The initiative is part of a $2.2 billion package which is aiming to bring together Australia’s “brightest business and academic minds” on the commercialisation of six national manufacturing “priority areas”.
They include resources and critical minerals, food and beverage, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence and space.
“Stronger commercialisation of research and ideas will mean a stronger economy and a stronger future for Australia,” prime minister Scott Morrison said.
“This is about funding projects to bridge the ‘valley of death’ where early-stage research is often not progressed due to higher levels of risk and uncertainty.”
The government will invest a further $296 million in industry focused PhDs and fellowships to support “research commercialisation goals and drive greater university-industry collaboration”.
“The Morrison government is prioritising investment in research and action to turn Australia’s best ideas into new industries and strengthen our future prosperity,” minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price added.
Universities Australia said it had “long advocated for further investment in translational research which recognises the key role universities and industry contribute to achieving commercialisation success”.
“The knowledge created by our universities and researchers drives our prosperity,” chair of the peak body John Dewar AO said.
“Today’s announcement reinforces their role at the centre of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.
“Universities and industry have long worked together in the national interest. Additional investment to assist the commercialisation of great ideas, at crucial stages, is very welcome and strengthens the partnership between universities, government and industry to contribute to Australia’s economic recovery.”
“Regional universities have a strong history of partnering with industry to find real solutions to real problems”
The announcement “further cements the opportunities for regional universities to demonstrate the key roles we play in regional Australia”, chair of Regional Universities Network Nick Klomp added.
“Regional universities have a strong history of partnering with industry to find real solutions to real problems and increase not only the regional prosperity of Australia but also the quality of regional life, one of the many reasons that regional populations in Australia continue to grow.”