University of Melbourne goes global with research strategy
|26 September 2012|
|The University of Melbourne has released its A$100 million research strategy which is designed to meet three challenges and to move closer to industry.|
|At the heart of the strategy is a commitment to three disciplines – health and well being; sustainability and resilience and place and purpose.|
These are to be the focus of the university for the next 12 years, with annual research spending expected to exceed A$1 billion by 2025. This compares to A$844 million spent last year.
The money is expected to pay for 25 new research chairs and a range of overseas collaborations with Germany, China, India and South America.
The university’s deputy vice-chancellor research, Jim McCluskey, told The Australian that he expected funding sources to shift. He said currently more than 50 per cent was derived from sources such as the Australia Research Council and the national health and Medical Research Council. This would change to more than a 50 per cent mix of industry, government contracts and philanthropy – tipping the balance by 2017.
Professor McCluskey said post graduate training would also be re-designed to make candidates more employable. This would involve more understanding of intellectual property, team work and communications.
“Understanding our place and purpose is important to Australians and as citizens of the globe; health and well being is a huge challenge as our demographic ages; and sustainability and resilience are crucial for the health of the planet and of the nation,” he said.
Professor McCluskey said the new strategy did not involve wholesale changes but would revolve around the Parkville biomedical precinct as a model for the future.
He said the university wanted to replicate it in South Carlton with physical sciences, engineering and computational science. The university hopes to being IBM’s research lab into the precinct – the company is already a corporate partner.
Professor McCluskey said the focus would not be on cutting areas of research but to reshape the research workforce through attrition. Hence the new philanthropic chairs.
“We are choosing to recruit people into areas that will have an impact and are attractive to industry….you can’t have an impact on your own, we want more collaborations and partnerships,” he said.