More than 150 people attended our third networking event which showcased a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing scientists in the quest for commercialisation and the translation of research into patient care.
Dr Sky Gross was joined by Dr Andrew Nash, Senior Vice President Research for CSL, Nathan Elia from the Victorian Government’s Trade and Investment Office in Boston, Professor Aleksandar Subic – Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research & Development), Swinburne University for a robust discussion and reflection on the topic.
One of the most common themes emerging from the panel discussion was about building a culture that supports a commercial approach and also early engagement – undertaking research that has potential for commercial success and therefore faster translation into patient care.
Sky Gross identified that there is a lot to be said for just ‘having a go’.
“In Israel, we have a culture of making the most of what we have, therefore people are really motivated to try new things in business,” she said. “They will set up a start-up in the biomedical field and not feel discouraged if they fail. They know they can get up and try again,” she said.
“In Australia in the biomedical sectors it’s clear there is not a big pool of people who have experience in start-ups, so we need to work out how we can share what knowledge we have to encourage people to think differently about their work.”
Professor Aleksandar Subic from Swinburne University recognised that developing an innovation ecosystem and embedding a culture of innovation and commercial thinking was critical to success, as is a network that supports this culture.
“For us innovation is in every department, Faculty and Institute, as is a culture of commercial thinking. The best research leads to best impact. Commercialisation is often the missing piece in our scoping and support. We need to establish an ecosystem that supports our teams to achieve their full potential for research translation and commercialisation based on timely expert support.”
Nathan Elia, agreed, “thinking more about impact, rather than just publication is imperative.”
Dr Andrew Nash from CSL echoed this, identifying the need for a clear pathway for teams of scientists keen to understand the commercial opportunities.
“Not all research needs, or will have, a commercial imperative. But if it does, then scientists need to know what they have to do, what’s the path they can take to get commercial value from their work. We have no shortage of quality scientists in Melbourne, the skill is to support and work with them to make the most of their work in every way. ”
These events continue to bring together industry and the sector to help build further impact for the Precinct.