Science Policy and Commercialisation

10 Units

Science Policy and Commercialisation equips students with an understanding of the social, political and economic drivers of the commercialisation of science. It provides core skills for science project managers by developing an understanding of how science moves from the laboratory to the market, and how government policy towards science reinforces and accelerates, or else hinders the commercialisation process. It is an elective Group A subject in the Graduate Certificate/Master of Science Management Programme. Group A subjects develop skills in science project management by providing insights into the processes and methodologies of science, and the management of science projects.

Faculty Faculty of Science and Information Technology
School School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Availability Trimester 3 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Trimester 3 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)

The objectives of this course are to develop a strong interest in how science transforms society as it moves from the laboratory to the market, so that students can better participate in these processes as managers of science projects in the public and private sectors.

On successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. possess skills in the synthesis and evaluation of information from a variety of sources relevant to the management of science projects in the public and private sectors ;
  2. be able to present position papers and reports relating to the commercialisation of science and the impacts of government science policy;
  3. be able to scope strategic solutions for optimal outcomes in science projects or in science policy areas.

To develop their understanding in this area, students will pursue topics and projects on the role of the public sector in science commercialisation and policy and examples from the private sector of new products, processes or industries that have risen in recent decades from major scientific advances.


Module 1: Science, Innovation and R&D * The nature of scientific progress; quantal leaps and punctuated equilibria; research & development: transition from fundamental science to applied science and prototypes; protecting innovation with intellectual property; patent and innovation indicators.

Module 2: New Industries - from Lab to Market * New Industries - case studies of the basic science to industry transition: selected from examples such as GMOs; IVF; DNA profiling; nanotechnology; fibre optics; nuclear power; The industry cycle - development, growth, maturation, senescence

Module 3: Exploiting new Science: Venture Capital, Start-ups and Science Project Management * Strategies for commercialising Science: starting new businesses or going with old ones; entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial culture; introduction to financial concepts, capital management issues in commercialisation; producing a business plan for a start-up company.

Module 4: Government Policy: Science Policy, Funding and Regulation * Australian science and innovation system; Government science policy and regulation: political and economic drivers; the role of the university sector in innovation and commercialising science; public sector research agencies; funding R& D: business and government expenditure on research and development; government supported business programmes: the role of government support in funding early stage development and commercialisation; evaluating outcomes and benchmarking of government inputs; cost-benefit analyses

Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge No prior knowledge in specific scientific disciplines is assumed. Students will acquire the knowledge to complete this course through the readings and assessment tasks provided.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
External Mode
Flexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Teaching Methods Email Discussion Group
Self Directed Learning
Student Projects
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment on science policy.
  • Projects - Major reading/library research project on a new science-derived industry.
  • Reports - Proposal for a science commercialisation business opportunity.
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: By Enrolment: Only available to students enrolled in Master of Science Management or Grad. Cert. of Science Management programme.
Course Materials
  • No Materials
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for BIOL6001

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