The male-dominated makeup of the industry partners who are meant to lead the commercialisation of research could undermine the work towards gender equity in Australian universities.
Brook A Mitchell/AAP
Australia has world-class research but low rates of research commercialisation by global standards. The scale and cultural focus of the government’s plan mean it could have an impact on this problem.
The question for universities is no longer whether to offer work-integrated learning but how to do it well, especially now that digital technology has expanded the scale of what is possible.
The lack of dedicated funding and support for research commercialisation, on top of the other obstacles academics face, means Australia’s poor performance is no mystery.
Just 5% of Australian businesses have collaborated with university researchers, and the smaller the company, the less likely collaboration.
The federal government wants more university research to lead to businesses like the $1 billion-a-year Cochlear company.
The federal government is right to focus on improving Australian universities’ success rate in commercialising research, but can take specific steps itself to help achieve this.
Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge is calling for ‘new ideas on how we can increase collaboration between business and universities’.
Government incentives might boost the numbers of collaborative research projects, but academics also must work on their relationships with industry practitioners to ensure everyone contributes fully.
There is also strong public understanding of the benefits that flow from research undertaken in partnership between universities and other organisations.
The freeze on university funding not only limits opportunities for students, it puts limitations on the communities unis serve, the economy, and business interested in forming collaborations.
For universities to produce employable graduates, they need to work collaboratively with industry partners in educating their students.
To make graduates employable and close the training gap, we need to strengthen links to industry and pay attention to the changing needs of businesses.
Managing the risks of industry-researcher collaboration: Coca-Cola got caught for funding scientists who shifted blame for obesity away from bad diets.
The innovation report fails to mention the risk of bias for researchers collaborating with industry. We must ensure that researchers maintain their independence.
‘There are relatively fewer large-scale research-intensive industries for universities to partner with in Australia,’ says Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor, University of Melbourne.
We can’t fulfil Malcolm Turnbull’s ambition for an innovative nation without understanding why researchers are struggling to engage with industry.
Universities are for producing well-rounded graduates, not apprentices.
With graduate employment at its lowest since records began in the 1980s, universities are trying to come up with ways to make their graduates more attractive to employers. One common way is involving employers in their teaching solutions, but this has rarely worked.
The competitiveness agenda might be good for research, but only research that can turn a profit.
The Departments of Education and Industry jointly released a paper, Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research, this morning. While somewhat short on details, the document clarifies that the Commonwealth…
Universities have an opportunity to build a closer relationship with industry, but it won’t come cheap and it won’t come easy.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane this month suggested that the funding of research grants to universities should be decided on the basis of the number of patents generated rather than the number of academic…