Research that translates into uni funding

The Victorian Government announces $100m for an innovation platform

The cash comes from Breakthrough Victoria, a $2bn over ten year resource to “create the jobs of tomorrow.”

The new University Innovation Platform, requiring matching funding from institutions, “will take the world-class ideas and research coming out of Victorian universities and help them grow into businesses that will support jobs across the state for generations to come.”

Priority areas are health sciences, advanced manufacturing, digital tech, and agri-food, meaning BV looks a bit like the previous commonwealth government’s research commercialisation priorities, writ not that much smaller.

Plus, BV will, “provide expert investment advice to university innovators,” which also seems similar to the Morrison Government’s  plan that included, “coaching support to researchers who might benefit from an improved understanding of the commercial environment,” (CMM February 3).

The new national government is yet to declare a position on its predecessor’s research translation strategy, although it was widely assumed before the election that federal Labor was not opposed to its  (still not legislated) intent.

And now the emphasis on funding projects focused on commercial outcomes appears to have bipartisan support, from the big states. In addition to the Labor Government of Victoria, the Liberal Government of NSW  brought down a budget this week, including $142m over four years for R&D collaboration with CSIRO, universities and the private sector. There was $342m (also four years) to commercialise products and services and support research institutions, start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs (CMM June 22).

Both states are also investing in applied medical research and manufacturing (CMM June 14 and 20).

Plus, yesterday Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic announced $4m for PhD scholarships in quantum computing research  “to support universities establish national research and education partnerships.”  Breakthroughs in quantum computing technology are estimated to deliver $4 billion in economic growth and 16,000 new jobs by 2040,” he said.