Astronomy Research Translation – Call for EOIs

Dr Ilana Feain is an AAL Board Director. Credit: CSIRO.

AAL invites EOIs from the astronomy community to participate in a commercialisation discovery process to unlock potential opportunities from their research/projects. Led by Ilana Feain, this activity is free of charge to our member organisations

Astronomy has an excellent record of scientific discovery but little process for repurposing the output of that discovery for commercial impact across adjacent (non-astronomy) sectors. It remains an exception when astronomy research or technology is successfully commercialised or translated into a non-astronomy industry.

A sector-based shift in mindset with some additional finessing of cultural mismatches between industry and academia could see the Australian astronomy sector turning those exceptions into the rule.

That shift in mindset toward industry engagement and commercialisation from astronomy research and technologies is now – for better or for worse – being forced upon the sector through a clear shift in the research funding landscape. The National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the ARC and NCRIS (to name just a few) are all being nudged toward a small set of priority manufacturing areas with KPIs clearly linked to boosted sovereign capabilities (resilience) and enhanced commercial benefits.

What is clear is that a large swathe of future astronomy funding will be conditional upon demonstrable and defensible commercialisation and industry engagement activities.

To this end, AAL have secured astronomy commercialisation specialist services (through Big Science Advisory) to work with interested university and similar astronomy research organisations over the coming months to identify/explore opportunities through the lens of broadening or repurposing applications from astronomical research and technologies/instrumentation for non-astronomy markets. We are calling this the Discovery Process.

Discovery Process

The underlying hypothesis here is that there is a significant unrealised commercial potential associated with astronomical instrumentation and infrastructure.

Dr Ilana Feain is now available to provide Discovery Process support early discovery processes with your organisations – to identify opportunities for further research, application, collaboration and/or commercialisation. This is not one size fits all approach and the process will be tailored in consultation with you to suit your objectives and desired outcomes.

Discovery Process support, for example, could include:

  • Tailored education and/or briefing pieces relating to the changing funding landscapes, the emerging expectation for commercialisation KPIs from astronomy research, and/or early-stage astronomy technology commercialisation training programs.
  • Technology audits and/or pipeline identification toward the development of a business case for astronomy related commercial opportunities.
  • Capability mapping to whole of government strategic priorities and commercial impact including education and knowledge dissemination (ie customer discovery) across industry and govt.
  • Other activities including strategic planning, assistance with commercialisation grants and investment/fundraising, market positioning and related business planning.

At the end of the Discovery Process, you receive a written report of the outcomes and recommendations of next steps (if any).

Interested in assistance with a Commercialisation Discovery Process?

  • We will then be in touch to discuss with you the engagement and liaise on next steps.
  • If we receive more expressions of interest than we can service, we may need to triage.

Expressions of interest will close on 28th Feb 2022.

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