New Govt tool to assess commercial potential of uni projects

The Federal Government has launched a new market intelligence tool designed to help assess the commercial potential of university researchers’ projects.


The tool, known as Roadmap Analytics, delivers high-quality, up-to-date, market-specific information by using specialised software to search a database of business and industry reports.


It can identify the innovations most likely to succeed by assessing industry needs and market demand for a new product, process or service.


Doron Ben-Meir, chief executive of Commercialisation Australia, says the tool is being trialled using funding of $360,000, under a grant from Commercialisation Australia’s Pilot Program.


According to Ben-Meir, Australia’s gross R&D expenditure is more than $27 billion a year, so the potential benefit from this type of project is “enormous”.


“This pilot aims to enhance the efficiency of the commercialisation process through better connecting a researcher’s inventive solution to specific industry needs,” he says.


WA-based company Innovation Economics is currently testing Roadmap Analytics with CSIRO, UniQuest and UoM Commercial.


“These three organisations have a major patent portfolio, making them ideal partners to test the tool’s value,” Ben-Meir says.


He says after the pilot project has been assessed, Innovation Economics intends to expand the service in both Australian and international markets.


Innovation Economics chief executive Andrew Duff says the tool will put information “at the fingertips” of key decision-makers, at the earliest part of the commercialisation process.


Earlier this week, new intellectual property laws were passed through Parliament, designed to make it easier for researchers to explore new ideas without the threat of patent infringement.


The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2012, referred to as “Raising the Bar”, provides an overhaul of Australia’s IP system, including improved standards for Australian patents.


IP Australia is also working on a project that aims to line up four individual IP rights – patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights – into one system.


Meanwhile, UniQuest managing director David Henderson has sung the praises of university inventions as commercial opportunities, after UniQuest start-up Bilexys won a global award.


Bilexys was formed by UniQuest – the commercial arm of the University of Queensland – to commercialise wastewater technology developed at the Advanced Water Management Centre.


It was announced yesterday that Bilexys has won an award in the $US200,000 Imagine H20 prize for water start-ups, held in San Francisco, receiving cash and in-kind services.


“Bilexys is a great example of a university technology that has been developed to an investable opportunity,” Henderson said in a statement.


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