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The value of engaging with industry A researchers perspective Professor Alison Stewart

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The value of engaging with industry A researchers perspective Professor Alison Stewart. Outline. NZ Context Alison’s story Insights gained Recommendations. What it was like 20 years ago. Poor communication Naive researchers Naive industry Poor business oversight. NZ Context.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

The value of engaging with industry

A researchers perspective

Professor Alison Stewart

slide2

Outline

  • NZ Context
  • Alison’s story
  • Insights gained
  • Recommendations
slide3

What it was like 20 years ago

  • Poor communication
  • Naive researchers
  • Naive industry
  • Poor business oversight
slide4

NZ Context

  • Low level of RS&T funding
  • Benefits to NZ
  • Poor commercialisation of research
slide5

NZ Context

  • Competition versus collaboration
slide6

Alison’s story

  • Arrived in NZ in1985
  • Plant pathologist
  • Biocontrol of plant diseases using beneficial microbes
  • Industry/business partnerships
slide7

Business partnerships

  • Grand Perfect
  • April Asia
  • Becker Underwood
  • Marrone Bio-innov.
  • Terrenew
  • Bayer Crop Sciences
  • Agrimm Technologies
  • NuFarm NZ Ltd
  • Zelam NZ Ltd
  • South Pacific Seeds
  • PGG Wrightsons
  • P.F. Olsen Ltd
  • The Tree Lab
slide8

Research and Development strategy

Research focus

Industry problem

Business partner

Prototype product

Industry problem

Research focus

Business partner

Prototype product

Agri-Business

Agri-Business

slide9

Achievements/successes

  • Research collaborations
  • Postgraduate students
  • Publications
  • Business partnerships
  • Products
  • Outcomes for industry
slide10

Trichoderma Biocontrol

  • Soil-borne saprophytic fungus
  • Wide ecological niche
  • Multiple mechanisms of action - antibiosis,
  • parasitism, competition, growth promotion,
  • induced plant resistance
  • Excellent candidate for biocontrol
slide11

Onion White Rot

  • Sclerotium cepivorum
  • Trichoderma atroviride LU132
  • Rhizosphere competent/6PAP
  • 60-70% disease control
slide12

Sclerotinia

Lettuce Drop

  • Trichoderma hamatum 6SR4
  • Parasite
  • Nutrient competition
slide13

Trichoderma atroviride

  • Biocontrol of Botrytis in grapes and tomatoes
  • Wettable powder formulation
  • Organic - Bio-Gro certified
slide14

Commercialisation Pathway

  • Identify product opportunity/market analysis
  • Develop BCA blueprint
  • Identify a bioactive/initial screening
  • Initial proof of concept (IP protection)
  • Mode of action studies/population ecology
  • Business partnership – prototype product
  • Field scale testing
  • Optimisation/formulation/application
  • Commercial scale testing
  • Registration
slide15

Insights gained

  • Many scientists have no business background
      • Company structure
      • Financial imperatives
      • Business decisions
  • Know your client – gain business knowledge
slide16

Insights gained

  • New projects - Business case
      • commercial milestones
      • selecting business partner too soon
      • which business partner to choose
        • Large versus small
        • NZ versus International
slide17

Insights gained

  • Bright ideas
    • Research
    • Commercialisation
slide18

Insights gained

  • Publish or perish
    • Provisional patent
    • Extra time/effort/money
    • Hard on postdocs
    • Incentive/added value
    • Managing workload
slide19

Benefits of engaging with industry

  • Targeted research to deliver an outcome
  • Upskilled in wider range of activities
  • More career options for young researchers
  • Wider range of funding opportunities
  • Widens your perspective
slide20

Disadvantages

  • Extra work/stress – pressure to meet deadlines
  • Can limit ability to explore intellectual curiosity
  • More doing – less time for thinking
  • Can create a linear mindset
slide21

What motivates researchers

  • Private R&D companies
  • CRI’s
  • Universities
slide22

The role of the Research Office

  • Central database of business information
    • Industry strategies
    • Govt policy documents
    • Business plan, IP templates
slide23

The role of the Research Office

  • Generic up-skilling/training
    • Workshops/seminars
    • Formal courses (entrepreneurship)
    • One on one mentoring
slide24

The role of the Research Office

  • Targeted support
    • Rules of engagement with specific clients
    • Helping write the proposal
    • Helping establish the project
slide25

The role of the Research Office

  • Simple operational management strategies
    • American lab book
    • Monitor progress against commercial milestones
    • WHAT, WHY, HOW
slide26

At the Institute level

  • Induction, On-the-job training
  • Incentives
    • Royalties, bonus, promotion, resources
  • Performance directives, KPI’s
    • Employment strategies
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