Vice-Chancellor welcomes renewed focus on research translation

Tudge consultation paper
Left to right: University of Melbourne Chancellor Allan Myers AC; Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge; CEO of Siemens Jeff Connolly; and University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell.

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell joined the Federal Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus on Friday for the launch of the Better Commercialising University Research Consultation Paper.

The Consultation Paper is a Federal Government initiative designed to shape a generational reform of the research funding framework to drive more collaboration between industry and universities. It follows the establishment of an expert panel last November, chaired by Jeff Connolly, CEO of Siemens, that is made up of representatives from the research sector and from industry to help design a better system.

Speaking at the launch of the Federal Government’s Consultation Paper, Professor Maskell welcomed the renewed focus on research translation.

“The Consultation Paper is an important initiative and I look forward to reading the contributions from many people across industry and the higher education sector,” Professor Maskell said.

“I was fortunate to undertake my early research alongside colleagues in industry and I also had really interesting experiences later with research translation. This taught me the very important lesson that it’s not only in a university that you find brilliant people who are interested in research. You find many equally brilliant people in commercial and workplace settings too.

“My aspiration for the years ahead is that we will see greater collaboration between industry and universities with new opportunities for brilliant people in both settings to work together.”

Professor Maskell said research translation is fundamental to the role of universities in society.

“The role of universities is to deliver important benefits to real people in the world around us. This purpose has never been more important and valuable than in the present day, deeply affected as the world has been by Covid-19, as well as many other challenges, like the extreme weather events we continue to see around the world.

“I believe in this principle very firmly. It all connects with a social contract between a university and a society, that says both research and education are fundamental to social wellbeing.

“The work we do as a university translates into a better society – a society able to do good, new, exciting things, and a society that believes in the importance of investment in research, both basic and applied, in all the disciplines.”