Sydney tech Incubator Cicada Innovations has announced the addition of Macquarie Bank as a partner in its 2017 Industry Engagement Program, which looks to facilitate collaboration between researchers and businesses. Pilot partners Cook Medical and Meat and Livestock Australia will also be rejoining.
As partners, each will gain access to Cicada’s shelf of startups working with “deep technology” as well as its wide network of partner Australian research institutions, including its founding universities: the University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, and the Australian National University.
According to the organisation’s CEO, Petra Andren, the engagement program’s purpose is to combine research and innovation to create successful businesses that are able to scale towards global markets.
“For this to occur from within Australia, it’s vital that we improve the pathways for collaboration between our world leading research institutions, and innovative startups and industry players,” she said.
“This would also provide our publicly-funded research institutes with much needed validation of the market importance of selected research projects, and an accelerated path to market for their intellectual property.”
Cicada Innovations, formerly branded ATP Innovations, began trialing the program last year; it has facilitated 10 ongoing collaborations between industry and researchers since that time, a number the organisation hopes to increase in 2017.
To facilitate new collaborations, this three partners will look for opportunities within the organisation’s network to expand technological fields including agtech, medtech and infratech.
To fill empty partnership slots across the organisation’s “gamut of industry verticals”, Cicada will be offering one partnership opportunity to a sector across each of the organisation’s three tiers; bronze, silver, and gold.
Tiers are divided based on each participant’s needs and preferences, with every partner also making a financial contribution used to fund the program’s monthly networking events and end of year award ceremony.
“Because of our deep technology focus, we’ve been selective in only accepting companies that have leadership buy-in to internal innovation programs, clear pathways for external startups/research to progress through the organisation, and the ability to have an active presence in the Cicada Innovations’ community,” said Andren.
“The benefit of this is there is an advanced, game-changing technology being developed within our walls that is likely to shake things up across almost every industry vertical imaginable, and industry has been jumping on this opportunity.”
Andren added that growing collaboration between researchers and business in Australia would also help combat Australia’s poor ranking on OECD’s last ‘Firms collaborating on innovation with higher education or public research institutions’ report, where Australia fell last behind Mexico.
“With Australia currently ranking last…addressing this issue could mean accessing a veritable goldmine of untapped value sitting within our own local innovation ecosystem,” she said.