A welcome boost for commercialising research

| February 2, 2022

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s $2.2 billion university research commercialisation announcement at the Australian Press Club.

Industry and academic collaboration is essential for growing Australian skills, creating local jobs and unlocking sovereign technological capabilities.

Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, President of ATSE said the announcement is a welcome boost to the research sector and will play an important role in transforming early-stage research into commercial success and spurring a technology powered, human driven future for Australians.

“The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is eager to ensure the fund helps increase industry’s appetite to develop new ideas. However, it is also important not to neglect curiosity-driven research which creates the ideas for new commercial opportunities.

“We applaud the government’s recognition that we need a new breed of research entrepreneur. Research commercialisation will be an essential cog needed for a technology powered, human driven future which builds Australian sovereign capabilities, provides skills, and creates jobs.

“The Academy looks forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure the fund builds on Australia’s research strengths and is eager to see a long-term implementation and coordination plan which leverages the diversity of our research sector and our areas of advantage as outlined in the Government’s manufacturing priorities,” said Professor Bradlow.

The $2.2 billion package features the $1.6 billion Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) to focus on the commercialisation of the six national manufacturing priority areas. Fusing $150 million for CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures Program, $296 million for 1800 industry PhDs and 800 fellowships over 10 years, and the AEA to bring Australia’s brightest business and academic minds together.

This coordinated approach could help to consolidate support across the lifecycle of ideas – from proof of concept to proof of scale, through to taking products to market.

ATSE’s 900 Fellows support government with independent expertise to make evidence-based decisions and ATSE delivers three high-profile STEM career pathway initiatives: IMNIS – Industry Mentoring Network in STEM, an award-winning industry engagement, mentoring and internships initiative, STELR – a schools-based, hands-on STEM education program, and CS in Schools – a world-class digital technology education program linking classrooms with industry.

ATSE looks forward to working with the government to support the program.