Internet Interview - Dan Minchin


Dan Minchin


Commercial Manager


The Cooperative Research Centre for Innovative Dairy Products



A brief explanation of your company and where it sits in the corporate landscape: The Dairy CRC, established in 2001, is focused on developing leading edge genetic and advanced reproduction technologies in order to add value to the Australian dairy industry. There are currently 12 participants in the CRC, and the administrative and commercial centre (including me) is based in Melbourne.

Job last held in Perth when you left it: Business development officer at Poseidon Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd; departed late 2001 to explore the ‘wild east’.

What is your current role: Managing intellectual property and commercialisation activities across the CRC’s widely-spread nodes, overseeing the formulation and execution of licences and other contracts, and contributing to the strategic planning and development of the Dairy CRC.

What other roles do you play in your industry or local business community: Member of AusBiotech and the Licensing Executives Society. I am also studying part-time for the MBA at Melbourne Business School.

Explain how you got this particular job: I arrived in Melbourne in January 2002 ‘on spec’ (though my wife had a well-paying job) and attacked the local job market head-on. Two months and a number of failed job interviews later, I met my current CEO via a chain of personal contacts. By chance, I bumped into the Dairy CRC at the very time it was looking for a commercial manager.

Outline your office culture: The Dairy CRC consists of a very small company (six people) managing a sprawling technology development organisation (90 people over 10 sites). I am based in the former, an office full of busy people pretty focused on getting the job done. We are gradually building an appreciation of the ‘staff lunch’ and after-work drinks.

How much commuting do you do: We live in West Melbourne so I walk to and from work (a total of 50 minutes slightly-elevated-heart-rate every workday). 

Does your job involve travel, if so how much, where to and to what purpose: Frequent travel up the east coast – it’s a revelation to live in a place where you can get to another capital city in a little over an hour. The visits include spreading the CRC’s commercial ‘message’ across the various research groups, forming and maintaining relationships with key staff, and seeking new business opportunities. There is also the opportunity of overseas travel on the horizon, most likely for business development activities.

How well did your work in Perth equip you for your current job: Work at a small, exciting company equipped me with a broad set of skills and a desire to work in an entrepreneurial environment. 

Can you see yourself returning to Perth? If so, at what time and under what circumstances: All options are possible at present. Primary factors will be how the family and career develops. We certainly miss the beach and the extended family, but relish living in a big city close to other big cities.

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