Celebrating Top-Tier work in Australasian Academic Tech Transfer
The KCA Awards recognise great work amongst KCA member practitioners in expertly facilitating the transfer of research outcomes from publicly funded research organisations.
The 2018 KCA Awards finalists, in no particular order are:
University of Southern Queensland
Technology, originally funded through a combination of industry research projects between Sugar Research Australia, Cotton Research Development Corporation, Horticulture Innovation Australia and USQ, has been included as part of global commercialisation strategy by leading agricultural machinery company John Deere. Thanks to an ongoing partnership, USQ research is lifting farm productivity and developing the next generation of agricultural technology – including machine automation and control, such as driverless tractors. This global partnership with John Deere is helping provide a gateway for the worldwide commercialisation of technologies related to machine perception and intelligence for agricultural applications including automated weed management systems.
University of Tasmania
Led by its Technology Transfer Unit, the University of Tasmania was able to reformulate a 15+ year research project in rock lobster biology to repatriate invaluable home‐grown intellectual property, and chaperone the opportunity into a newly formed Australian company, issue an exclusive Australian licence, attract $2.5M in equity investment to sustain an aligned ARC Research Hub and engage in commercial partnering. A subsequent commercial sublicense from UTAS to a third party is now proceeding on terms that will see the world’s first commercial‐scale tropical rock lobster hatchery begin production in Tasmania before August 2021.
James Cook University
A regional university in the tropics of far north Queensland is not the first choice for investors in generating and establishing a drug development company. In four months, the development and commercialisation team at James Cook University managed three little pigs (investors*, founders and university) dealing with each as they turned into the wolf and kept rebuilding the university house to one of bricks. The team pulled off the improbable and aligned all the pigs with the establishment of a new biotech spin-out, Paragen Bio, a drug discovery company pursuing the development and commercialisation of therapeutics derived from parasitic worms.