Release date: Friday, 2 September 2016
UNSW, Curtin University and UniSA are research commercialisation winners
The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Curtin University (WA) and the University of South Australia (UniSA) were winners at the Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) Research Commercialisation Awards, announced last night at its annual conference dinner in Brisbane.
Success lay with UNSW which won Best Commercial Deal for securing $20 million capital investment from Zhejian Handian Graphene Tech; Curtin University for the Best Creative Engagement Strategy with The Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre; and UniSA won Best Entrepreneurial Initiative and the People’s Choice Award for its Venture Catalyst which supports student led start-ups.
KCA Chair and Director of Monash innovation at Monash University, Dr Alastair Hick, said it was important that commercialising research successes are celebrated and made public.
“KCA member organisations work incredibly hard at developing new ways to get technology and innovation out into industry being developed into the products and services of tomorrow. These awards recognise that hard work and also that we must develop new ways of improving the interface between public sector research and industry. I am also excited that KCA members are playing an increasing role in helping the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. It is essential that we help develop their entrepreneurial skills and give them the opportunities in an environment where they can learn from skilled and experienced mentors,” said KCA Chair, Dr Alastair Hick
Details of the projects are as follows:
Best Commercial Deal
(Dr Hua Fan, UNSW Innovations (left) and Dr Alastair Hick, KCA (right))
Zhejian Hangdian Graphene Tech Co (ZHGT) – University of New South Wales (UNSW)
This is an initiative to fund and conduct research on cutting-edge higher efficiency voltage power cables, known as graphene, and on super-capacitors. With $20M capital investment by the Chinese corporation Hangzhou Cable Co., Ltd (HCCL), and UNSW contributing intellectual property as a 20% partner, the objectives are to execute the deal through research and development; manufacturing of research outcomes in Hangzhou; and finally commercialisation.
Best Creative Engagement Strategy
(Mr Rohan McDougall, Curtin University (left), Dr Alastair Hick, KCA (right))
Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre – Curtin University
The Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, co-founded by Cisco, Curtin University and Woodside Energy Ltd, is a new industry and research collaboration centre designed to foster co-innovation. With a foundation in radioastronomy, supercomputing and software expertise, it is growing a state-of-the-art connected community focused on leveraging data analytics, cybersecurity and digital transformation network platforms to solve industry problems. The Centre combines start-ups, small–medium enterprises, industry experts, developers and researchers in a collaborative open environment to encourage experimentation, innovation and development through brainstorming, workshops, proof-of-concept and rapid prototyping. By accelerating innovation in next-generation technologies, it aims to help Australian businesses thrive in this age of digital disruption.
Best Entrepreneurial Initiative & People’s Choice
(Ms Jasmine Vreugdenburg, UniSA (left) and Dr Alastair Hick, KCA (right))
Venture Catalyst Program – UniSA
Venture Catalyst supports student led start-ups by providing up to $50k to the new enterprise as a grant. The scheme targets current and recent graduates who have a high tolerance for risk and an idea for a new business venture that is both novel and scalable. The scheme takes an ‘IP and equity free’ approach and encourages students to collaborate with different disciplines and externals to encourage a diverse skill set for the benefit of the new venture. Venture Catalyst is a collaboration between the UniSA and the South Australian Government, and is supported through UniSA Ventures as well as representatives from industry and experienced entrepreneurs.
This year’s awards are judged by commercial leaders of innovation: Erol Harvey, CEO, MiniFab, Dan Grant, PVC Industry Engagement, LaTrobe University and Anna Rooke, CEO, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia.
Media Contact: Sharon Kelly (gemaker), E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: +61 414 780 077
The nation’s best recent graduates of university accelerator programs came together last Tuesday in Sydney to pitch to an audience of over 100 drawn from Australia’s innovation community at the inaugural KCA Accelerator Demo Day.
In true Dragon’s Den style, teams pitched their businesses to industry experts and got money-can’t buy time in front of key opinion leaders from the likes of Blue Chilli, Blackbird Ventures, StartupAus and Google.
Teaching high-impact entrepreneurship and immersing university students in a diverse range of hands on business training has become a high priority for Australian research organisations in recent times. Many now run their own accelerator and incubation programs, all aimed at supporting students, staff and alumni to commercialise ideas, access seed funding and learn how to grow and scale their businesses.
“Student entrepreneurship is a major national focus right now. As our nation transmissions away from the resources boom towards an ideas boom, our research organisations are stepping up to educate and mentor students along the entrepreneurship pathway and encourage staff to think about commercial application of their work.
Many organisations running accelerator programs are looking for new ways to get their participants in front of active investors, customers and partners. In collaboration with Google, we have accumulated the best from accelerator programs across Australia to promote interaction and exposure for new businesses” said Rohan McDougall, Director IP Commercialisation, Curtin University.
“Entrepreneurship across universities and research institutions should be encouraged to thrive and be an option for every student to consider as they commence their studies. We’re pleased to have been able to host the first National Demo Day and can’t wait to see what teams achieve going forwards” said Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach Manager, Google.
The eight businesses pitched spanned a variety of different sectors, and ranged from early-stage right through to revenue generating.
A summary of the businesses and accelerators that participated are as follows:
Chatterbox is an education technology startup developing a specialised online learning platform for students and teachers of debating and public speaking. Chatterbox went through the University of New South Wales’ FounderLab program, a program that enables startups in need of software development to receive professional software engineer services whilst they continue their search for a permanent technical co-founder.
Me3D was founded with the specific purpose to create the world’s best 3D printing educational package. Me3D manufactures its own hardware through a partnership with Greenacres Industries, and provides essential training and consulting services. Me3D was part of the University of Wollongong’s iAccelerate business incubator which aids startups and new businesses via two streams: Start and Advanced.
Hypetap is a platform which connects agencies, brands and influencers to work on marketing campaigns together. Hypetap was part of the University of Melbourne’s five-month Startup Accelerator program known as MAP. MAP provides teams AUD20,000 in funding (no equity taken), and are provided structured mentoring, free office space and pitching opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne and Silicon Valley
Storekat is an aggregation service for Self-Storage providers that functions as a peer to peer platform, with a purpose to expand their online presence in the marketplace. Storekat was part of Curtin University’s Curtin Accelerate program, a ten week program which assists teams to bring ideas and businesses closer to commercialisation.
Vald Performance is a sports technology startup commercialising an innovative hamstring testing system. The Nordbord is the fastest, easiest and most powerful way to train, screen and monitor hamstring strength. Vald Performance has been through the bluebox Accelerator which enables high potential startup teams from the QUT ecosystem to develop a business model, minimum viable product and investment grade pitch.
Anonalytix is a cloud based technology that offers a new approach to data anonymisation by producing synthetic data sets which cannot be re-identified. Anonalytix is part of the CSIRO ON program, which fast-tracks Australian science and technology innovation for real world outcomes. Open to all Australian universities and PFRAs, ON is supporting helping Australia’s best researchers and their partners translate great science and technology into commercial ventures.
Miriad Technologies have developed the “Miriad Spectrometer,” a device to identify the existence and concentration of chemicals in different mediums such as food and the general environment. Miriad Technologies was part of the University of Sydney’s INCUBATE startup development program, which is open to students and alumni and focuses on technologically innovative companies.
Certified Renewable certifies businesses that use 100% renewable energy. Certified Renewable has been a part of InnovationACT, The Australian National University entrepreneurship program for students, staff and alumni of Canberra’s major tertiary institutions. Teams are mentored by local entrepreneurs, participate in workshops and seminars, and the top teams pitch for a share of the $50,000 seed pool.
KCA and Google are working together to do this all again in 2017. Keep checking back for future dates.
The 2014 KCA Annual Conference, themed “Commercialisation: There are no Rules,” was held 18-19 September in Brisbane.
Day one kicked off with a lively, theatre style comical debate about the whole concept of institutional technology transfer and whether or not it actually works. It was an entertaining mudslinging affair, as both sides battled it out, arguing their points with passion to try win over the adjudicator audience. Valid arguments were presented on both sides, and while there was stronger support for the opposing team, the audience supported the notion that while in its current form the system is broken, the notion of technology transfer is still very important and a worthwhile endeavour. You can read more about the debate on the gemaker blog.
Day one continued on with updates from DECO on the defence trade control act, IP Analytics from IP Australia and some creative strategies around how to commercialise IP within the humanities and social sciences. Deakin talked us through how crowdfunding and using platforms such as Pozible do offer opportunities for society benefiting social projects, however these sites require strong commitment from the project team and the leveraging of the teams social and professional networks to really make the most of the opportunity and to gain the most out of the exercise. Creative commercialisation in education was also shown to offer benefits as presented by Griffith.
The afternoon session saw the finalists of the inaugural KCA Research Commercialisation Awards join the stage to talk about some of the lessons learnt though their projects. Of course the most exciting part of day one was the awards dinner, tech transfers night of nights, where our winners of our three awards categories were announced in front of their peers and sector supporters. Just to recap in case you missed the hype (or the official press release), Best Commercial Deal went to Uniquest for their Janssen Dendright deal, Best Creative Engagement Strategy went to Griffith Enterprise for SEED, and the People’s Choice went to Swinburne for their 3D IMAX project. Congrats once again to all our winners, and a big thanks to all our award sponsors Wrays, gemaker, Crowe Horwath, Business Spectator and Joanne Jacobs.
Day two launched with a cracker marketing session. How to use social media in the tech transfer office and other pearls of wisdom came down the line from guru Laura Schoppe calling in from North Carolina in the US. Changes in the social media scene in Australia were presented by prize donor Joanne Jacobs, while an inspiring tale of perseverance, creative financing and the power to influence via social media was shared with the group by Justine Flynn from the Thankyou Group.
Start-ups and student entrepreneurship featured in the mid-morning session. Andrew Stead shared NICTA’s model of the land of spin-ins, an IP strategy that sits somewhere between licensing and spin-outs. Uber passionate Petra Andren spoke on ATP Innovations student accelerator programs and the potential for universities to use them as a vehicle for commercialisation, and Colin Kinner rounded out the session with the importance of start-ups to the Australian economy and tips as to how tech transfer offices can turn themselves into start-up powerhouses.
The humorous Michael Klug took on the graveyard shift and converted it into a show-stopping finale for attendees. We only gave him an hour, but he manages to impart substantive information in that short window, drawing on a good forty years of experience in the black art of negotiation.
All in all, a pretty good two days – hopefully you each have a few new “tools” to store away into your industry toolkit. Thanks for all of your feedback – it’s a really great starting point for next year’s program! Don’t forget to let me know if you’d like to join the 2015 organising committee! The 2015 conference will be in Melbourne in mid-September. Dates to be confirmed shortly.
ANZ Innovyz START is a 13-week intensive accelerator program aimed at assisting prospective and existing small business owners to develop and grow their businesses for success.
Based in Adelaide South Australia, ANZ Innovyz START looks for ten successful tech enterprises with potentially break-through ideas that are ready for accelerated growth. The program identifies the key elements to success that entrepreneurs need to know to get them ‘investor ready’. The program includes mentoring by successful entrepreneurs, learning programs around growing a company, identification of target markets, working and reworking the company’s plans, and a presentation to potential investors on the last day of the program.
They are now accepting applications for their Winter 2013 Accelerator Program and are looking for companies using software, mobile or web 2.0 to enable their break-through ideas.
Applications close: June 21, 2013