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Media release: University Research Commercialisation is Crucial for Economic Growth and Prosperity

The commercialisation of Australia’s world class university research is key to the nation’s growth and prosperity, meeting the challenges ahead and enhancing the lives of future generations.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the Morrison Government’s $2.2 billion University Research Commercialisation package will enable research to be translated into breakthrough products, fostering start-ups and supporting existing business and industry to grow Australia’s economy.

“As the heavy lifter in Australia’s research and innovation space – the Go8 undertakes 70 percent of university-based research in Australia – we have worked closely with the Government’s research commercialisation taskforce to identify the policy levers necessary to scale up the commercialisation of our world class research,” Ms Thomson said.

“That the Government has adopted our key recommendations is recognition of the important role research-intensive universities will play in the future prosperity of the nation. This new funding strategy for research and commercialisation will deliver gains for universities, business, our economy and most importantly the Australian population.

“The $1.6 billion Australia’s Economic Accelerator program is key to the success of research commercialisation. Proof of concept funding is essential to cross the ‘valley of death’ so Australia can meet the challenges that lie ahead. It is critical if we are to realise the untapped potential of our world-class researchers.

“The Go8 has long advocated for funding for early-stage research commercialisation, a translational research fund and closer cooperation between universities and industry.

“Commercialisation endeavours are only as good as the research we undertake and the more that is informed by industry, the more it will be commercially relevant and boost Australia’s global competitiveness. The $296 million investment in industry PhD research fellowships will boost collaboration between industry and universities and provide new career opportunities for researchers.

“The research being undertaken in Australia’s leading research-intensive universities is renowned for changing and saving lives. Australia pushes above its weight in commercialisation of research – our output is comparable to world renowned institutions including Stanford, but with targeted funding we can do even better.

“COVID-19 has delivered some harsh lessons but also shone a light on the vital role of research commercialisation to protect Australia’s future and has enabled government to see the potential of what true collaboration between universities and business can achieve.”

Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472