University Research-Industry Collaboration pushed into a new dance

In February 2022, the Australian Government released its University Research Commercialisation Action Plan to increase focus on research ready for translation/commercialisation. A combination of re-purposed and new money will support a $2.2B (over ten years) program to nudge industry and university researchers into a closer collaborative dance.

Research block grants enable Australian universities to pursue excellence in research and support more than 40,000 research scholarships. When allocating block grants, the Government proposes to increase (from 25% to 50%) the weight placed on successful industry engagement by universities, measured as funds generated through university-industry partnerships.

This tends to incentivise swift, industry-led research outcomes over long-term, strategic exploration and innovation to develop novel technology and new industries.

The Government seeks feedback from Australian businesses and universities on how the proposed changes in block grant weightings will impact industry engagement with research organisations.

To make it easier for busy industry players to have their say, gemaker has developed a five-minute survey (link below). Input will be aggregated and anonymous. We will report the survey findings in a submission to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, to improve the Government’s understanding of how businesses select research partners (or why they can’t/don’t). Our survey closes on 20 May 2022.

If you want to make a separate submission on this issue, you’ll find the consultation paper and submission requirements here: