Industry-led initiative to support research commercialisation

Friday, 15 May, 2015

The Science Next Collaborative (SNC) was launched by Sigma-Aldrich this week in response to the challenges faced by many scientists, particularly early- to mid-career researchers (EMCRs), when bridging the gap from basic and promising research discovery to translational research and its commercialisation.

The SNC will bring together leading Australian scientists and facilitate an exchange of knowledge, ideas, educational tools and best-practice pathways. The goal of the initiative is to provide EMCRs with expert guidance and resources to help them navigate through the many challenges they may face in securing viable returns and commercial outputs from their scientific discoveries.

“A thorough examination of the Australian scientific research sector uncovered that many researchers are struggling to achieve the final steps in their research continuum: successful commercialisation,” said Reich Webber-Montenegro, director - marketing, inside sales and shared services, Sigma Aldrich Oceania. “This gap is even more real amongst early- to mid-career researchers, and this may discourage them from continually pursuing meaningful and ongoing scientific endeavours.”

The initiative includes a think tank of seven leading Australian scientists who will debate the question ‘How do we better enable Australian scientists, especially EMCRs, to successfully translate their research through to commercialisation?’ A publishable positioning paper will capture the current situation, key challenges and ways to better enable scientists to secure economic returns for their research. Educational resources will also be offered, including a series of forums and the launch of a dedicated online hub.

The Science Next Collaborative Forums will be held in selected cities this year. During each forum, EMCRs, students and other scientists will have a chance to hear from subject matter experts on best-practice models and examples from both academic and industry representatives, showcasing how to successfully bridge the gap along the commercialisation continuum.

The SNC Hub will meanwhile become an online destination for the exchange of academic and industry knowledge and ideas, and a showcase of best-practice examples of successful commercialisation. It will also house all educational resources from the SNC Think Tank, including the publishable positioning paper, regular thought leadership articles and video content from the Think Tank meeting and upcoming forums.

“We have a collective experience navigating the commercialisation journey and we share a strong appetite to help the next generation of leading Australian innovators,” said SNC Think Tank member Professor Deborah White. “In joining the Science Next Collaborative, we are committing to establishing a framework that can provide genuine commercialisation pathways.”

To learn more about the Science Next Collaborative initiative, visit the SNC Hub at

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