Uni commercializes tech skills

Adelaide University made use of last week’s CeBIT trade show in Sydney as a way to promote its Masters in Science and Technology Commercialization (MSTC), a course, which has increased student numbers five-fold in four years.

The university's Education Centre for Innovation and Commercialization (ECIC) offers the MSTC, which started in 1999 as a professional certificate and has been offered at Masters level since 2001. The initial intake of 10 students in its first year has now grown to about 50 people.

ECIC director Antonio Dottore said the course is aimed at professionals who need to improve commercialization outcomes in the global arena and bring innovative ideas into market realities.

“These programs focus on the transfer of research, science and knowledge into the marketplace,” he said.

“The ability to commercialize new knowledge rapidly is essential for competitive advantage in dynamically changing private and public sector environments.”

Dottore said that although the course aims at a variety of businesses, ICT is one of the main focus areas.

“A good deal of technological innovation has come through the ICT arena so we cover it extensively in cases and other materials used throughout the course.”

The MSTC offers candidates an opportunity to learn about the commercialization process in the global arena, and to then apply that learning via participation in a commercialization project. This enables participants to undertake work-based commercialization projects that examine such potential in IP technologies supplied by the participant or the ECIC.

Core topics include legal issues of the commercialization process, internalization of technology, marketing technological innovation and strategic analysis for technology commercialization.

The MSTC is a 36-unit program of eight courses and a 12-unit major project. The course is typically completed over one year, with the project undertaken the following year. An ‘international project’ option is available through the University of Texas at Austin.

Applicants for the course need to be degree qualified and have at least five years experience in business or another approved profession. There are currently students in every mainland state, the ACT and overseas studying for the MSTC, which can be studied by distance.

The full MSTC costs $24,000 to complete. It is possible to take some courses via the University of Texas, Austin, but this changes the price structure. It is also possible to enrol in individual courses without going for the full Masters.

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