An intensive professional development program, run by the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) for those involved in research and development (R&D), can now form part of a Masters degree offered by the University of Adelaide.
Students who complete the AICâs two-day Bootcamp and one-day Masterclass, can now apply for credit towards a Masters course by submitting the commercialisation plan done on the Bootcamp for evaluation.
The AIC organises around 10 Bootcamps per year, typically involving groups of 15 scientists and business people, for clients including Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs), technology and science based companies, hospitals and universities. The AIC program provides an introduction to business planning for research, features sessions with venture capitalists, lawyers and innovative companies who have achieved global success, and culminates in a mock pitch to a panel of potential investors.
Antonio Dottore, Academic Director at the University of Adelaideâs Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innovation Centre (ECIC), is hoping the agreement with the AIC will provide an incentive for Bootcamp participants to undertake further study.
âParticipants in the AIC program can benefit by undertaking further study with us as our courses are run in Intensive mode with some online learning, which suits working professionals no matter where they are located in Australia,â Mr Dottore said.
âWe believe working, learning and innovating can be complementary activities and prefer participants to write assignments on real technologies as it makes it easier for students to absorb the material, and they and their sponsors see a tangible return.
âThrough the credit system, we acknowledge the good work the AIC does in bridging the gap between science and technology R&D and market entry, developing a common language and helping build a commercialisation culture in Australia.â
The Adelaide-based Masters program was imported from the University of Texas, which is recognised as leading the world in this field, and adapted to Australian needs.
Graduates have included many business leaders and entrepreneurs, senior research scientists, marketing and finance professionals, lawyers and even policy makers.
Dr Rowan Gilmore, Chief Executive Officer, AIC said the Bootcamp addressed the lack of knowledge amongst R&D workers regarding intellectual property, and the opportunities that could be missed by those not understanding the full potential of their work.
âThe idea of pitching is totally alien to many research professionals, as is the idea of having to present their work in laymanâs terms,â Dr Gilmore said.
âOur Bootcamp course guides participants through the development of a plan, including a marketing strategy and suitable exit, to present to a panel â it helps them grasp why it is important to have a commercial outcome in mind when approaching research.â
The Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and Queensland Health joined forces to fund an AIC Bootcamp for 28 people employed in the Queensland life sciences industry in late 2009.
Ten attendees were from research institutes, three worked at hospitals, six came from universities and three represented life sciences companies; there were also six Government representatives at the Bootcamp.
One of the six doctors who attended commented that it was âthe most useful two day course I have ever attendedâ.
The majority of participants indicated that they had little or no practical experience in commercialising research and told organisers they had products they wished to take to market but had found no one in their workplace with the knowledge to help them.
The AIC organises Bootcamps in Australia and the Asia Pacific region for approximately 15 participants at a cost of $11,500 per Bootcamp.
For further information, visit www.ausicom.com, call (07) 3853 5226 or e-mail info(at)ausicom.com