Universities Pitch $10 Billion Partnership With Businesses

Universities Australia’s Higher Education Conference in 2017.

Australia’s GDP could potentially see an influx of $10 billion as a result of new partnerships made between universities and companies in the business sector.

Universities Australia recently made a pitch at the National Press Club with a ‘business case to business’ that was designed to illustrate the benefits to areas like research or business innovation to entice more firms to collaborate with universities

Universities Australia Chair Professor Margaret Gardner told business leaders that Australian universities were equipped to help them solve some of their most complex business challenges, and in return companies would be able to ‘snap up’ some of the best graduate talent on offer.

“If you have a complex business challenge you haven’t been able to crack, come talk to an Australian university about how we can work together to solve it,” she said.

“By tapping into university talent, business can source new ideas, get the jump on early stage research and cut the time it takes to bring new products to market.”

New modelling by Cadence Economics for Universities Australia confirmed that the 16,000 companies already partnering with universities derive $10.6 billion in revenue from their collaborations.

And their return on investment is $4.50 for every dollar invested into collaborative research with a university.

Professor Gardner is expected to write to the heads of the three major business peak bodies for help spreading the word in corporate Australia about the strong returns to business from these partnerships.

“If we could lift the number of firms with formal collaborations with universities from the current 16,000 to 24,000 companies, it would add another $10 billion a year to our GDP,” she said.

“That would also lift our collaboration rate to the level of global innovation powerhouses such as Israel and the US.”

To further illustrate their point for collaboration between universities and business, Universities Australia has also published Clever Collaborations: The Strong Business Case for Partnering with Universities, which showcases 35 case studies of businesses, community organisations and governments that are partnering with universities to solve complex challenges together.


Image sourced from Universities Australia.

Greg Peake has been a journalist since 2010 and has covered stories for a range of industries like local government, sport, development and education. Greg joined MBA News in 2016.