30 April - 01 May, 2018 | Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia

Conference Day Two: Tuesday, 1st May 2018

8:00 am - 9:00 am Coffee & Registration


Kevin Pfleger

Head Of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

9:10 am - 9:50 am Meeting the Challenge to Blend Research And Industry For Improved Collaboration and Impact

Across the world and particularly in Australia there is increasing pressure for Universities and industry to collaborate more closely and more effectively to realise higher value innovations for society.

Many large corporates and industry collectives are moving away from the large corporate R&D facilities that characterised the 20th century in favour of more indepth relationships with academic research capabilities. This shift is matched on the University side by moves to establish facilities, services and cultures that more effectively focus on industry directed research.

A key challenge in this evolution is changing the perceptions and expectations of all parties to align towards effective collaboration and a realisation that translation of research into beneficial impact on society is the shared goal.

Discovery, invention, experimentation, validation, productisation are all necessary steps to crystalising benefits for the community that is funding the research through commercial revenues for companies, taxes for publicly funded research institutions and fees for university students. Sometimes that will include commercialisation by companies, other times beneficial products and services are delivered by governments, NGO, or even companies in non-revenue stream activities.

So how do we tackle these key steps?

9:50 am - 10:30 am CASE STUDY: Early Stage Biomedical Innovation - Blurring The Boundary Between Philanthropy And Commercial Investment

Kevin Pfleger - Head Of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
Research institutions receive grants and philanthropy to carry out research into a range of diseases in order to bring treatments closer. However, a major barrier to achieving impact that benefits patients is translating the research, often down a commercialisation pathway. Investors, and even ‘early stage funds’ still want the research to be ‘derisked’ to a certain degree before they will invest in it. How do we overcome this gap?

  • Collaboration at this early stage to spread the risk, particularly with respect to commercialisation expertise and process
  • Education of researchers to understand the different skill sets required to commercialise
  • Expert industry mentorship, often provided without direct financial gain
  • Value proposition for those funding early stage innovation, including governments, industry growth centres, universities, research institutes, companies and philanthropists.

Kevin Pfleger

Head Of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

10:30 am - 11:00 am Morning Tea

11:00 am - 11:40 am CASE STUDY: Changing The Culture Of Public - Private Sector Partnerships Through National Industry 4.0 Strategy

Professor Aleksandar Subic - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development) Swinburne University of Technology
Jeff Connolly - Chief Executive Officer Siemens Pacific
Changing the culture of universities and industry is no small task, but is an issue that must be solved if Australia wants to have a healthy research ecosystem with impactful commercialised research. Siemens have granted $135 million to digitise Swinburne University of Technology’s Factory of the Future and the national network of Industry 4.0 Testlabs. This will be rolled out across the country with one lab in each state and has just received a $5 Million grant from Mathias Corman to support the initiative. Professor Aleksander Subic discusses the successful joint case study of how changing culture in university to bring industry and researchers closer together has been essential to the success of the program, with an industry perspective from Jeff Connolly.

  • Understand Swinburne and Siemens’ experience in creating the Factory of the Future and Industry 4.0 Testlabs.
  • Identify how to alter behaviour and thus culture and how to fast track change
  • Encourage researchers and foster culture change to create the entrepreneurial mindset with a focus on success and how to implement change
  • Addressing culture change within business management to understand the value of research and how to be more involved with researchers
  • Understand the limitations and lessons learned to avoid failure

Professor Aleksandar Subic

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development)
Swinburne University of Technology


Jeff Connolly

Chief Executive Officer
Siemens Pacific

This session looks at understanding the cycle and reliance businesses and universities have on each other- one to create truly innovative products, and the other to ensure commercialisation and ROI are met.

  • How to find partners and manage relationships
  • Assessing the role of growth centres in fostering communication and collaboration
  • Understanding the importance of funding to create innovative products that benefit the community

Leah Grantham

Director of Partnerships & Corporate Relations
University of Adelaide


Professor Aleksandar Subic

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development)
Swinburne University of Technology


Timothy Boyle

Leader of Business Development


Jeff Connolly

Chief Executive Officer
Siemens Pacific


Dean Economou

CTO- Products

12:20 pm - 1:20 pm Lunch

The Australian Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical (MTP) sector is acknowledged as a world leader in the MTP sector due to its vibrant research environment, supporting over 62,000 jobs, over 1,230 companies, and generating $4.9 billion gross value added to the Australian economy in 2016. However it has a poor track record in commercialisation. QUT is therefore partnering with 15 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and Australia’s MTPConnect’s Industry Growth Centre to co-create The Bridge Program. This exciting new initiative is connecting global expertise with Australian entrepreneurs, industry professionals, research scientists and business developers to generate commercial outputs from Australian pharmaceutical research. The first cohort of 101 participants completed the Bridge Program in 2017 and a second cohort has commenced in 2018. This session explores the best frameworks and components that universities and businesses alike can use to foster effective partnerships and commercialisation of research.
  • Blend high-level didactic delivery, immersive and experiential learning design, and network facilitation used to drive participant connection
  • Establish an open dialogue between researchers and industry, create meaningful networks, and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Engaging partners in co-creation of the learning experience, and in skills experience sessions with participants to provide advice and practice in developing the knowledge and skills to interact effectively with industry representatives.
  • Assessing best practice and lessons learned from QUT’s implementation of The Bridge Program

Cynthia Cliff

Director of Knowledge Transfer & Partnership Development
Queensland University of Technology


Anne-Maree Englund

Policy Manager
MSD Australia

2:00 pm - 2:40 pm NHMRC Fostering A Culture of Research Commercialisation

Nicholas Johnson - Director of Research Grants National Health and Medical Research Council
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the Australian Government’s principal organisation for funding health and medical research.
NHMRC is undertaking a number of initiatives to encourage and enable greater commercialisation of NHMRC funded research. Nicholas Johnson will discuss recent progress, including key outputs from NHMRC’s Health Innovation Advisory Committee.

  • Discuss changes to the NHMRC Development Grant scheme, which is NHMRC’s main mechanism for funding health and medical research at the proof of concept stage.
  • Discuss improvements to how industry track-record is valued in NHMRC peer review. These changes aim to enable researchers to move more flexibly between industry and academia.
  • Discuss NHMRC’s new Innovation web page, which provides information to researchers about the commercialisation process.

Nicholas Johnson

Director of Research Grants
National Health and Medical Research Council

2:40 pm - 3:10 pm Afternoon Tea

3:10 pm - 3:50 pm CASE STUDY: Measuring and understanding the ROI of research and commercialisation through the full lifecycle of a collaboration

Stephen Rodda - Chief Executive Officer UniSA Ventures
For any collaboration the alignment of objectives between the partners is important. Despite this, the measurable outputs, or return on investment (ROI), as considered by individual partners are likely to be different. Whether it’s an industry partner, licensee of IP or a spinout company, understanding these measures of ROI and time frames for achieving them can help to ensure success of the collaboration. In this session, Stephen Rodda will explore different elements of collaborations and how they are measured to understand the full ROI across the lifecycle of a collaboration and how this approach has been leveraged for UniSA to achieve a significant increases in commercialisation outcomes.

  • Discussing creating collaboration with global companies and investors for mutual benefit to drive licencing and allowing access to capability
  • Ensuring research is based off market need and therefore can be translated and commercialised
  • Understanding the opportunities for universities to leverage research expertise and infrastructure for local economic development and commercial engagement
  • Understanding how to capture ROI and measure success

Stephen Rodda

Chief Executive Officer
UniSA Ventures

3:50 pm - 4:30 pm CASE STUDY: Starting Up After University: How To Translate Research To A Commercialised Innovation

Alex Grant - Chief Executive Officer Myriota
Listen to a success story in a start up by on of Australia’s most innovative start ups and names best new business by Telstra’s 2017 SA Business Awards. Understand the specific examples and steps that were taken, and what essential support was required for a successful start up.

  • Turning ground breaking research into revolutionary commercialisation
  • Challenges and best practice: understand what the challenges have been and what has helped for the success of the start up
  • Understanding the support needed and the most effective ways to foster start ups at universitieswith a particular focus on UniSA and commercial enterprise exactEarth’s support

Alex Grant

Chief Executive Officer

4:30 pm - 4:30 pm Closing Remarks From Conference Chairperson