UWA boost research marketing

THE University of Western Australia has launched a new office aimed at fostering industry association and promoting the research arm of the institution.

Headed by Dr Andrew Sierakowski, the Office of Industry and Innovation is set to commercialise the research facilities of the university, which is hoped to not only stimulate greater business interest in university’s research but ,also help promote the institution as a prestigious research body.

Officially the manager of commercialisation and business development, Dr Sierakowski will steer the dedicated business development department, which will focus on building and fostering industry relationships that will inject funds to both the university and it’s researchers.

“Researchers who are not keen to commercialise are now made a part of revenue schemes which sees them receive cash dollars for the research they conduct,” he said.

“Both UWA and the researcher will benefit.”

Dr Sierakowski also said the Office of Innovation and Commercialisation would be responsible for the broader marketing of the university with the objective of placing the institution foremost in the minds of the business community.

“Lets face it, industry is really interested in how a particular discovery can help a specific business move forward,” he said.

He said that many businesses might not realise the potential of UWA’s groundbreaking research and how that research could impact on their business or industry.

He said he also wanted industry players to be aware of the wide reach the university had within the Perth community.

They had research nodes in Royal Perth Hospital, Fremantle Hospital, and the QE2 Research School.

The university was involved in patent technology that had many advantages to specific industry players and his new role would be to seek those players out.

Dr Sierakowski said he hoped the office would become the fist point of contact between businesses and the university.

“Over time we want to become a central point for industry partners to ring,” he said.

“We want to improve and help better coordination with industry partners and develop new opportunities.”

The university will also be assessing research outcomes as a means to create new businesses.

Dr Sierakowski said he would be analysing business opportunities and the potential for “spin-off” projects.

He said projects the university was working on had the potential to form new businesses with investment from industry.

The promotion of UWA’s research was previously only conducted on a part-time basis.

Dr Sierakowski graduated from UWA 25 years ago and has since accumulated industry experience, which is why Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Michael Barber, says Dr Sierakowski will provide the good bond between the university and industry.

“He has an outstanding track-record of performance in industry, plus a wealth of personal and international business contacts,” Prof. Barber said.

Dr Sierakowski has worked mainly for Kodak, including Research and Development, in Melbourne, head of a technology team for Kodak-Pathe France, manager of Kodak Professional (one of Kodak’s largest sales and marketing business units).

Dr Sierakowski returned to Perth two years ago as general manager of Joyce Corporation’s agri-business, Joyce Rural.

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