Tagged: Uniquest

2016 TT Sector Wrap Up

2016 has been a big year for technology transfer offices in Australia. As we all know, commercialising research is a tough gig and some deals are many years in the making.  The beginning of a new tradition, KCA has compiled a highlights list from offices around the country to celebrate the achievements of the membership across the year just gone.  You may have heard of some of these achievements throughout the year, but its always nice to look at these things in summary, and consider at what has been accomplished as a group.  Below are some top 3 highlights from offices within the KCA community who were able to participate in the exercise this year.

ANSTO

  • Successful technology transfer and scale up of the ANSTO Minerals Sileach™ process with Lithium Australia.  More info here.
  • ANSTO in partnership with Minomic have successfully developed the MILGa drug for SPECT diagnosis of certain cancers. Minomic is mid-way through a Phase 1 clinical trial.  Story here.
  • ANSTO Health obtained a license from the TGA for production of Lutetium 177, an emerging therapeutic isotope for a range of cancers.  Story here.

CSIRO

  • Launch and expansion of the ON Accelerator to all Public Sector Research Organisations and Universities funded through NISA.  More info here.
  • The announcement of the $200 million CSIRO Innovation Fund to be operational in 2017 and also available to all Public Sector Research Organisations and Universities. More info here.
  • 5 spin outs/equity deals in calendar 2016 and $60m in IP (royalty and licensing) revenue in 2015/16 FY (Chryos, Cardihab, MetaBloQ, Smart Battery)

Curtin

  • West Tech Fest, which incorporates the OzAPP Awards judging, a Startup Village, pitching opportunities, an angel investor dinner, student tech fest, technology startup events and an industry conference.
  • Curtin spinout ePAT technologies listed on the ASX completing a $4.7 million capital raise.
  • Curtin completed a deal with Australian mining services company, Gekko Systems to commercialise a breakthrough gold processing monitoring technology.  Story here.

DST Group

  • HPRNet – DST Group in partnership with the Australian Army has established new model for establishing research networks(Rnet) of Australian Universities to undertake research in areas of interest to Defence .  The first such RNet is a joint initiative of DST Group and the Australian Army which has brought together 7 Australian universities to work in the area of the advancement of human performance . Next year will see this model being used in other technology areas.
  • External Engagement Manager program – 12 month professional development and immersive program whereby  DST researchers are appointed as their respective Research Division’s External engagement manager. As a result of the program researchers have not only increased their business acumen and commercial skills but 60% of the researchers have gained promotions back inside their research areas.
  • CERA business model – Devised the business model whereby the Defence Science Institute (DSI) released a pilot Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (CERA) program, which sought research proposals from Australian universities relating to projects of Defence strategic importance. In a highly competitive field DSI made award grants of up to $50k each to seed collaborations. The strongest applicants were able to collaborate and engage with Australian industry and International partners. Given the success of the pilot program DST Group has requested the program be continued in the coming financial year.

Griffith

  • Griffith University and agricultural product company Agnova Technologies collaborated to produce Fruition, the nation’s first non-toxic commercial response to fruit flies.  Story here.
  • Student enterprise (student entrepreneurial education is a key growth area for Griffith.  Story here.
  • Olymvax invests in Griffith vaccine for Strep A.  Story here.

LaTrobe

  • La Trobe establishes the new Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry Engagement). Story here.
  • Unlocking regional Victoria’s big ideas – LaunchVic funded Regional Accelerator Program.  Story here.
  • Optus and La Trobe tech-collaboration to deliver an integrated, digitally connected campus; a state-of-the-art Sports Precinct of the Future; and creation of a market leading Cyber Security tertiary degree.  Story here.

Macquarie

  • Macquarie University has had one or more team(s) in every CSIRO ON program that were eligible to Universities; Modular Photonics in ACCELERATE 2, LuciGem, FAIMS and Diamond Lasers in PRIME and LuciGem in ACCELERATE 3.
  • 2016 has seen over a double increase in Innovation Disclosures since 2015 (57 as of 08 Dec 2016)
  • We arranged a educational and fun team bonding session with the Research Office, Office of Commercialisation and Innovation and Corporate Engagement by holding a 1 day negotiation training workshop.

Monash

  • BioCurate is an $80M collaboration between Monash and the University of Melbourne established to transform our ability to translate our world class biomedical research into new therapeutic products.  Story here.
  • Monash University spinout Amaero Engineering entered into a major production deal with French based multinational company Safran to produce 3D printed parts for Safran. Story here and here.
  • Monash and Hudson Institute of Medical Research entered into a major commercialisation and co-development deal to develop next generation immunology therapeutics. Story here.

UniQuest

  • A €15 million (A$22 million) Series A investment (one of the largest biotech Series A investments for intellectual property originating from an Australian university) in Inflazome Ltd, a company founded on research from UQ and Trinity College Dublin, developing treatments for inflammatory diseases.  Story here.
  • UniQuest’s Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) became a fully-equipped and operational drug discovery and development capability, with facilities and staff based at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.
  • UQ spinout company Protagonist Therapeutics Inc. listed on the NASDAQ stock market, raising US$90 million (A$118 million) in its initial public offering, (story here), while ResApp is developing a smartphone medical application for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease, and has raised more than A$16 million since listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2015 (story here).

UniSA Ventures

  • UniSA’s Venture Catalyst program voted Australia’s Best Entrepreneurial Support Initiative in the KCA Awards.  Story here.
  • UniSA signed a MoU with one of China’s leading drug development and pharmaceuticals manufacturers, to support the development of new drugs, and treatments in stem cell biology and drug reformulation technology.  Story here.
  • UniSA  launched a new strategic plan for research and innovation to fast-track the development of high potential innovations through UniSA Ventures.  Story here.

UNSW Innovations

  • China Cable deal worth $20m that was KCA deal of the year.  Story here.
  • Quantum Computing deal which saw $25m of Commonwealth funding through NISA, and $10m each from CBA and Telstra to develop a prototype circuit.  Story here.
  • Torch Innovation Precinct announcement that the first Torch Science Park outside China would be set-up at UNSW.  More info here.

UWA

  • A new drug for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) originally developed at The University of Western Australia has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.  Story here.
  • The first ever Western Australian Innovation Strategy was launched by the Minister for Innovation, the Hon Bill Marmion, on 2 November 2016.  Story here.
  • An increase in support activity for entrepreneurship and innovation in Perth, i.e. CERI is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that has been set up to work closely with local researchers to assist them in developing entrepreneurial skills and to then take them through the Innovation Process, with the goal of assisting them to establish a startup company.

Victoria

  • Researchers at Victoria University have joined forces with Phillip Island Nature Parks to develop a ‘wand’ that harvests oil absorbing  magnetic particles in order to save the lives of penguins and other birds contaminated after an oil spill event.  Story here.
  • A patent and trademark technology licence to a company in Japan to commercialise innovative insole technology develop at ISEAL (Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living) research institute as well as leveraging our reputation and famous associated brand. The insoles have major biomechanical advantages over the existing products in the market. Deals are currently being negotiated with major insole and shoe manufacturers and distributors in Asia and beyond to bring this inventive product to market.
  • A patent technology licence to an Australian company to exploit membrane distillation technology. The technology has energy and practical advantages that the company has secured investment and is building a pilot plant to scale up the technology. The company already has end market customers interested in using the technology in a broad range of industrial applications.

We’re walking in sunshine!  #KCA2016 is your ticket to get the ins and outs as to what the NISA means for TT practitioners here in Australia

Screen-Shot-2015-12-10-at-2.55.10-pm

There has never been a more exciting time to be in technology transfer.  There is no doubt that the Turnbull Government’s championing of innovation through the Ideas Boom has thrust technology transfer into the sunlight; where previously it soldiered on unseen in the shadows.  The Ideas Boom is templated as the National Science and Innovation Agenda (NISA) and what a policy it is.  The NISA encompassing a range of innovations that stimulate our sector to encourage engagement between academia and industry.  It galls us to travel the well-worn wheel rut that we as a Nation we occupy the bottom rung of the OECD ladder for industry-research engagement.  The NISA aims to move us up that ladder with a range of initiatives which includes incentives for researchers and publicly-funded research institutions to work more actively with industry; provide access to capital for start-ups and incentives entrepreneurs to create start-ups.  The talk of the town is start-ups.

For our researchers, the NISA provides a fundamental intervention aimed to changing the culture of academia such that universities will receive competitive funding based on their actual engagement with industry as measured by impact and levels of industry funding as opposed to the traditional metric of peer-reviewed publications and grant income.

This matters to publicly-funded research institutions including our universities, our researchers and our technology transfer professionals.  We will all have to stretch and cover the industry engagement drive and balance our existing roles.  Positive change is good.

It cannot be stressed enough just how significant this holistic intervention is.  Superimpose the Medical Research Future Fund across the top of the biomedical landscape in Australia and we have a sector on the boil for access to capital.   Do all these measures mean that the translation of research outcomes to productivity gain for our industry sector can be realised now?

The opening session of the KCA Annual Conference puts the NISA on to the dissection bench as we tease out the pros and cons of this policy that will result in a dramatic change in the technology transfer landscape.  Come along and join your peers on September 1 to discuss how the changes affect you.  Revel in the sunshine and Register now.

Dr Dean Moss
Vice-Chair, KCA
CEO, UniQuest

A pioneer. A visionary. A leader. A truly great man.

The technology transfer profession of Australia is in mourning after the passing of veteran Dr David Alexander Evans (b. 22/1/1941) on 19/9/2014.

David_EvansDavid made a largely unrecognised, but exceptional, personal contribution to the culture of innovation and support for early stage commercialisation of technologies in Australia, devoting his career and life to providing leadership, vision, inspiration and mentoring support to a generation of innovation professionals.

Working with Australian innovators and commercialisation professionals David supported, facilitated or encouraged, technologies that have delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian economy and generated significant social and environmental benefits.

David was instrumental in transforming Uniquest in the mid-90s into the leading powerhouse that we all now know of it to be. David was also the visionary who noted the need for seed stage funding and in true leadership style went on to pioneer UniSeed, Australia’s first university based Venture Capital Fund (Uniseed) with an initial capitalisation of $20 million.

During a career that spanned more than 40 years, David demonstrated time and time again a remarkable vision for what Australian innovators could achieve. More impressively, his ability to communicate this vision with a passion that inspired others, backed up with skills to facilitate engagement and discussion, saw these visions convert into reality and have a significant positive benefit on the Australian technology transfer scene.

Early Career

David’s passion for innovation was sparked early. In 1962, as a recently graduated engineer (BE Engineering, University of NSW), he joined M R Hornibrook (NSW) Pty Ltd working on Stage 2 of the Sydney Opera House Project. There he was inspired by the creativity of Joe Bertony, who had been able to design the engineering support structures needed to build the visionary sails of the Sydney Opera house. They remained lifelong friends and collaborators on innovation. David’s contributions as part of this team were recognised in “Building a Masterpiece: the Sydney Opera House” (Anne Watson ed, 2006).

A young David went on to study his Masters (MS Engineering-Economic Planning and MA Economics) and Doctorate (PhD, Engineering) degrees at Stanford University (California, USA) after receiving a Fulbright Travel Grant and a Ford International Scholarship in 1964. In 1965 he met Professor Doug Englebart (inventor of, among other things, the computer mouse) at a seminar. Caught up in the excitement of the potential of what he was seeing, David began to visit Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and work with Professor Englebart over the period 1966 to 1969, after which he returned to Australia with his young family.

In 1968, David was part of the team that produced “the mother of all demonstrations”, now seen as heralding the dawn of interactive computing. David is personally thanked by Professor Englebart at the conclusion of the hour long presentation (http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html). David’ doctoral thesis talked about the processes for innovation he had experienced at SRI and he was awarded his doctorate after he used the (then revolutionary) word processing technology they had developed, to revise his thesis overnight in response to suggestions from the examination panel. David is credited by Professor Englebart with having developed “the Journal” which has been described as “a predecessor of all contemporary server software that supports collaborative document creation. It was used to discuss, debate, and refine concepts in the same way that “wikis” are being used today”. The concept of collaboration to improve on and foster new ideas remained right at the core of David’s approach to innovation right until the very end.

After returning to Australia, David became a senior consultant at W D Scott & Company and carried out assignments for Australian Wire Industries, South Australian Aboriginal Lands Council and the Philippines Board of Investments. He subsequently founded and established W D Scott’s office in Papua New Guinea and won major assignments, just prior to independence, in economic development, localization and efficiency improvement.

From 1972 – 1974, David was seconded from W D Scott & Company as a member of the Priorities Review Staff, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – a policy task force / think tank set up by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. He acted as one of five Senior Advisers in the PRS (set up along the lines of Lord Rothschild’s Central Policy Review Staff in the UK) to provide an alternative view on long-term policy to the Australian Government. It was a role that fitted with his extraordinary capacity to envision a better Australia.

He went on to work as a management consultant (largely for governments) in Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Before moving into technology commercialisation in universities in the late 1980s, he had established a consultancy company of his own (the Implementation and Management Group (IMG)), working throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and developed this into a boutique, seed-stage management and investment company starting up, facilitating and nurturing new companies based on innovative Australian technology in IT&T, physical sciences, engineering and biotechnology. Companies in the IMG group included VLD Consultants, IMG Consultants, LSE Manufacturing and LSE Technology.

Entering the world of technology commercialisation

In the late 1980s he began his direct contribution to technology commercialisation in running his own “hatchery”. He took up positions as CEO of University Partnerships Pty Ltd at the University of New England (Armidale) from 1989 to 1994 then CEO and Managing Director of UniQuest, the technology commercialisation company at the University of Queensland from 1994 to 2000.

David transformed UniQuest from an unremarkable university commercialisation outfit into a robust company, nationally recognised as ‘best practice’ and as a leader internationally. He introduced and implemented a fundamental shift in the way commercialisation of technology from public sector R&D was handled, from a focus on stockpiling non-exploited patents to licensing to third parties and establishing start up and spinoff companies. (http://www.uniquest.com.au/index.php?sectionID=14)

The University of Queensland (UQ), largely through the work of UniQuest, is now ranked in the top deciles for research commercialisation outcomes in the world on a number of metrics. The foundations for this success were laid by David. David was the courageous and persistent person who coaxed/encouraged and forcibly convinced UQ to invest in commercialisation. His leadership and vision laid the foundations for continued success, notwithstanding the fine work of those who have succeeded him. Without his input (and the support of two consecutive Vice Chancellors) UQ would not have achieved the national and international outcomes that make them so proud today.

In terms of specific examples, David negotiated with UQ to provide significant ‘patient’ funding (that is, funding invested to make a return over a long period, rather than immediately) in his early days as Managing Director. David was “inspirational in getting the university (of Queensland) to capitalise its commercialisation arm to the tune of $5 million…No other university had ever done that – it was almost heresy.”

David conceived, garnered high level support for, and then successfully implemented the faculty/head office ‘hub and spoke’ model which is still the basic model for UniQuest today. Under this model, for the first time in Australia, commercialisation professionals were physically co-located with university researchers supporting them in identifying and then commercialising university IP. This significantly reduced IP ‘leakage’, made a generation of researchers commercially aware, and helped increase economic, social and environmental returns from publicly funded R&D. The approach is now an internationally recognized and successful technology transfer model.

During his tenure at UniQuest, David played a leading role in more than 50 commercialisation deals, including Prof Ian Frazer’s (2006 Australian of the year) Human Papilloma Virus (Cervical Cancer) Vaccine deal with CSL/Merck. They also included a deal with GE Medical Systems and Siemens to commercialise Prof David Doddrell’s eddy-current correction method for MRI. These deals are both regarded as benchmarks that set the standard for Australian commercialisation. Moreover, successful commercialisation of these technologies resulted in very significant economic returns to Australia, greatly increased the international profile of the strength of Australian science, and inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers. Professors Frazer and Doddrell have, rightly since, both been recipients of many awards for their contributions to science, the economy and society, including the ATSE Clunies Ross Medal.

David also worked extremely hard to make sure that UQ received a fair return from its investments in technology development. For example, with the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, he was instrumental in ensuring the original deal with CSL benefited the university (as well as the inventor and investors).

David also introduced his ideas and successes to other universities, and the model he implemented has subsequently been adopted in other public sector institutions, increasing ability to gain returns from public sector R&D.

In developing his model for technology transfer, David identified the lack of seed stage funding as a significant hindrance to innovation. Showing characteristic leadership, vision and persuasion, in 2000, he established and became CEO of Australia’s first university based Venture Capital Fund (Uniseed) with an initial capitalization of $20 million. $10 million from the University of Melbourne and $10 million from UQ. David’s legacy has subsequently seen Uniseed’s capitalisation exceed $60 million with the University of New South Wales and Westscheme (Western Australia’s largest non-government superannuation fund) joining as members of Uniseed.

Uniseed was set up to invest at the pre-seed stage in UQ and University of Melbourne start-up companies, giving them a better chance of reaching the seed capital investment stage. At the time this approach to commercialisation of university technology through support of the institutions themselves was revolutionary.

While David was CEO, Uniseed’s investments supported 15 new technology companies, including 12 in the life sciences. Among these, David identified, encouraged and/or supported the development of many of the now successful UQ start-ups: Magnetica, Xenome, TripleP, and Fultech. These companies alone have contributed many millions of dollars to the wider economy and The University of Queensland, supporting hundreds of research positions and providing resources to fund other university activities. The flow on economic, social and environmental benefits of their success and the resulting increased profile of Australian science are hugely significant.

In making these commercialisation successes, he also showcased the now well known researchers working on the technologies. Not only Professors David Doderell, and Ian Frazer (mentioned earlier) but also Stuart Crozier, Roger Drinkwater and Matt Sanderson.

David was also instrumental in securing key early stage investors for many start-up companies. He has the understanding of the venture capital environment and the passion to understand and explain technologies that allow investors to feel comfortable about the prospects that lie ahead. Redflow Limited (now trading on the Australian Stock Exchange – ASX RFX) is one such company.

In the period 2002 – 2005, David also made several significant contributions to other research based organizations looking to his leadership and vision for commercialisation. He provided consulting advice to the Australian Institute for Commercialisation and to the four universities that are Members of the National Stem Cell Centre Ltd (UNSW, Adelaide, Monash and Queensland). He acted as a Director of IMBcom, the commercialisation company for the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland; Anutech, the commercialisation company at the Australian National University; CAST Centre Pty Ltd, the management company for the CRC for Cast Metals Manufacturing; and two companies commercialising a new internal combustion engine technology, Ron Richards Engine Technologies and Toroidal Technology.

At the end of 2004, David was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Magnetic Limited. At Magnetica, David worked closely with the founding scientists, investors and the Board to commercialise magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology developed at UQ. His leadership and vision resulted in international partnerships (including Jastec, a subsidiary of Kobe Steel) and a collaboration that won a tender to develop a new ‘disruptive’ technology, a very high performance MRI magnet, now being sold to and incorporated in a new MRI system distributed globally by GE Healthcare.

Up until June 2010, he continued to seek out universities in Australia and overseas that might benefit from his ideas, and has inspired them to start thinking further about how best to create the structures that will support and nurture innovation, and enable the creators of new ideas as well as broader communities to share in the value they create. In 2008-2010 he worked in collaboration with the University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney and the University of New England in relation to what he calls “intentional innovation communities”. He also worked in collaboration with Penn State University to explore ways of piloting similar ideas in rural communities in Pennsylvania.

Many individuals, both commercialisation professionals and researchers/inventors, credit David with either seeding or supporting their careers. A generous mentor, David passion for innovation and the ability to implement a grand vision is contagious. He saw solutions where others see only obstacles; potential where others saw mediocrity and has an uncanny knack for spotting the ‘spark’ that becomes a great person, company or idea. Another constant throughout his career was his proud support and promotion of Australia and its ideas and impact.

Employees and colleagues from David’ time at UniQuest and Uniseed have gone on to set up and staff innovation sector enterprises around Australia. Anne-Marie Birkill is General Partner and Executive Director of One Ventures Innovation Fund, a $40 million innovation fund that is part of the Australian Government’s Innovation Investment Fund program. She is also one of the few female directors of an ASX listed technology company (RedFlow Limited). Michael Finney is the founding Chief Executive Officer of QUTbluebox, the commercialisation arm of the Queensland University of Technology. Andrew Davis is General Manager of UniQuest’s technology commercialisation team. He is also a Director of Magnetica (a company based on the magnetic resonance imaging capabilities developed at UQ); Coridon (a company commercialising new vaccine technologies developed by Ian Frazer and his team); and a number of other Australian technology start-ups. Nicky Milsom is Managing Director of Magnetica Limited.

Like many great men, David actively avoided seeking personal recognition or reward for his work; but his contributions should be noted and recognised.  Thank you David.  You gave so much.  The Australian technology transfer profession is very grateful.  May you rest in peace.

With GG outside*Thank you to Michael Finney for providing KCA with the above prose which was the basis for a nomination put forward for an Australia Day Honour in David’s name in 2013.  This was ultimately successful with David being recognised in the Australia Day Honours list for 2013 for his long service to innovation and science in Australia.  David was made a “Member of the Order of Australia” with the full citation being:  Dr David Alexander Evans, for significant service to science and innovation through commercialising and developing  new technologies.  On the right is a photo of David accepting his honour in Canberra.

Research commercialisation teams recognised at Inaugural KCA Research Commercialisation Awards

For the first time recognition has been given to research commercialisation teams via the inaugural Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) Research Commercialisation Awards, with winners – two from Queensland and the People’s Choice from Victoria – announced tonight at the annual conference dinner in Brisbane.

“Australia punches above its weight in research with journal publications and patent applications. Translating that research success into commercial uptake by industry and creation of Australian jobs, is an intricate, challenging and resource intensive process and so it’s important that we take the time to recognise and acknowledge the efforts of those involved in this process,” KCA Executive Officer Melissa Geue said.

“These awards recognise research organisations’ success in creatively transferring knowledge and research outcomes into the broader community, and raise the profile of research organisations contribution to the development of new products and services which benefit wider society and sometimes even enable companies to grow new industries in Australia.”

The 2014 Award winners are:
Best Commercial Deal for any form of commercialisation of knowledge which is innovative in its approach, provides value-add to the research institution and has significant long term social and economic impact.
UniQuest – Janssen deal with Dendright technology targeting rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at The University of Queensland have developed a new drug, Curcusome-RA, to treat rheumatoid arthritis which has the potential to be a long-lasting treatment for the autoimmune disease. UniQuest were successful in closing a funding deal with Pharmaceutical company Janssen to support ongoing R&D towards Phase 1 clinical trials and Janssen have an option to commercialise Curcusome-RA worldwide.

Best Creative Engagement Strategy to showcase some of the creative strategies research organisations are using to engage with industry partner/s to share and create new knowledge.
Griffith Enterprise (Griffith University) – SEED
SEED combines Griffith’s popular music, creative arts, film and marketing students to develop and promote an album each year. Students learn how to interact with online music providers and make valuable industry connections. Through major partners such as Queensland Performing Arts Centre, they perform a concert series The Seed Project, building a following and enhancing their, and in turn Griffith’s, reputations.

Griffith Enterprise’s Business and Innovation Manager (Education, Creative Arts & Design, and Humanities) Anthony Pages, who worked closely with The Con on growing the SEED enterprise through major strategic partnerships, said: “SEED needed a creative partnership arrangement that went well beyond the traditional sponsorship/production support to help build its key learning offering. The Queensland Conservatorium’s partnership with QPAC adds a much-needed concert series to the mix so that along with the commercial acumen Griffith students build through developing and selling an album, they also hone performance skills to thrive in the world of emerging DIY artists.”

People’s Choice Award is open to the wider public to vote on what commercial deal or create engagement strategy project deserves to win.
The winner this year, leading by nearly 100 votes, is:
Swinburne University of Technology – A 3D IMAX Initiative – The ‘Giants Are Coming’ but they need to turn into the ‘Hidden Universe’.
Risk adverse university joins with creative film company to produce Australia’s first 3D IMAX film which has already been seen by more than 700,000 people in cinemas across the planet. Hidden Universe uses real images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes to take audiences on a journey to the farthest reaches of our Universe and excite their interest and awareness of science and technology.

Wrays Patent Attorneys were the major sponsor of the 2014 Awards.
Wrays’ CEO Frank Hurley said:, “Through our support, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of understanding often undervalued intellectual property to leverage new ideas, and subsequently nurture relationships with future entrepreneurs by enabling them to protect and also generate wealth from their innovations.”

The official press release can be found here.

Finalists announced for the Inaugural KCA Research Commercialisation Awards

Celebrating Australian Innovators translation of Knowledge & Research into business

Australia punches above its weight in research with journal publications and patent applications. Translating that research success into commercial uptake by industry and creation of Australian jobs, is an intricate, challenging and resource intensive process.

The inaugural Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) Research Commercialisation Awards recognise research organisations success in creatively transferring their knowledge into the broader community and transferring their research into products or services with companies to grow new industries in Australia.

This year’s Awards include;

  • Best Commercial deal for any form of commercialisation of knowledge which is innovative in its approach, provides value-add to the research institution and has significant long term social and economic impact.
  • Best Creative Engagement Strategy to showcase some of the creative strategies research organisations are using to engage with industry partner/s to share and create new knowledge

Best Commercial Deal
Curtin University – Scanalyse sale
Curtin University sold its shares in award winning “Scanalyse” to international engineering company Outotec. Scanalyse laser scanning technology accurately models the interior of crushers and mills to monitor their condition, saving the mineral processing industry millions of dollars per annum. The business continues to employ 25 local staff in Western Australia.

Griffith Enterprise (Griffith University) – Silicon Carbide Coast
Griffith University is helping build a Silicon Carbide Coast through a suite of deals designed to commercialise its silicon carbide (SiC) on silicon (Si) platform technology. A multi-million contract with UK-based SPTS Technologies has facilitated mass-production of SiC wafers. A second million-dollar contract with Chinese microelectronics company SICC Materials, was then secured to build and commercialise devices utilising SiC. Partnering with equipment manufacturer and next-gen device manufacturer enables Griffith to maximise the new material’s commercialisation opportunities. Building on this foundation Griffith and partners aim to establish an R&D, prototyping and high tech manufacturing precinct in South East Queensland.

UniQuest – Janssen deal with dendright technology targeting rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at the University of Queensland have designed a new drug, Curcusome-RA to treat rheumatoid arthritis before irreversible joint destruction takes place. UniQuest were successful in closing a funding deal with Pharmaceutical company Janssen to support Phase 1 clinical trials and ongoing R&D and have access rights to commercialise Curcusome-RA worldwide.

Best Creative Engagement Strategy
Griffith Enterprise (Griffith University) – SEED
SEED combines Griffith’s popular music, creative arts, film and marketing students to develop and promote an album each year. Students learn how to interact with online music providers and make valuable industry connections. Through major partners such as Queensland Performing Arts Centre, they perform a concert series The Seed Project, building a following and enhancing their, and in turn Griffith’s, reputations.

Swinburne University of Technology – A 3D IMAX Initiative – The ‘Giants Are Coming’ but they need to turn into the ‘Hidden Universe’.
Risk adverse university joins with creative film company to produce Australia’s first 3D IMAX film which has already been seen by more than 700,000 people in cinemas across the planet. Hidden Universe uses real images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes to take audiences on a journey to the farthest reaches of our Universe and excite their interest and awareness of science and technology.

Adelaide Research & Innovation Pty Ltd – “One Health” Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance
Adelaide University have formed the most comprehensive data set and national network in collaboration with Zoetis(formerly Pfizer) and 22 govt, private and university veterinary diagnostic labs for Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals anywhere in the world. The collaborative program for the surveillance of AMR, known as “One Health” tackles bacterial infections that kill over 9000 people in Australia annually, more than breast cancer, prostate cancer and car accidents combined.

Curtin University – West Tech Fest/ OzAPPs
The West Tech Fest/OzAPP Awards provides a focal point to attract global entrepreneurs and investors to Perth at least once a year to enable local developers, researchers, budding entrepreneurs and others to engage, learn and be inspired. Raising $1 million in cash/in kind contributions towards prize money and running the event has led to the establishment of a numerous of start-up companies and laid a path to a more diverse economy in the region (OzAPP Awards partners with a range of co-working spaces, accelerators and other organisations accessing over 400+ start-ups and 25,000+ people with a passion for technology).

Wrays the major sponsor of the 2014 Awards, Wrays’ CEO Frank Hurley says, “Through our support, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of understanding often undervalued intellectual property to leverage new ideas, and subsequently nurture relationships with future entrepreneurs by enabling them to protect and also generate wealth from their innovations.”

The winners will be announced at the 2014 KCA Annual Conference Awards dinner on Thursday 18 September, in Brisbane.

The official press release can be found here.