By Jevgeni Peltola, MD, Medigo Australia

 

It’s a terrible shame that a great number of the Australian hard working inventors have to give away their inventions for free to see them come to life, or even worse – give them up entirely.

Australia was recently ranked the 17th best country in the world for innovation, but the level of collaboration between businesses, universities and other non-commercial research institutions continues to be the lowest in the OECD (while Finland is number one).

I had the pleasure of attending “Meditech: 2016 to 2025 and Beyond,” an event organized by the Warren Centre at the University of Sydney. The conference held a full house of students eager to change the world. Unfortunately, two hours were not enough to fully envision the Meditech of 2025, and the panel rightfully was mainly focused on the challenges of today.

Below are a couple of highlights:

  • Not surprisingly, most of the questions to the panellists were about commercialisation. It seemed that young inventors in the auditorium had a poor understanding about what to do with their inventions.
  • Every day, Australian entrepreneurs have to compete with companies like Uber, Coca-Cola and BMW. Australia has less than 0.5 percent of the world’s population. It’s a fairly small market, which is why Australian inventors have to think globally from day one.
  • It is impossible to learn to ride a bicycle by reading about it. To get better at doing business, Australian students need to do business.
  • People make business. Human and social capital has to be increased by connecting researchers with students from different disciplines.
  • To create a global product, you will need help from the best investors and you will often need foreign funding. For them to get to know you, you’ll have to get on a plane.
  • Your idea is most likely not unique. Develop it faster by collaborating with others.

Innovation is a team sport.