“The needle of the impact dial has a huge potential to be positively moved now with the opportunities we have under COVID-19” – this is the message from Director of Commercialisation and Innovation Anna Grocholsky, as the University launches a new program to help researchers assess and amplify their real-world impact.
Co-developed by the Incubator and the Office of Commercialisation and Innovation, the MQ Researchers IMPACT Program will teach researchers and HDR candidates how to actively assess the path of their research to commercialisation and real-world impact.
Anna says the seven-week program provides an interactive, practical and cohort-based approach that takes researchers through the process of customer discovery, product market fit and the University’s ‘Impact Canvas‘ tool.
“Positive feedback about the Impact Canvas – which helps people clarify their research to ensure there is an end-user and likely impactful outcome – has been overwhelming,” she says. “It has been used widely across all Faculties, in ECR training, Centre of Excellence focus groups, researchers individually, the Incubator and the Office of Commercialisation and Innovation.”
“However, we did identify a knowledge gap around how to talk about ideas to appreciate the needs and desires of end-users without jeopardising competitive advantage or intellectual property (IP) position. Hence, a course about how to conduct Customer Discovery, articulate your value proposition, learning about entrepreneurship.”
Anna has been helping Macquarie researchers identify, evaluate and commercialise their IP for five years, and in this time she has noticed attitudes towards research commercialisation changing.
“I have seen that our culture and values around IP and commercialisation have moved slowly in the positive direction,” she says. “My team and I are passionate about helping turn ideas into reality and I have always preached that pitching research, offering a value proposition to donors and funding bodies, will result in deals being closed. We’ve helped researchers and industry with many successes, and we are now seeing referrals from past clients.
She says the current operating environment makes it a great time for researchers to explore their impact potential.
“The needle of the impact dial has a huge potential to be positively moved now with the opportunities we have under COVID-19, a new Chancellor who is also passionate about diversifying our income and an Australia that wants to be more sustainable around manufacturing and the security and wellbeing of our citizens.”
After completion of the Researchers IMPACT program, participants will have learned new skills to be able to view their research through the lenses of their customers and investors and make evidence-based decisions about their research, pursuing the best commercialisation pathway for maximum impact.
Interested applicants will need to submit their Expression of Interest by 27 September, with the program set to commence in October.