2.6 Why is commercialisation important to universities, their staff and students?

Commercialisation is important for universities not so much for income generation, but because:

  • being highly dependent on taxpayer support, universities have a responsibility to transfer their research results into society for its benefit, improving lives and creating new industries and jobs
  • it increases industry engagement, which helps universities to find new R&D avenues, collaborators and funding, and enhance the career prospects of staff and students.

Critically, commercialisation does not prohibit publication and peer review of IP.

Immediately after application is made for IP protection, the IP can be disclosed (e.g. published or discussed publicly), because only prior disclosures disallow the application. As a means of disseminating research results, commercialisation can be more extensive and enduring than academic publication and networking.

The potential personal benefits from commercialisation for university staff and students include:

  • fresh perspectives on R&D opportunities
  • additional R&D funding sources
  • access to industry knowledge and expertise
  • increased job satisfaction from greater development and dissemination of innovations
  • enhanced employment opportunities within and beyond universities
  • occasionally, a share of financial profits
Image adapted from diagram by Dr Paige Maguire, Director of Graduate Research Education & Development at QUT