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Task force for commercialisation study



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MINISTER FOR

SODE^lOE Βηύ TECHNOLOGY THE HON. ROSS FREE

IM&EDTa TE RELEASE: THURSDAY 4 JULY 1991

TASK FORCE FOR COMMERCIALISATION STUDY

82/91

The Minister for Science and Technology, Ross Free, today announced

details of a Task Force which will report to him on ways to better

exploit Australia's top quality research capabilities.

The six-member Commercialisation of Research Task Force has been

asked to examine the commercialisation process and report to the

Minister by the end of August.

"Science, technology and innovation are the driving force behind a

country's competitiveness, but Australia is not deriving all the

potential benefits from its strengths in research," Mr Free said.

"The uptake of major Australian ideas by overseas firms has turned

the spotlight on why Australian firms were not taking advantage of

these opportunities. The March Industry Statement recognised the

extent of the problem. Today's announcement is a reaffirmation of

our intention to develop remedies," he said.

The Task Force will look at ways of better matching Australia's

research effort to its industrial capacity. It will also examine

impediments to local technological developments, including lack of

venture capital in Australia, limited international marketing

capability and restrictive business regulations. *

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MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCE C O iv lM O N V v E A -T i-;

P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY M IC A H

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"Australia needs a private sector that can capture the benefits

• flowing from our research discoveries. The Task Force will not find

any easy solutions. Many other government, and private organisations

had identified the lack of innovation in firms as a critical

Australian weakness," Mr Free said.

"The problem seems to be widespread but the causes are obscure. I

am, however, confident that the Task Force will go far in helping

to overcome this problem," he said.

' The Task Force is chaired by Mr Ray Block, the Director of

Dominguez Barry Samuel Montagu, and will include Dr John Stocker,

_ Chief Executive of the CSIRO; Mr Peter Fritz, Managing Director of

the Technical Computing and Graphics Group and winner of one of the

six BHP Pursuit of Excellence Awards; Dr John Parrott, Director of

BHP's Technology Development Division; Professor Brian Johns,

Deputy Chair of the Trade Practices Commission; and Mr John Grant,

Managing Director of the venture capital managers, Hambro-Grantham

Ltd.

CANBERRA Contacts:

Pat Boling

Innovation Division

(06) 276 1681 (bh)

(06) 288 9783 (ah)

Phil Tardif

Minister's Office

. (06 ) .277 7280 (bh)

(06) 254 7383 (ah)

** Terms of Reference for the Task Force are attached.

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COMMERCIALISATION TASK FORCE - TERMS OF REFERENCE

The focus of the Government's industry policy is to develop the competitiveness and export orientation of Australian industries in order to improve the nation's trade performance. " To further this objective, the Government announced in the March 1991 Industry Statement a study to examine mechanisms to improve Australia's commercialisation of research.

It is recognised that many exploitable ideas and discoveries have not been proceeding through the commercialisation stage and many needs of Australian industry are not being adequately researched. For these reasons, Australia is not deriving all the benefits it might from its strengths in research.

The Minister for Science and Technology has therefore appointed a Commercialisation Task Force to analyse Australia's performance in commercialising research, the impediments to commercialisation and methods of improving the commercialisation of research.

The Task Force will report and recommend on possible models to promote commercialisation and encourage more effective linkages • between Australian research and the market place, including:

. mechanisms to facilitate successful commercialisation of good Australian research and development;

. mechanisms to ensure the needs of Australian industry are adequately researched;

. financial mechanisms to encourage commercialisation;

. a regulatory and business environment to encourage commercialisation; and

. firm structures and relationships that facilitate commercialisation.

The Task Force shall draw upon the expertise of business, the financial sector, key individuals and interested organisations. The study should examine both private and public sector models including the British Technology Group and brokerage services.