How Australia can effectively commercialise collaborative research and innovation


The future of many of Australia’s industry sectors depends on innovation derived from the successful development and commercialisation of technology. A significant opportunity exists for industry to accelerate this is through collaboration with our world class universities and other scientific research organisations.

As a Cooperative Research Centre that connects industry with Australia’s research sector, IMCRC’s experience has been that whilst Australian universities comprise many excellent examples of industry research collaborations, only a small proportion of Australian industry knows and takes advantage of this.

Such examples include Urban Art Projects’ collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) to use innovative robotic vision systems and software user-interfaces to reduce the integration time between design and custom manufacturing. This has already led to significant onshoring of manufacturing from China into Australia as well as creating new business opportunities. Another is Corin Australia’s collaboration with the University of South Australia to manufacture orthopaedic implants with novel surfaces in order to minimise risk of post-operative infection.

Dr Jason Coonan, IMCRC’s Chief Operating Officer, knows that the challenge is to remove barriers to participation and increase the number and frequency of the examples of industry collaborations with research organisations. In this article, he reflects on IMCRC’s submission to the Commonwealth Government’s University Research Commercialisation Consultation Paper.