In what is being hailed by Chinese media as a “breakthrough” for collaboration between international researchers and Chinese industry, UNSW Australia has forged two separate deals focused on technology transfer and research commercialisation. 

The first deal, to be signed in Beijing with the all-powerful China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) provides a platform to commercialise UNSW’s research in steel making with CISA’s network of more than 100 steel mills. 

“CISA’s membership covers more than 90 per cent of China’s steel industry and this alliance delivers an exciting mechanism to take our technology directly to the world’s largest steel industry,” said UNSW’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mark Hoffman. 

The second deal, between UNSW’s commercialisation company NewSouth Innovations and the Fujian Provincial Government sees the University become a founding member of the China Cross-Straits Technology Transfer Centre. 

The agreement sets out the framework for the University to promote its technology to industry based on the principles of Easy Access IP, a scheme promoted by UNSW to offer most of its intellectual property for free in return for a long-term research and development partnership. 

“This comes after China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University recently partnered with UNSW to become the first university in Asia to sign up to the Easy Access IP network,” Professor Hoffman said. 

Former Australia China Business Council chief executive and UNSW’s director of China strategy and development Laurie Pearcey said China’s emergence as a major economy means universities need to do something different. 

“China currently invests almost two thirds as much as the US on research and development and is slated to become the world’s largest investor by 2022 – this is the reality of the science and technology economics in the 21st century and Australia cannot afford to miss this boat,” Mr Pearcey said. 

Both deals are being signed as part of UNSW’s inaugural China Research Roadshow involving more than 20 senior researchers and technology transfer executives focused on securing Chinese research investment in the University’s new materials, sustainability and advanced manufacturing fields.

Media contacts: Laurie Pearcey, 0404 885 088

Steve Offner, UNSW Media, 02 9385 1583 or 0424 580 208