Laminitis Treatment

As Lisa mentioned in an earlier post, the bluebox Proof-of-Concept fund is a great way for bluebox to advance early stage projects where the IP is still being developed and optimised prior to licensing and commercial application  One such project that was recently awarded funding as part of this POC fund is the development of a treatment for laminitis – a common horse disease also known as founder disease.

horse

Laminitis is the most common reason for horse owners to seek veterinary treatment and the second most common cause of death. In addition to horses, laminitis can affect any hoofed animal, including cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. This novel treatment is being designed to be included in the animal’s feed to prevent the onset of this crippling condition.

Currently, the main treatment for laminitis is cryotherapy, which involves standing the horse in buckets of ice water for extended periods – probably much easier said than done! In terms of preventative products, there is one product available in Australia that claims to prevent and manage feed-related laminitis. However, it is not available in several countries overseas due to concerns about the sustained administration of antibiotics to animals. Therefore, if successful, this preventative treatment would be a simple and economical solution for this costly and debilitating condition.

An opportunity exists for industry players to partner with bluebox to further develop this promising technology into a commercial product. Industry partners may wish to engage the technical expertise that exists at QUT to optimise this technology for their specific requirements. For more information, contact:

Erin Rayment – Relationship Manager

New look Immersive Interaction System arrives at QUT

Over the past three years Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have developed a novel interactive platform, which allows for intuitive direct physical interactions with a digital environment without the need to master a mouse, keyboard or controller.

IIS prototype

The platform has been the recipient of Commercialisation Australia and qutbluebox proof of concept funding which has facilitated a number of crucial advanced towards a commercial ready system. In particular, bluebox in conjunction with a Sydney based Industrial Design firm have produced an innovative system housing for the platform technology. The sleek new design integrates clean smooth lines to offer a polished finish whilst offering a high level of mobility and safety, which is highly desirable in the target educational market setting.

The IIS platform allows whole body immersive interaction and has been initially tailored to fulfill the needs of the early education market sector as well as for children with disabilities. The existing application suite may also be easily built upon to cover market segments such as

• Secondary education

• Corporate training and team building

• Pediatric therapy, assisting in the rehabilitation process;

• Health and fitness, encouraging physical activity;

• Advertising, immersing customers in an interactive environment and

• Disability services, providing previously inaccessible exploratory experiences.

An opportunity exists for industry to partner with bluebox and take this promising technology out into the real world.

For more information, contact

Anthony Musumeci – Commercialisation Manger

Where’s the Motivation?

Innovation and Knowledge TransferI recently came across the 2012 final report on Collaborations between the Public and Private Sectors: The Role of Intellectual Property, by the Australian Government Advisory Council on Intellectual Property. What a revealing read, indicating that the motivating factors for universities and university researchers lead to less than ideal rates of collaboration.

Well at least that is the key message that I took from it.

Where’s the Motivation? Performance metrics for Universities do not take into account engagement with industry (“impact”). Number of journals published and securing grant funding has the greatest influence on career advancement. The word impact can mean many things – I believe that it should mean the overall uptake of your “knowledge” in industry through innovation transfer as well as engagement with industry through consulting. To be able to show that an innovation developed at a University is actually being used in a product, process or service.

Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) announced that “impact” will be introduced into the next round in 2015. This poses the question, what will “impact” mean for the ERA when it’s added as a factor?

In the innovation and knowledge transfer world licensing and formation of start-up companies are the main avenues for creating “impact” (bluebox FAQ). To enable such activity it is often the case that a clear commercial advantage and propriety intellectual property position are required. Giving any potential industry partner or licensee the competitive advantage in the marketplace. Licensing innovations is the bread and butter of innovation and knowledge transfer.

More often than not, Intellectual Property (IP) ownership clauses are held responsible for delays in collaboration and licensing agreement negotiations. There is a misnomer out there that you must own the IP to be able to use it commercially, this is incorrect. A license to commercial rights allows one to exploit the IP commercially for a stated business purpose. I have been involved in projects where companies are adamant that they need to own the IP, however once explained they are quite happy for the IP to be owned by the research institution, as long as the company has rights to use and exploit the IP for their particular business purpose.

Some innovations are applicable to more than one market, and therefore to maximise the use you can license to multiple parties for different business purposes (field of use). Additionally some companies are only active in one state or country and therefore to maximise the impact of the innovation you may be able to restrict the license to a territory. Thus allowing one to licence to a company in a different country for the same purpose.

At Universities the innovations that we often come across would not even be considered by companies or investors – as they are very early stage and considered too risky! So another main aspect at bluebox that we must consider is risk management. De-risking early stage IP was also mentioned in this report, one way that we do approach this at bluebox is through the bluebox Proof-of-Concept fund…. which is a good topic for a future blog – keep an eye out!

If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact me at l.vandenberg@qutbluebox.com.au