3 February 2009

UQ researchers and Research Higher Degree students can learn more about getting their discoveries, inventions and expertise out to the global market at UniQuest's annual research commercialisation workshops.

Researchers from all faculties are invited to apply for the limited places at the two-day training events held off-site at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast.

The workshop for Research Higher Degree students will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6. The workshop for academic research staff will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3. Applications for both workshops are currently being accepted online.

As UQ's main commercialisation company and one of the largest Australian technology transfer organisations, UniQuest offers workshop participants the opportunity to gain practical knowledge of the processes, pitfalls and potential rewards of commercialising their expertise. Informative and insightful speaker presentations are complemented by creative group-work sessions and pitching practice with experienced commercialisation professionals.

Workshop costs are covered by UniQuest, including transport to and from the St Lucia campus.

More than 700 UQ researchers have attended the UniQuest commercialisation workshops in the past six years. UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, believes the workshops play a significant role in helping researchers achieve both their academic goals and bringing innovations to widespread adoption through commercialisation.

"At the workshops researchers discover how a commercial dimension can advance their research profile and objectives, and offer alternatives for attracting the financial support needed to develop their projects and research teams," Mr Henderson said.

Two of the presenters this year attended the workshops themselves. UQ psychology alumna Dr Renae Beaumont said attending the workshop as a PhD student gave her the confidence to pursue a commercial outcome for her research into social skills development for children with Asperger's syndrome.

"I pitched my ideas to Triple P International with a view to licensing the program, and came away with a job offer as well," said Dr Beaumont, who is now a Senior Training Consultant with the company.

Dr Darren Martin, a materials scientist with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, attended the workshop for academic staff in 2006. He acknowledges the impact the experience has had on the commercial development of his thermoplastic elastomers project.

"The workshop helped me to understand what I was committing to and what the potential rewards might be. When we formed TenasiTech Pty Ltd to attract investment so we could develop the research further, we went on to win the i.lab incubator award in UQ Business School's Enterprize competition and the technology has been promoted widely, including on Daily Planet, a program on Canada's Discovery Channel," Dr Martin said.

Applications close on February 13 for the RHD students' workshop and on March 13 for the academic researchers' workshop. More information is available on the UniQuest website.

Media: Leanne Wyvill (3365 4307, 0409 767 199).