For the first time recognition has been given to research commercialisation teams via the inaugural Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) Research Commercialisation Awards, with winners – two from Queensland and the People’s Choice from Victoria – announced tonight at the annual conference dinner in Brisbane.
“Australia punches above its weight in research with journal publications and patent applications. Translating that research success into commercial uptake by industry and creation of Australian jobs, is an intricate, challenging and resource intensive process and so it’s important that we take the time to recognise and acknowledge the efforts of those involved in this process,” KCA Executive Officer Melissa Geue said.
“These awards recognise research organisations’ success in creatively transferring knowledge and research outcomes into the broader community, and raise the profile of research organisations contribution to the development of new products and services which benefit wider society and sometimes even enable companies to grow new industries in Australia.”
The 2014 Award winners are:
Best Commercial Deal for any form of commercialisation of knowledge which is innovative in its approach, provides value-add to the research institution and has significant long term social and economic impact.
UniQuest – Janssen deal with Dendright technology targeting rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at The University of Queensland have developed a new drug, Curcusome-RA, to treat rheumatoid arthritis which has the potential to be a long-lasting treatment for the autoimmune disease. UniQuest were successful in closing a funding deal with Pharmaceutical company Janssen to support ongoing R&D towards Phase 1 clinical trials and Janssen have an option to commercialise Curcusome-RA worldwide.
Best Creative Engagement Strategy to showcase some of the creative strategies research organisations are using to engage with industry partner/s to share and create new knowledge.
Griffith Enterprise (Griffith University) – SEED
SEED combines Griffith’s popular music, creative arts, film and marketing students to develop and promote an album each year. Students learn how to interact with online music providers and make valuable industry connections. Through major partners such as Queensland Performing Arts Centre, they perform a concert series The Seed Project, building a following and enhancing their, and in turn Griffith’s, reputations.
Griffith Enterprise’s Business and Innovation Manager (Education, Creative Arts & Design, and Humanities) Anthony Pages, who worked closely with The Con on growing the SEED enterprise through major strategic partnerships, said: “SEED needed a creative partnership arrangement that went well beyond the traditional sponsorship/production support to help build its key learning offering. The Queensland Conservatorium’s partnership with QPAC adds a much-needed concert series to the mix so that along with the commercial acumen Griffith students build through developing and selling an album, they also hone performance skills to thrive in the world of emerging DIY artists.”
People’s Choice Award is open to the wider public to vote on what commercial deal or create engagement strategy project deserves to win.
The winner this year, leading by nearly 100 votes, is:
Swinburne University of Technology – A 3D IMAX Initiative – The ‘Giants Are Coming’ but they need to turn into the ‘Hidden Universe’.
Risk adverse university joins with creative film company to produce Australia’s first 3D IMAX film which has already been seen by more than 700,000 people in cinemas across the planet. Hidden Universe uses real images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes to take audiences on a journey to the farthest reaches of our Universe and excite their interest and awareness of science and technology.
Wrays Patent Attorneys were the major sponsor of the 2014 Awards.
Wrays’ CEO Frank Hurley said:, “Through our support, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of understanding often undervalued intellectual property to leverage new ideas, and subsequently nurture relationships with future entrepreneurs by enabling them to protect and also generate wealth from their innovations.”