There has never been a more exciting time to be in technology transfer. There is no doubt that the Turnbull Government’s championing of innovation through the Ideas Boom has thrust technology transfer into the sunlight; where previously it soldiered on unseen in the shadows. The Ideas Boom is templated as the National Science and Innovation Agenda (NISA) and what a policy it is. The NISA encompassing a range of innovations that stimulate our sector to encourage engagement between academia and industry. It galls us to travel the well-worn wheel rut that we as a Nation we occupy the bottom rung of the OECD ladder for industry-research engagement. The NISA aims to move us up that ladder with a range of initiatives which includes incentives for researchers and publicly-funded research institutions to work more actively with industry; provide access to capital for start-ups and incentives entrepreneurs to create start-ups. The talk of the town is start-ups.
For our researchers, the NISA provides a fundamental intervention aimed to changing the culture of academia such that universities will receive competitive funding based on their actual engagement with industry as measured by impact and levels of industry funding as opposed to the traditional metric of peer-reviewed publications and grant income.
This matters to publicly-funded research institutions including our universities, our researchers and our technology transfer professionals. We will all have to stretch and cover the industry engagement drive and balance our existing roles. Positive change is good.
It cannot be stressed enough just how significant this holistic intervention is. Superimpose the Medical Research Future Fund across the top of the biomedical landscape in Australia and we have a sector on the boil for access to capital. Do all these measures mean that the translation of research outcomes to productivity gain for our industry sector can be realised now?
The opening session of the KCA Annual Conference puts the NISA on to the dissection bench as we tease out the pros and cons of this policy that will result in a dramatic change in the technology transfer landscape. Come along and join your peers on September 1 to discuss how the changes affect you. Revel in the sunshine and Register now.
Dr Dean Moss