Driving innovation through university collaboration – key elements for success


Dr. Matthew Young, Manufacturing Innovation Manager

After a turbulent year in our industry, Australian manufacturers need to innovate now more than ever before. Creating a path for a thriving business and economic recovery after COVID-19 will depend on embracing the fourth industrial revolution and, crucially, purposeful and effective collaboration.

At the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC), we have reviewed and assessed hundreds of manufacturing project ideas to determine their suitability for IMCRC R&D project funding, research collaboration, and commercialisation. With many businesses being clear on what they want to achieve, our focus has been on helping them understand the why and the how of their project objectives, and, most importantly, supporting them in finding the right collaboration partner.

Over the years, as we have helped form and nurture more than 40 research collaborations, we have seen patterns emerge, with six attributes, in particular, indicating which manufacturers are likely to have higher chances of success in collaborating with a university. These six key attributes for success tend to be founded at the leadership level of a business, together with technical capability, maturity, and an openness to collaborate.