Alan Tudge’s three lessons on research

The education minister spells out where money needs t go

In the prepared text of a speech yesterday Mr Tudge told the Business Council of Australia it is time, “to refocus on the main purpose of public universities: to educate Australians and produce knowledge that contributes to our country.”

The minister said there are three lessons on, “how we can shift the dial on commercialisation outcomes”

* programmes and funding: must focus on the six manufacturing priorities, resources technology and critical minerals processing, food and beverages, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and space. “We need to back in those priorities to create critical mass, to have our best researchers delivering breakthrough R&D in these areas … “

* a research and manufacturing ecosystem: “it’s not enough to bolt-on one scheme, or tweak incentives in one programme.

“We have to take a broader view of the whole commercialisation system, and change settings from university research through industry incentives to take risks and pull ideas through the innovation pipeline.”

Mr Tudge said a “bedrock of collaboration” is needed to align business and university priorities and develop “a common-culture of problem-solving and innovation.”

* funding will go the fastest. The minister said some businesses are willing to take more risks and some universities are showing “an increased focus on research translation and commercialisation – rather than pure discovery.”

“We want to work with these early leaders who have shown themselves capable and willing to lead the charge and become lighthouses for the research and business sectors. “