Thursday, 5 March 2015

Discovery Translation Fund 2.0 Launched


Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra now have access to additional funding to assist them in turning their discoveries into real-world applications.

The jointly funded Discovery Translation Fund (DTF 2.0), managed by ANU Connect Ventures, offers researchers whose work shows great potential for commercialisation, access of up to $50,000 in support funding, as well as the skills, networks and experienced support needed to translate exploration based research into economic and social impact.

Launched today at the University of Canberra, DTF 2.0 has a total pool of $3 million over three years, and will build on the success of the first round of DTF, which was an initiative of the ANU and the ACT Government. Since 2011, DTF has assisted more than 30 projects take work from the lab to the world, in areas such as water and energy conservation in domestic settings, miniaturisation of dielectric materials for use in supercapacitors and work on therapeutics targeting breast cancer recurrence.

The new program, also managed by ANU Connect Ventures, will grow innovation and enterprise within the Canberra region.

“The Discovery Translation Fund has proven to be a crucial element of the region’s innovation pipeline,” said Nick McNaughton, CEO of ANU Connect Ventures. “Canberra’s evolution as a hub of entrepreneurship has been given a boost recently with the establishment of the CBR Innovation Network, GRIFFIN Accelerator and Entry 29 co-working space. The Discovery Translation Fund has been essential in seeding these activities, and the DTF 2.0 will ensure that the outstanding work being done at ANU and the University of Canberra will continue to play a prominent role.”

University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Frances Shannon said the program is a great opportunity for those who are thinking about making the most of their research through a commercial venture.

“Many researchers reach a point after making their discovery where they need some assistance in taking the next big step. DTF 2.0 will set them on the right path, giving them some much needed financial assistance and hopefully making all the difference between great research and a viable business venture,” Professor Shannon said.

ANU Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation) Professor Mick Cardew-Hall said the program would help turn innovative ideas into reality, and will continue to be a key contributor to demonstrating the commercial impact of research.

“Proof of concept funding is essential for bridging the gap between a discovery and its application, but a program such as DTF 2.0 also establishes a targeted focus for project development, ensuring research is applied where the market and community will see greatest value.” Professor Cardew-Hall said.

DTF 2.0 funding grants are awarded competitively, must have identifiable commercial potential and be completed within 12 to 18 months.

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