Australian Financial Review | 12 August 2013
The index, produced by Times Higher Education from its world university rankings data, says Australia places 15th in the world and is outranked by key Asian nations in the amount of research money its universities get from industry.
South Korea and Singapore lead the table, with the average per annum gained from this source by academics worth $US97,900 ($A106,262) and $US84,500 respectively. China is in seventh and India in 10th place. In Australia, the $US25,600 figure means it is just behind the US with $US25,800.
Vicki Thomson, the executive director of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), said the results should be a “wake-up call to an incoming government”, as government policy did not encourage universities to do industry-oriented research.
She said more than two-thirds of the ATN universities’ research effort went into applied research and experimental development, and the same proportion of research income came from research partnerships.
However, only 6% of core research funding from government is a reward for industry-engaged research, so it makes it difficult to incentivise and engender a culture of university-industry engagement.
Ms Thomson said that if Australia did not encourage research that was impact-driven and tied to industry, “we risk being increasingly outcompeted in the national productivity and innovation stakes”