Australian experts in trade and investment and representatives of the field of research analyse the R&D landscape in Spain and Australia
Within the framework of the University-Industry Research Cooperation meeting organised by the Spain Australia Council Foundation, the representative of AUSTRADE (Australian Trade & Innovation Commission) in Europe and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science of the Australian Government gave an overview of the cooperation underway between the two sectors in Australia.
Jennifer Mackinlay, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner of AUSTRADE for Spain and France, defined Australia as being “open to business and international cooperation. Australians are famous for being flexible and adaptable.”
Among the country’s strengths in terms of business, investment and international cooperation, she emphasised its multicultural nature and its research infrastructure. According to Mackinlay, the World Economic Forum included Australia among the best countries in that field. “Home to just 0.3% of the global population, Australia contributes to 4% of the world’s science production,” she said.
The Counsellor for Industry, Innovation and Science, Alexander Cooke, highlighted partnership opportunities in the fields of innovation, science and research. He emphasised the Global Innovation Strategy initiatives carried out by the Australian Government in order to help Australian companies and institutions to establish with the rest of the world.
Cooke also gave an overview of the cooperation initiatives in place between Spain and Australia, which have had a Cooperation Treaty since 1991, as well as the initiatives agreed with the European Union. “With over 6,800 joint publications in 2016, Spain is the 11th country worldwide by volume of joint publications with Australia,” he stated.
Sergio León-Saval, President of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP) and Head of the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Laboratories at the University of Sydney, outlined the existing procedures in Australia to link academia and industry, and emphasised how easy it is to forge long-term strategic alliances between educational institutions and other organisations.
Deryn Vahl-Meyer, Vice-Chancellor for International Relations at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), mentioned that the university’s ties with industry are based on simplified internal communication structures to make the process easier. Vahl-Meyer emphasised the importance of research at his university, which generates revenues of 45 million Australian dollars.