UQ engages with fellow entrepreneurs

19 Aug 2009

The University of Queensland is forging closer ties with the business community with the appointment of two Smart Futures Entrepreneurs-in-Residence announced in Parliament today by State Treasurer Andrew Fraser.

This new Queensland Government scheme is aimed at strengthening the state's performance in developing marketable products and services from research, bringing respected business experience to research-based institutions.

UQ's two Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Fellows are the former Chief Research Officer and Director of Research at international pharmaceutical company CSL, Professor David Gearing, and entrepreneur Mr Kris Dyszynski.

The entrepreneurs' broad roles may include growing early stage companies into start-ups, proposing business structures for start-ups and mentoring research students.

Professor Gearing, who is also Associate Dean (Biotechnology Development) at Monash University, will work closely with scientists at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute. He will share his experience with researchers hoping to translate their work into market-ready products and services.

Mr Dyszynski has 25 years experience in the US biopharmaceutical industry and will work with scientists from UQ's Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development and its commercial arm TetraQ, to build international links with new collaborators and investors.

The EIR scheme is similar to a successful program already in place at UQ's commercialisation company UniQuest, where Mr Clint Ramsay, whose career has included executive positions for a range of US companies from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, has been an EIR since 2005.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu said the two fellowships would bring a new dimension to UQ's commercialisation expertise.

"By assisting UQ researchers whose work has market potential, they will help to accelerate the transfer of excellent research into products and services that will benefit the community," Professor Lu said.

"By funding entrepreneurs-in-residence, the government is moving its investments in research and innovation to a new stage and focussing on activities that will yield rewards in the medium and long term," Professor Lu said.


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Notes to the Editor
The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on a long history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland. QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.