CSIRO, BCA – kick-start your ‘commercialisation engine’


By Denham Sadler

Australian businesses of all sizes can take practical steps that will “kick-start the commercialisation engine” and speed up a technology-led recovery from the pandemic, a new report from CSIRO and the Business Council of Australia has found.

The report – ‘Unlocking the innovation potential of Australian companies‘ – offers practical ways for Australian companies to overcome barriers to commercialisation and enablers which should be implemented.

It includes a matrix with nearly 40 questions across six key areas for SMEs and larger companies to answer, and is based on interviews with tech giants including Atlassian, Google, Microsoft, Telstra and Cochlear.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said: “Australia has the potential to lead the world in a few key markets by harnessing the power of science-driven innovation, using it to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic and embed resilience to future disruptions into their very DNA.

“Commercialisation is an engine that will drive us to a technology-led recovery, but innovation takes a team. To really deliver on a bold, technology-led recovery, we will need business and research driving together to win.”

BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said: “We can’t afford to be a nation that gives away our best ideas to be scaled up and commercialised overseas.

“By drawing on business know-how and real-world examples, this is a how-to guide for Australian businesses to position themselves and the country for the future.”

In the report, the BCA said that a number of its members want the government to play a greater leadership role in promoting innovation and commercialisation.

The report said: “It was generally acknowledged that policy coordination and certainty in areas such as energy or digital uptake, such as through ongoing government signalling to the business community, could significantly help companies with their decision making around science and technology investments.”

The businesses also called for more incentives for collaboration, a level playing field in strategic technologies and a reduction in regulatory barriers.

“Inventions from science, delivered as innovations through technology, will be crucial to Australia’s future prosperity, but industry partnerships are the way those inventions will become innovations that move markets and have impact.

“In short, we need to kick-start the commercialisation engine that will speed us to a technology-led recovery.”

The report identifies the key barriers to commercialisation as being low levels of cross-sector collaboration, a lack of comprehensive innovation strategies and talent and skills capability mismatches.

This story first appeared in InnovationAus

Picture: CSIRO’s Dr Larry Marshall

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