government, is what I see here at UTS."

Ross Milbourne, Vice-Chancellor at UTS, said Hael's appointment will help the university build on its existing strengths in the creative industries space, as well as deepen its relationships with industry. "Hael has been an active industry advocate and champion for digital media development, training and education, and his appointment is demonstrative of our commitment to next generation education for creative industries professionals.

"Hael augments the ranks of international talent at UTS. His track record in North America, Europe and Singapore further strengthens our international perspective and deepens our knowledge of global best practice. He has seen the economic value creative innovation can yield elsewhere in the world; we are keen to see it here in Sydney."

The CIIC was launched in 2009 and is based at the UTS as part of the Australian Government's Enterprise Connect initiative to support the growth of the creative industries.

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