My name’s Patricia Kelly, I’m Director-General of IPAustralia, Australia's patent and trademark office, and I will be your MC for this morning. And I’d like to begin by acknowledging that we are holding this event on the traditional lands of the Ngunawal people and to pay my respects to their elders both past and present. I’d also like to particularly welcome our Assistant Minister for Innovation the Honourable Wyatt Roy MP who will launch SourceIP as well as our other speaker Alastair Hick from Knowledge Commercialisation Australia, Australia or Australasia?
Australasia, I’m behind the times, Australasia. Welcome also to members of our IP stakeholders forum who’ve joined us this morning and to all of you who’ve made the effort to attend.
Over recent months we’ve seen a strong focus of public discussion on innovation and the critical role it plays in driving economic growth. And this has been led by our Prime Minister and other Ministers, particularly Minister Roy. This public discourse has been feeding in to a process of development of an innovation statement which the government intends to release before Christmas. And the innovation statement will build on the government’s competitiveness agenda, in particular it’s agenda to boost the commercial returns from research. Now intellectual property plays a key role in innovation and indeed as you all know the Productivity Commission at the government's request is currently reviewing Australia’s IP system and policy settings with a view to ensuring our settings are optimised to support innovation.
IPAustralia has an important role to play in our innovation ecosystem. We seek to manage our system of patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights so as to support innovation and to provide an efficient framework for trade and investment. And the nature of our work means that our agency has considerable knowledge and expertise in IP and is also the custodian of valuable IP information. So wherever possible we’re seeking to utilise these assets to support innovation and economic growth and indeed our agency’s vision is a world leading IP system building prosperity for Australia.
Over the last 12 months we’ve launched several products and services to support greater collaboration between the business sector and public sector researchers. This is an area where Australia is not strong and it’s widely seen as a significant barrier to the commercialisation of Australian research. The 2014 Global Innovation Index provides the latest evidence of Australia’s low levels of collaboration between research and industry. Australia’s 9.7 billion dollar annual public spend on research yields a research output that ranks in the top eight in the world according to the World Economic Forum. However our capacity for innovation and for commercialising our ideas we rank 25th. The OECD research tells us the same story with Australia ranking last out of 34 OECD countries for collaboration between publicly funded researchers and industry.
To support government efforts to boost commercial returns from public sector research IPAustralia launched a patent analytics service for public sector research agencies earlier this year. This service draws on IPAustralia’s expertise and access to global patent data to provide public sector researchers with information about the patent landscape in their area of research. It aims to assist them to optimise research and commercialisation strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Industry, and I should acknowledge their Deputy Secretary who's joined us this morning, Sue Weston, in collaboration with that department we also launched in September an IP tool kit to facilitate collaboration between business and researchers because IP combinations are often seen as a barrier to collaboration between researchers and the business sector.
The toolkit which is available from the business.gov.au website or from IPAustralia’s website aims to simplify and demystify the process. It includes guidance and case studies, an IP checklist for collaboration, a model terms sheet and model contracts. And our latest service is SourceIP which we’re launching this morning. It’s an online tool designed to make it easier for businesses to access the great research that we produce in our universities and public sector research agencies. SourceIP provides a single portal for identifying relevant public sector patents, indicating licensing preferences and facilitating contact in relation to patents generated by the public research sector in Australia.
Today’s launch of Source IP is the culmination of a joint effort from IPAustralia, the university sector, our government partners, business representatives and other stakeholders who are seeking to improve collaboration, and we thank them for their input. We’ve developed SourceIP in line with the Digital Transformation Office digital standards including an agile and iterative development process that will continue beyond the launch today. We aim to continue to enhance and expand the site based on our user centred design principles and we will for example be bringing in medical research institutes to the site, they’re not on at the moment but they will be towards the end of the year I think. We’re also sharing the information we collect through our application program interface technology so that others can actually export and utilise this information. Our private sector development partners from Agile Digital have effectively supported us in this design approach and we’d like to thank them for them work.