Universities must bring industry and venture capital onto campus to become more resilient

Universities must bring more corporations and venture capital investors onto campus and reduce their reliance on governments and overseas students for more resilient revenues.

Stoic Venture Capital Partner Dr Geoff Waring said there was an over-reliance on government grants and overseas students’ fees to fund Australian universities’ research activities.

Universities should trade their intellectual property for equity in companies commercialising their research and pave stronger links with industry who can find uses for their research.

Stoic Venture Capital calls for links with universities

“Government and philanthropic grants fund basic research and academic publications but venture capital finances company formation to prove the concept in the field,” Dr Waring said.

“Resilient universities work with venture capital to finance start-ups in sectors such as health sciences, renewables or agritech where Australia has a global competitive advantage.”

“The pandemic has shown the use of focusing on home-grown medical and biotech solutions.”

Once their valuable intellectual property is secured and matched to an unmet need, universities can let specialist venture capital managers take it to the next level.

“Building stronger connections with seed venture capital investors and industry through partnerships like the Cooperative Research Centres could better align research priorities to solving the unmet needs in our society,” Dr Waring said.

“This collaboration with industry helps university research translate into new start-ups that are developing critical new drugs, devices, vaccines and other important innovations.”

Dr Waring said Stoic Venture Capital was one of the few venture capital funds in Australia that focused on start-ups coming out of university research.

“Stoic Venture Capital is committed to financing translational research to encourage medical, applied science and engineering researchers to go beyond publishing their research.”