Boosting Collaborative Research & Development in South Australia Workshop

On Tuesday 29 May, a roundtable was held at the School of Economics which examined possibilities for collaborative research and development between universities and industry in South Australia. This roundtable was initiated by the Innovation Initiative (chaired by Glen Weir, an Adelaide economics alumni) which has promoted innovation in SA for the past 20 years. The meeting was attended by industrial leaders, academics, and research facilitators from the finance industry and government. The benefit of promoting R&D in SA was unanimously agreed, but the practicalities of university and industry engagement need enhancing.   It was observed that strong links between industry and universities can unleash latent mutual value in the form of better students and research for universities, and better R&D and economic outcomes for business. Some very successful and long-established collaborations were reported to the roundtable. Whilst many examples exist, one size or form of collaboration does not fit all. The roundtable identified some of the roadblocks to collaboration especially the limited flow of information about opportunities, the absence of identifiable contact points within universities, and the hurdles created by institutional hierarchies. It was agreed that institutions should encourage joint ventures whilst also safeguarding individuality and flexibility for diversity to deliver successful solutions. These findings will be reported to the SA universities and future meetings will explore the practical issues in greater detail.

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