Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Heal our Commercialisation Gap

By David Brockway & Alan Finkel

Collaboration, industry links, secondments, metrics and tax can all help to take R&D to market.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Australia punches well above it weight in R&D but, with a few notable exceptions, has a lesser record of commercialisation, with many Australian R&D outcomes taken to market overseas.

Australia needs to create new industries focused on high-value products, applying our undoubted excellence in R&D and driving it to market through innovation – the conversion of new ideas into products and services.

Manufacturing in Australia is a key to this commercialisation initiative, but for the past three decades manufacturing as a percentage of GDP has been in regular and significant decline. Almost daily we learn of the closure of manufacturing plants, with direct negative impacts on the Australian economy.

The flow of ideas and initiatives from R&D through to meeting – or creating – market needs through innovation and specialised manufacture rests on many factors. One of the most important is effective, long-term collaboration between researchers and industry.

Researchers are highly knowledgeable in the science and engineering underpinning a technology. Successful industry uptake relies on the involvement of these “champions” of the technology who will work extraordinarily hard to see it come to fruition. The importance of effectively engaging the champion of a technology cannot be overstated.

Innovation has a limited chance of...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.