UQ students have commercialisation advantage

12 Jul 2010
Intense local and international interest is building around University of Queensland Business School (UQBS) commercialisation programs. UQBS and UQ's largest commercialisation company, UniQuest, have partnered to deliver a comprehensive suite of programs, including a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation, a UniQuest internship, and postgraduate Commercialisation in Practice and Management of Intellectual Property courses. The programs provide students with unprecedented access to commercialisation training, according to UQ Business School Commercial Director, Rob Douglas. "UniQuest is one of the world's most successful commercialisation companies, while UQ Business School is internationally renowned for its specialised expertise in firm creation and growth, entrepreneurship, commercialisation, IP Management and innovation - very few universities in the world can offer students access to this platform of knowledge and industry expertise," said Mr Douglas. "And the programs are resonating with commercially-focused students not just in Australia but overseas, particularly since we introduced the Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation in 2007," said Mr Douglas. "Domestic enrolments have increased significantly with 65 postgraduate research students enrolled in the program this year, including a group from one of Ecuador's leading engineering schools, Escuela Superior Politecnica Del Litoral," he said. Several Australian universities offer a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation program, with domestic research higher degree students fully funded under the Commercialisation Training Scheme (an Australian Federal Government funding initiative). However, UQBS and UniQuest offer students a unique combination of leading theory and industry practice, including exposure to UQBS' $100,000 Enterprise Business Planning Competition. . Research commercialisation sets UQ apart on the international stage, according UQ Graduate School Dean, Professor Zlatko Skrbis. "The University of Queensland has achieved international recognition for its success in commercialisation, and research higher degree students are able to take advantage of world class expertise and training in this area - something which is unique to the UQ experience and which has proven to be highly desirable to prospective students, both international and domestic," said Professor Skrbis. "UQ Graduate School has received enquiries about the UQ Business School's commercialisation programs from South America, China, Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom," he said. UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said UQBS and UniQuest were deeply committed to developing a new level of commercialisation expertise among future Australian research and business leaders. "Australia has a chronic shortage of professionals skilled in commercialisation, a situation limiting our national ability to take innovations to the international market," said Mr Henderson. "Working with UQ Business School enables UniQuest to address the skills shortage as well as providing UQ students with a commercial advantage," he said. "We've also enjoyed working with extremely talented students, especially from the postgraduate Commercialisation in Practice course, who've helped UniQuest fast-track several technologies by securing more than $20 million investment for UQ start-ups." An introduction to commercialisation workshop is offered annually to all UQ postgraduate students and early-career researchers as part of UniQuest's education and training program. In 2010, more than 230 delegates joined the company's annual two-day student workshop with attendees from five Australian universities.