UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs has been appointed to an Australian-first panel of experts to measure the value of university research.
The panel, announced by the federal government, will assess research performance to better understand why it lags international competitors on commercialisation and industry engagement.
“Australia is a world leader in the quality of our research but falls behind when it comes to commercialising good ideas and collaborating with industry,” said the Minster for Education, Simon Birmingham and the Minster for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, in a joint statement.
“We need a clearer picture of the engagement and impact of research conducted in our universities to ensure we are providing the right incentives, culture and practices to foster collaborative research that returns economic dividends and importantly, improves the lives of all Australians.”
The Steering Committee will provide “invaluable advice and guidance on the way forward for our national assessment of research engagement and impact”.
I am delighted to be joining this committee which will look at ways of measuring research impact and incentivising partnership at the university-industry interface.
Professor Jacobs said he was looking forward to making a contribution to this key area of policy.
“Universities in Australia already have an enormous positive impact through research discovery and translation which leads to societal benefits and economic prosperity. The report we commissioned last year from Deloitte estimated that our universities contributed $160 billion to Australian GDP in 2014, approximately 10% of total GDP. A lot more could be achieved by even closer interaction between businesses and universities,” Professor Jacobs said.
“I am delighted to be joining this committee which will look at ways of measuring research impact and incentivising partnership at the university-industry interface.”
The UNSW Innovation Statement, released to coincide with the federal government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, demonstrates UNSW’s commitment to boosting Australia’s economic and social prosperity and outlines its plan to ramp up university-wide innovation initiatives, Professor Jacobs said.
NSW is now arguably the easiest place in the world for companies to access university IP, thanks in part to UNSW’s Easy Access IP scheme.
“We stand ready to work with government, industry and other research partners to deliver the full benefit from innovation and research to Australia,” Professor Jacobs said.
The 13-member steering committee includes leaders from higher education and industry. More information and a list of members can be found here.
The Deloitte report, The Economic Contributions of Australia’s Research Universities – the UNSW example, is available here.