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23 March 2016

Research and Innovation Strategic Plan 2016-2010 coverThe University of South Australia will launch a new strategic plan for research and innovation and the revamp of its commercialisation service, UniSA Ventures, in tandem today as a clear sign that it is poised to play its part in forging a new future for industry in SA and beyond.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the joint launch emphasises UniSA’s determination to play a major role in what the Federal Government has defined as one of “the most exciting times in human history”.

“Given the expertise we have in the research community in South Australia, there is no reason at all why this State can’t play a leading role in the national research and innovation agenda,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We stand ready to partner with industry, business and government to tackle the grand challenges we face at the local level and as a society.

“This strategy provides a clear focus on those challenges, but more than simply defining what we’ll be researching, it also defines how we will carry out the business of research. A feature is our deep engagement with industry so that the research we do has clear applications and purpose.

“And the strategy also underpins a research culture that fosters the development of new and talented researchers in an environment that is both ambitious and enterprising but also enlightened by a drive to contribute to a better world.” 

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation Professor Tanya Monro says the new 2016 – 2020 research strategy: Inspired, partnered excellence reflects UniSA’s position as the ‘go-to’ university for industry collaboration.

“The strategy outlines key areas of strength – including cancer prevention and future industries - but also key principles for the approach the university takes to research,” Prof Monro says.

“We’re good at connecting different disciplines, so when businesses or industries come to us with a challenge or problem, they don’t get a compartmentalised response. We follow the path to the solution and bring in our research experts from different fields to work together with industry to solve real world problems,” Prof Monro says.

“The evidence is clear – the foundation for impact comes from excellence in research. There is no doubt with UniSA’s recent outstanding results in the national research assessment exercise (ERA 2015) we have a broad base of research fields in which we are performing at well above world standard.

“We are also moving to fast-track the development of high potential innovations through the refinement of our commercialisation arm, UniSA Ventures. This will help create jobs both in start-ups and by enabling innovation in existing companies.”

Chief Executive Officer for UniSA Ventures Dr Stephen Rodda says there have been clear signals from both the State and Federal Governments that universities need to lead in the innovation space.

“At UniSA we are fortunate to have had strong connections with industry woven through our history as an institution – we’ve always been interested in supporting innovation and improved outcomes in everything from sustainable primary production, right through to best practice in education and new treatments for cancer,” Dr Rodda says.

“The launch of our commercial operations under the new banner of UniSA Ventures represents some significant changes in how we operate including introducing much greater flexibility around Intellectual Property.

“We know that in the past industries have sometimes been discouraged from collaborating with universities, particularly around sticking points such as who owns the IP for new products or systems, so we have recalibrated how we do things.

“We have developed new principles and removed the barriers around IP and that is already paying dividends.

“In the past 12 months we’ve supported the evolution of three new companies and the entrepreneurial endeavours of both staff and students with high potential ideas.

“With an enterprising approach to research and industry engagement and the removal of barriers to commercialisation, we believe we are in the best position to fire up industry in SA and beyond.”

 Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office +61 883020966 mob 0418823673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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