Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has praised the
University of Otago for changing its promotion policy to make
it easier for staff involved in entrepreneurial research to
move up the ranks.
Research and enterprise deputy vice-chancellor Prof Richard
Blaikie said it was hoped the new policy would encourage more
academics to carry out commercially successful research,
providing a boost in revenue for both the university and the
''This will benefit local and national businesses, including
new start-up businesses formed out of university research
teams, with revenue flowing back to the university over
time,'' he said.
However, Prof Blaikie did not expect the new promotion policy
to have an immediate impact.
''The timeframes for getting significant revenue streams to
flow back to the university from early-stage
commercialisation activities can be long - 10 years or more
in some cases.''
Mr Joyce said the policy was ''great to see''.
''Commercialisation is mutually beneficial for both
academics and businesses - to academics in terms of ensuring
that their research results in real-world solutions, and for
businesses to help them grow and be more competitive in an
increasingly competitive global environment.
''While commercialisation won't be applicable to all academic
positions, it's important that institutions look at where
they can incorporate it to foster and grow stronger links
with businesses,'' Mr Joyce said.
Prof Blaikie said the policy made it easer for staff to
include commercialisation activities alongside other
performance indicators, such as how many articles they had
published, when applying for a promotion.
''So, for example, when a patent is granted for a product or
process that has arisen from university research, the policy
outlines ways in which the inventor can include this for
consideration in promotion activities,'' he said.
Asked if the policy would disadvantage staff who were not
involved in commercial research Prof Blaikie said: ''The
changes will not affect the value that the university places
on other forms of research dissemination, including the
publication of books, peer-reviewed journal articles, policy
papers, theatrical performance or new music composition.''
Alongside the change the university was also updating its
academic titles guidelines to better reflect the commercial
activities staff are involved in.