“We look forward to working with the Government to improve the translation of research into commercial outcomes,” said Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia.
“The consultation paper recognises the importance of research excellence and the need for a balanced approach to changes in incentives and funding arrangements”, Ms Robinson said.
“Universities Australia has long championed the need for greater links between industry and universities.
“The Prime Minister Tony Abbott underlined the need for greater collaboration, saying recently that fewer than five per cent of Australian small and medium enterprises turn to the research sector for new ideas or problem-solving. We strongly support a process to improve this outcome which will underwrite Australia’s international competitiveness in the future,” Ms Robinson said.
The consultation paper highlights four key factors in countries that successfully translate their research into commercial outcomes:
- Research excellence
- Targeted research effort
- Cooperation between researchers and industry
Along with the stakeholder roundtables, submissions to the paper will assist the Government to identify policy and program changes as part of developing and implementing the broader strategy. The newly established Commonwealth Science Council will also have a key role.
“Universities Australia supports the direction taken in the paper, but as with all policy changes, the detail of the specific proposals is critical. Australia’s research and innovation system is complex and we need to guard against unintended consequences,” Ms Robinson said.
“Australian universities undertake world-leading research and this attracts the best and brightest to come and study in Australia, driving our third largest export industry. Australia must ensure this industry remains strong if we are to be competitive into the future,” Ms Robinson said.