Industry-research collaboration

Working with researchers can give Australian businesses a competitive edge.

Researchers also benefit through higher quality, more relevant research.

Innovation and collaboration are high priorities for the Australian Government, and are key factors in its vision to build more profitable, sustainable and export-focused industries.

Support and financial assistance is available for businesses and researchers that want to collaborate – including programs for small businesses, emerging technologies and regional needs.

Visit t​he business.gov.au website to find out how businesses can benefit from:

IP Toolkit for Collaboration

The Australian IP Toolkit for Collaboration (IP Toolkit), a joint project between the Department of Industry and Science and IP Australia, is designed to facilitate, simplify and improve collaboration between researchers and industry.

The IP Toolkit contains guides and tools to help researchers and businesses use and manage intellectual property (IP) in collaborations.

Why was the IP Toolkit developed?

The IP Toolkit was developed to offer guidance and provide the tools necessary to simplify and improve discussions around Intellectual Property (IP) in research collaborations. It aims to provide information and resources to help establish the terms for managing and using IP in collaborations between business and researchers.

It also aims to reduce unnecessary delays, costs and difficulties with research collaboration.

Business working with researchers

Working with researchers can give your business a competitive edge.

Surveys of businesses show that firms that innovate and work collaboratively are more profitable and have greater potential to grow and compete globally.

Benefits for business

Working together with researchers can help you to:

  • develop new ideas, products and services for the market
  • reduce your research costs by gaining access to state and Australian Government funding schemes and modern research infrastructure
  • get expert advice and access to the latest knowledge, technology and equipment
  • have access to skilled and work-ready researchers
  • gain access to national and international knowledge networks.

Researchers working with business

Working together with businesses of all sizes and in all sectors can add great value to your research and create new opportunities.

Benefits for researchers

Working with businesses means the opportunity to:

  • produce high quality and relevant research that translates directly into commercial outcomes
  • produce research leading to greater social, economic and environmental impact
  • improve graduate outcomes and effective knowledge transfer
  • build valuable contacts and networks
  • build a reputation as a world-class research institution open to business.

Working together - Good for business, good for research  

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Case study - Business and research work together to bring gene technology to water management

Diagnostic Technology has a long-standing history of supplying innovative life science products to the Australasian market and has now developed, in collaboration with the University of NSW’s Professor Brett Neilan and the National Measurement Institute (NMI), a test for the quantitative measurement of toxic cyanobacteria. The Phytoxigene™ CyanoDTec kit is being launched during the first half of 2014.

Professor Neilan’s research into the genetics of toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has gained international recognition and the resulting technology is revolutionising the management of drinking water supplies by enabling early, rapid detection of harmful cyanobacteria using a DNA test that targets their toxin genes.

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Left: The team behind the new CyanoDTec test kit (R to L) on-site at one of Sydney’s contaminated waterways: Professor Brett Neilan, UNSW, Mark Van Asten, Diagnostic Technology, and Dr Leonardo Pinheiro, NMI.

Right: Using the new Phytoxigene™ CyanoDTec kit to detect toxic blue-green algae in water.

Current techniques detect toxins already present in the environment. The new gene test will provide a monitoring process for both the development and decline of a toxic algae bloom event.

During 2009-2013, NMI received significant funding to develop new bioanalytical capabilities to support industry. This expertise was then utilised by NMI, under contract from Diagnostic Technology, to develop a DNA reference material to provide calibration and standardisation for the test kit, representing a successful and world-first application of the NMI’s bioanalytical expertise to water management.

Diagnostic Technology plans to develop related products for the detection of other toxic pathogens that may be present in other natural sources and seafood.

Case Study - Small business works with CSIRO to achieve international success

After nearly 60 years supplying the domestic market with metal parts, the family owned and operated AW Bell is now a successful exporter to the international aerospace industry.

Dr Roger Lumley, Research Scientist with CSIRO Process Science and Engineering

Dr Roger Lumley, Research Scientist with CSIRO Process Science and Engineering

In 2009, AW Bell undertook a thorough business review with their Enterprise Connect business advisor. This resulted in a new strategic direction for the business: expanding into the aerospace export market.

AW Bell recognised the need for high calibre expertise and equipment to improve their investment casting process.

With support from Enterprise Connect's Researchers in Business program, CSIRO’s Small and Medium Enterprise Engagement Centre facilitated the placement of CSIRO’s Materials expert, Dr Roger Lumley, into AW Bell's business to develop this process.

The company combined their manufacturing experience with Dr Lumley’s mix of theory, experience and practical hands-on capability, to develop a new technique for metal processing, resulting in AW Bell becoming the preferred supplier to a major international company in the aerospace industry.

"We worked exceptionally well together and achieved far more from the collaboration than we initially expected," said AW Bell’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Meek.

Three years after embarking on their new direction, the company is now transforming their research and development into a fully-fledged production system, with a $1.5 million Early Commercialisation grant from Commercialisation Australia. The company has also received regular assistance from the R&D Tax Incentive.

Case Study - Wheel success story: researcher teams with industry to turn tyres into steel

Every year tonnes of used car tyres are consigned to dumps across Australia. Thanks to an innovative process developed by a University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher, car tyres could soon be a valuable source of steel.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, UNSW Science Faculty with OneSteel representative, Paul Vielhauer, EAF Operations Superintendent.

With the support of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant for basic research, Professor Veena Sahajwalla developed a new polymer technology—an invention which won her an Australian Museum Eureka Prize.

From there, Professor Sahajwalla realised she needed an industry partner. Long-standing UNSW partner OneSteel were more than happy to help.

“I wanted to find out if the process could work in a commercial environment,” said Professor Sahajwalla.

An ARC Linkage grant allowed Professor Sahajwalla to partner with OneSteel to carry out further experiments and industry trials. This led to discoveries in polymer injection, resource and waste management, and recycling.

UNSW has licensed the polymer injection technology to OneSteel, and it is being trialled in steel plants across Australia and Thailand.

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