Award winning Commercialisation course now offered in 1st Semester

22 Feb 2010
UQ Business School students are gaining real-life experience from the classroom and bringing world-class UQ research to market through the award-winning Commercialisation in Practice course. The post graduate course was awarded a UQ Citation in 2009 for contributing to student learning by innovatively bridging the gap between theory and real-life application. The course, TIMS7325, involves industry experts sharing their knowledge, and offers students the opportunity to work on a research commercialisation project as part of their coursework. Co-ordinator Dr Martie-Louise Verreynne said 'the course provides a unique learning experience which many students view as the highlight of their studies '. "The course builds on the theoretical understanding of the issues facing the various stakeholders involved in the commercialisation of high technology ventures by providing students with hands-on experience in the commercialisation process," she said. For the first time, the course is now being offered in semester 1, and Dr Verreynne said it would continue to provide 'hands-on' opportunities for students to develop business plans for commercially viable research projects. Clint Ramsay, course lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UniQuest, said the course was aimed at budding entrepreneurs and students hoping to work in a range of fields. "The workshop-style course attracts potential entrepreneurs and students seeking a career in business consulting, investment banking, venture capital or public sector innovation policy," he said. Stewart Gow, Manager of Venture Capital Attraction for the Queensland Government and course lecturer said 'students gain knowledge and skills to research and write a business plan for ventures with high growth potential, which is then pitched to potential investors.' "UQ students have worked on projects which, combined, have secured more than $20 million of venture capital investment since the course began in 2005. During this time, feedback from all stakeholders has been very positive," he said. The Commercialisation in Practice course is a collaboration between the UQ Business School and UniQuest Pty Limited, The University of Queensland's main commercialisation company. UniQuest has built, commercialised and managed an extensive intellectual property and asset portfolio, including more than 1500 patents and over 60 companies resulting from university-based discoveries and expertise since 1984, meaning students have the potential to work with new projects and companies that might follow the trail blazed by UQ-based innovations like biotech record-breaker QRx Pharma Pty Ltd, the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, the Triple P Positive Parenting Program and drought-resistant plant marketer Aussie Colours Pty Ltd. In 2009, students from the course worked in consultative roles with 13 companies, including UQ Business School Enterprize winner GRW Industries of James Cook University and finalists Toughskin and Warrapharm, both from the University of Wollongong.