First tech-commercialisation skills study funded

April 02, 2015

The first study to identify the skills and qualities required to successfully put research to use via commercialisation was awarded $98k grant funding today.

The year-long study will be run by Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) – the peak body for Australian organisations and individuals in knowledge commercialisation and exchange between public sector research organisations, business and government – and gemaker – a company specialising in commercialising technology.

The key objective of this study is to provide a clear understanding of what it really takes to get new ideas generated by Australian publicly funded research organisations into society and the marketplace.

To kick start the project and help consolidate the study’s framework, a series of workshops will be hosted across five states between April and June. Technology transfer practitioners and industry stakeholders will be invited to participate in these workshops, offering both individuals and institutions an exclusive opportunity to help shape the future direction of professional development within the sector in this country, and provide foresight as to the true nature of the skill set required to effectively undertake this role going forwards.

 “There is an increasing expectation from government entities within Australia for publicly funded research organisations to improve on the conversion of research into commercial outcomes. Much like the theme of our forthcoming conference – Raising the Bar – this study will enable us as a community of practitioners to look strategically at what it means to be a commercialisation professional at a research organisation in Australia, and how we might look to improve upon how we go about our practice. We are thrilled to be awarded the Professional Standards Research Grant,” KCA Executive Officer Melissa Geue said.

KCA applied for the research grant in partnership with technology commercialisation consultancy gemaker (associate member of KCA) in late November 2014. The project team is being led by gemaker’s Commercialisation Director Athena Prib, RTTP and will be comprised of gemaker’s team of specialists in capability development and workplace competencies, as well as KCA’s Executive Officer, Melissa Geue and Vice Chair and Professional Development Leader, Dr Alastair Hick (also Director of Commercialisation at Monash University).

“We are excited to be leading the first project of its kind that will open the door for the research and commercialisation sector to connect and self reflect, and we hope this study offers a baseline for our association, KCA, to build on for years to come,” said Natalie Chapman, gemaker’s Managing Director.

Overall the study will provide insight into the different technology transfer models used across Australia and the mechanism used to equip people with knowledge of skills required by industry and research. The primary goal is to look at the skills and competencies required on both the research and business side, to undertake a skills gap analysis, and to begin to assemble a framework for professional development across the Australian research commercialisation sector.

“Knowledge exchange and commercialisation is an important area of innovation for Australia and building standards and professionalisation options for the industry is an opportunity to cement Australia’s leadership,” said Dr Deen Sanders, PSC Chief Executive Officer.

“Our role is to encourage professional standards and consumer protection and so we are pleased to support the research and commercialisation sector in taking a serious and strategic approach to building a profession in this area.”

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