CCRM Australia proposes a more pro-active intellectual property policy as an option to unlock Australia’s best-protected treasure trove.
CCRM Australia was one of many organisations that submitted a response to the recent Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s call for public consultation on improving the commercialisation of university research. The timing of the paper was rather pertinent – Australia is taking a breath on the height of the COVID19 onslaught that caused Victoria and other parts of Australia to enact lockdown measures in 2020. As Australia keeps an eye on the ever-present resurgence of COVID19, it must seek opportunities and ready its infrastructure to enable rapid recovery.
Australia’s most protected treasure trove of immeasurable value is locked inside Australian universities. Largely undeveloped and essentially deserted after an initial flurry of publications and priority date filings, yet untouchable behind a wall of high royalty demands, risk-averse clauses and little realised desire to lay claim to more value. Yet, the three essential requisites that would turn that treasure trove of ideas into opportunities are access, funding and a measure of risk-taking. Despite increasing literature in higher education around entrepreneurial universities, institutes retain a largely risk-averse stance with a preference for funding for research rather than commercialisation. This hardly makes universities the ideal vehicle for commercialising ideas.
That leaves us with access. CCRM Australia’s submission makes a case for increases in university-industry collaborations and a call for an aggressive restructuring of Intellectual Property Policy associated with Public Sector funding. A final product that brings value is not only made up of the original base intellectual property but also those that are bundled to strengthen the value proposition or to produce and to use it. Universities being multidisciplinary institutes with some of the best equipment and minds, are best positioned to innovate and help create new products and other supporting technologies. The challenge is how best to facilitate access to risk-takers who can raise funds and deploy idle and unique intellectual property.
The full paper is available here.