Transforming science into economic growth

James Cook University is set to transform research discoveries and ideas into new businesses that will drive economic growth for northern Queensland.

A new program called Sandpit to Seed (S2S) will provide targeted support to JCU staff looking to become the next generation of Queensland innovators.

Dr Seth Jones from JCU Connect says the new program is dedicated to provide previously untapped funds to bridge the gap between traditional sources of research and development funding from commercial partners and investors.

“S2S is about boosting the entrepreneurial skills of JCU staff and students and nurturing their commercial aspirations,” he said.

The program will provide funding to enable JCU staff and students to build partnerships, establish connections, and develop prototypes of new inventions in order to improve commercialisation outcomes.

“We want more staff and students with disruptive new ideas working alongside businesses and community to solve commercial and social challenges,” he said. “Through JCU Connect, S2S will support applicants to secure further funding or investment and see these ideas come to life.”

S2S will support proposals that have been presented to the newly-established Commercialisation Advisory Group (CAG) which aims to provide recommendations to JCU on advancing research and supporting impact opportunities.

The first CAG consists of innovation and business leaders including Colin Ryan, Partner, PVW Partners; Jan Bingley, Principal UCX Consulting, Board Member Alertness CRC; Allison McKay, Executive Assistant working with CEO and BDM with Pickerings Group of Companies in Townsville; Goslik Schepers, Investment Manager, Brandon Capital Partners; Rachel Sciascia, Partner at Gadens; and Deb Verhoeven a leading scholar in the emerging field of gender and cultural informatics.

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