Australia: Shelston IP sponsors pharmaceutical industry engagement event at the University of Sydney
Last Updated: 18 August 2015

Shelston IP was pleased to sponsor the University of Sydney's inaugural pharmaceutical industry engagement event, which took place on 26 May 2015.

In attendance were more than 100 of the University's top academics from within the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences disciplines – along with representatives of industry and government. The aim of the event was to foster improved collaboration between the three sectors, which may, in turn, result in improved identification, protection and commercialisation of technologies being developed within the University. The University of Sydney is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading academic institutions, producing a significant volume of world class research and the institution is focussed on improving the transfer of such research into commercially-viable products and technologies.

Of course, central to any notion of capturing and exploiting commercially-applicable technologies is patent protection – and to this end, Shelston IP has partnered with the University for a number of years on a preferred supplier basis. As an expression of our commitment to the University, Shelston IP sponsored the event and also presented at it. Our presentation, delivered by Senior Associate Gareth Dixon, outlined the crucial role of intellectual property in the development of commercially-saleable technologies. The presentation, delivered to some of the University's leading academics, was part of a targeted "top down" approach, encouraging those academics to spread the (IP) word within their respective faculties. The event concluded with a panel discussion in which Gareth Dixon again represented Shelston IP.

Hand-in-hand with this "top down" approach is likely to be a targeted "bottom up" strategy whereby Shelston IP would partner with bodies such as the Trade and Investment Division of the NSW Government to help spread the IP message to the University's science students (e.g., at first year and/or Honours level). The intention here would be that in two or three years' time, these would be the researchers conceiving of and developing the University's commercially-saleable technologies – and that if we can impress upon them the importance of IP at this early stage in their careers, then this may, in turn give them reason to approach their future research from commercial as well as scientific standpoints. The end goal, of course, is that the University becomes more efficient in identifying and capturing commercially-applicable technologies. In short, we are happy to do all we can to help drive this cultural change within the University – a shift in the age-old "patent versus publish" academic conundrum.

At the industry engagement event, Shelston IP was represented by Executive Chairman, Stuart Smith, Senior Associates, Gareth Dixon and Michael Zammit and Patent Attorney Belinda Hartmann. In addition to some of the University's top academics, other notable attendees included representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the NSW Government and the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation. The event was organised and facilitated by the Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships (CDIP) Office of the University of Sydney and initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

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