Lab researchers at work in the hybrid theatre located in the Charles Perkins Centre

How R&D with a uni can give your company more bang for its buck

1 December 2021
Learn how you can work with us and leverage your R&D budget
Companies are often unaware of the funding opportunities and support available to them via government, the University of Sydney and other bodies that exist to specifically stimulate industry–university partnerships.

When you think of industry collaborating with world-leading university researchers to develop game-changing new technologies, you might think only of large multinationals with bottomless R&D budgets.

In fact, a whole range of funding opportunities and tax incentives are available specifically to support smaller firms to partner with university researchers to give their own business a competitive edge while advancing their industry and Australia’s reputation for investing in cutting-edge research and development.

Leveraging your R&D budget

Nicholas McKay, Manager of Research Enterprise at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health, says smaller firms are often unaware of the opportunities and supports available to them.

Smaller businesses and start-ups are so busy they don’t necessarily realise there are opportunities out there to partner with expert researchers in their field – and they don’t require forking out money they don’t yet have.
Nicholas McKay, Manager, Research Enterprise, Faculty of Medicine and Health

Financial and other support available

“There are numerous mechanisms available to leverage your R&D outlay to recoup costs or enhance your research collaboration," says McKay.

"These include government-supported initiatives such as the federal government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive as well as grant funding, which can help you to further your research, bring your product or service to market sooner or enhance your existing product or service."


R&D grant cheat sheet

Think your SME or start-up can’t afford to partner with Medicine and Health researchers to develop innovative offerings? Think again. Here’s a list of key R&D grants and incentives you can leverage for maximum impact.

The federal government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive provides tax offsets – refundable for eligible companies with turnovers under $20 million – which help greatly with cash flow, particularly for start-ups that are not yet generating revenue.

And partnering with us of course gives you access to world-leading experts, state-of-the-art facilities, multidisciplinary research hubs and our extensive global network of government, non-government, industry and community organisations and individuals – all of which facilitates scientifically credible research that’s more likely to attract further funding and, ultimately, commercial interest.

Medicine, health and beyond

The Faculty of Medicine and Health encompasses medicine, dentistry, nursing and midwifery, pharmacy, allied health, and public health, and participates in multidisciplinary research with experts in engineering, architecture and beyond.

Heat and health researchers wokring in our purpose-built climate chamber.

Heat and health researchers in our purpose-built climate chamber.

It comprises almost 10,000 staff and partners with all the major Sydney health districts, giving it exposure to around 3 million people within the Greater Sydney region alone in addition to its regional, national and international networks and partnerships.

Opportunities to partner with us can be tailored to meet your company’s objectives, and include lab-based R&D, consultancies and tenders, sharing of expertise, facilities and infrastructure, linking with our networks and access to clinical trials with our healthcare partners.

The faculty is involved in so much more than purely medicine and health. Our work is all-pervasive – it relates to every aspect of life and the economy.
Nicholas McKay, Manager, Research Enterprise, Faculty of Medicine and Health

“We’re working on safety with respect to critical incidents such as bushfires; prevention of injury in sporting activities; enhancement of sporting performance; public health in underprivileged communities; urban design to enhance liveability and quality of life; economic impacts of ill health; and improving mental health and resilience in young people, to name just a few areas.”

Where to start

McKay and his specialist team can support you to navigate the University system, refine the type of collaboration that will best meet your needs, and connect you with the right people.

They can also guide you on project budgets, funding opportunities and application processes, eligibility, compliance, ethics requirements, strategic and peer review, submission processes and engagement with University resources.

"If you’ve ever considered working with university-based researchers, get in touch. There are so many opportunities to do so."

Collaborate with our researchers

By combining our research expertise with your industry or business knowledge, we can work closely together to create innovative solutions with real-world impact. Contact us to find out more.

Related news