Home' Forge : Vol 2 No 1 Contents From the publisher // 1
There has been much debate about
Australia's poor OECD ranking for
collaboration between universities
and industry. Less considered is the
impressive work of universities to better
translate research, reconfgure their
resources, and engage industry.
Australia will never become the
innovative, entrepreneurial nation
that Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull envisages without a vibrant
university sector -- a sector that excels
in basic and applied research, and
works effectively with industry to
The model of US universities is
instructive. Their best tend to have strong
innovation ecosystems, a culture of
start-up ventures developing on campus,
and a mindset of students creating rather
than merely applying for their jobs.
Sadly, too much Australian university
research over the years has been siloed in
academic departments, in turn restricting
opportunities for interdisciplinary
research and innovation. Industry
collaboration, strong in areas such as
biomedicine and engineering, has been
weaker in other felds, and too few
companies have formed on campuses.
That is rapidly changing.
Australian universities are being
transformed, as new research centres and
institutes bring researchers together. Our
universities know that complex problems
require a multidisciplinary approach,
where researchers fnd solutions at the
intersection of disciplines.
Many universities are improving their
research translational skills to better
explain their work, engaging industry
earlier in the discovery process, and
responding to market needs rather than
conducting research in isolation.
Innovation precincts, and start-up
incubators and accelerators, are
emerging at universities around
Australia. In time, this will help to turn
more discoveries into products and,
later, into companies that create wealth
for entrepreneurs, the universities that
back them, and the community.
The big picture of researchers from
diferent felds working together
and having access to much stronger
innovation and entrepreneurship
ecosystems on campus has so much
potential. As does the prospect of
Australia's world-class research
industry having greater opportunities
to collaborate through new
commercialisation platforms on campus.
Much more, of course, needs to be done.
It is early days for multidisciplinary
research and discovery translation in
many universities. And innovation
precincts, while exciting on paper, are
still a long way from delivering the next
great Australian company.
Moreover, universities have scope to
better explain and promote their research,
and make it more accessible to a wider
audience. Research featured in academic
journals is often a mystery to industry
and the community. Universities can also
make it easier for industry to collaborate
with their researchers, and to invest and
share in intellectual property.
Even so, universities deserve praise for
making tough decisions to change their
structures and facilitate greater industry
engagement and commercialisation. It
is never easy to get groups of people in
organisations with strong cultures to change.
I am proud to say that Forge is at the
forefront of reporting on this unfolding
transformation in the university sector.
Since our launch last year, we have
profled many universities and their
exciting initiatives to attract industry
and commercialise research. Their
work is inspiring.
Forge's innovation focus brings a
diferent perspective to university
coverage. We look at developments
from the perspective of industry
and entrepreneurship -- not as an
industry-based publication covering
developments in higher education. That
makes Forge unique in the Australian
publishing landscape, and an important
bridge between the university sector
and our fast-growing readership of
executives, entrepreneurs, innovators,
investors and wealth creators.
Forge is grateful for the support of
dozens of Australian universities since its
launch. They recognise our passion for
entrepreneurship and our strong belief
that a dynamic, well-funded university is
a vital cog in a more innovative economy.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Forge. As
always, please email your comments or
suggestions regarding Forge to
welcome and appreciate your input.
David Haratsis, publisher, Forge.
From the publisher
Multidisciplinary approach transforming Australian universities
Exciting initiatives have been launched
to attract industry and commercialise
research -- and Forge is at the forefront
of reporting on them.
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