Businesses must take the lead in enhancing research translation and collaboration to achieve Australia’s transition into an expanded knowledge base economy.

This is the central challenge of ATSE’s new Action Statement to promote Australian industry to engage more in research collaboration. It can be found at http://www.atse.org.au/content/publications/policy/new-business-opportunities-from-research-collaboration.aspx . Priority actions identified are:

1. GOVERNMENTS TO DRIVE INDUSTRY COLLABORATION THROUGH STABLE, LONG-TERM AND WELL-FUNDED MEASURES:

·         Stronger and more immediate incentives for businesses to engage with research organisations and drive future business opportunities, such as through the R&D Tax Incentive and more direct ‘procurement’ measures like the Business Research Innovation Initiative (BRII), modelled on the US Small Business Innovation Research program.

·         Support programs for research intermediaries (organisations that help link businesses and researchers, including Industry Growth Centres), which reward performance, would make a significant contribution to fostering greater inter-sectoral collaboration and encourage larger profitable businesses to engage with technology-based SMEs, with potential to improve the performance of their supply chains and lead to their development into internationally competitive businesses.

2. BUSINESSES TO DEVELOP BUSINESS PRACTICES AND MODELS THAT RECOGNISE THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE POSSIBLE FROM INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY:

·         Coherent business models to build capacity within businesses for innovation and collaboration with research organisations leading to growth opportunities.

·         Identify willing customers and focus on customer demand rather than supply to ensure profitability and growth.

3. BUSINESSES AND RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS TO MEASURE AND PUBLISH THE LEVEL OF RESEARCH COLLABORATION AND GOVERNMENT TO MAKE COLLABORATION PERFORMANCE A FACTOR IN R&D FUNDING:

·         Make businesses and research organisations accountable in actively seeking out and identifying opportunities for engagement and collaboration across a range of levels to further lift productivity growth and competitiveness.

·         Reform the structure and performance of peak bodies and associations to ensure they are focusing on identifying collaboration opportunities within the sector they represent.

4. GOVERNMENTS, BUSINESSES AND RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS NEED TO WORK TOGETHER (E.G. THROUGH JOINT MEETINGS AND INTERMEDIARIES) TO DEVELOP A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS: