Encouraging university research commercialisation


A new model to encourage university research commercialisation (URC) is being developed and members are invited to an AusBiotech virtual roundtable as it develops its response.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s consultation paper explores possible mechanisms to incentivise and increase partnerships between businesses and universities.

Australia holds world-class research, however, it is recognised that the existing paradigm needs to shift to encourage and accelerate universities’ commercialisation outcomes.

Drawing upon global examples of how private-public partnerships have been successfully supported in other jurisdictions, the consultation paper seeks feedback on key elements across the model, including:

  • mission-driven research;
  • stage-gated design;
  • incentives for participation;
  • industry-university collaboration; and,
  • governance.

It is well-recognised across the industry that the technology transfer and commercialisation support gap needs attention.

The capability and capacity shortage directly impacts the early investment required for biotech SMEs to flourish.

Australia’s medical and health research ecosystem is the funnel into the industry’s pipeline so if world-class research residing in academia cannot be commercialised, it cannot reach the ultimate beneficiaries: the patients.

Australia’s biotech innovation is critically important to the long-term social and economic success of our nation, but particularly in the short to medium term COVID-19 recovery. Focusing URC efforts will boost the economy and optimise community benefit from public investment in medical research.

During his virtual address to the Business Council of Australia AGM, November 2020, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister said, “We want to provide a platform and a pathway for our talented researchers to partner with you, with businesses all around the country and to apply their intellectual firepower as research entrepreneurs.”

Submissions and input from numerous stakeholders will feed into a scoping study that will outline options for a new model for URC. The scoping study will be presented to the Government later in the year for consideration and decisions on the next steps of implementation.

Members are invited to a virtual roundtable with Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech, to be held on Wednesday 7 April. Members can register their interest in attending the roundtable, and can also send initial thoughts, ideas and considerations, to Karen Parr, Director, Communications, by Tuesday 6 April.