The University of Tasmania picked up two awards at the Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KSA) annual conference last week for work supporting the development of the world's first commercial-scale tropical rock lobster hatchery.
Director of Business Development and Technology Transfer Dr Darren Cundy was in Melbourne to accept the Research Commercialisation Award and the People's Choice Award.
Leveraging skills from across the University, the technology transfer unit led the reformulation a 15+ year research project in rock lobster biology to repatriate invaluable home‐grown intellectual property, and chaperone the opportunity into a newly formed Australian company, issue an exclusive Australian licence, attract $2.5M in equity investment to sustain an aligned ARC Research Hub and engage in commercial partnering.
A subsequent commercial sublicense from UTAS to a third party is now proceeding on terms that will see the world’s first commercial‐scale tropical rock lobster hatchery begin production in Tasmania before August 2021.
KCA Chair Dr Erin Rayment congratulated the University and said it was imperative to celebrate commercialisation success in Australasia.
“We need to make more noise about what we do and this KCA Award is one way of shouting out about the top-level tech transfer work in all facets of research commercialisation, industry engagement and entrepreneurship that is taking place,” Dr Rayment said
“In this case the judges looked for projects that demonstrate originality and creative business insight, as well as those that deliver significant societal impact.”
The awards were judged by commercial leaders of innovation:
- Natalie Chapman, gemaker
- Ross McFarlane, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
- Charlie Day, Office of Innovation and Science Australia
- Deb Verhoeven, University of Technology Sydney