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The University of Queensland has become the first Australian institution to be invited to join an exclusive international organisation focused on driving partnerships between universities and industry.

It’s one of only a select number of universities outside of the US to join the membership-based University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) this year.

The organisation currently boasts more than 130 member companies and universities.

UIDP President Dr Anthony Boccanfuso said that until recently, UIDP’s membership consisted only of US-based companies and universities.

“UIDP recognises that our members have a global focus, and we need to benchmark what is being done in other parts of the world.  UQ was considered the best university in Australia to benchmark against,” Dr Boccanfuso said.

UQ’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Ward said engaging with UIDP and its members would provide new perspectives to industry collaboration.

“UIDP membership presents a great opportunity for UQ to engage with our counterparts in universities and industry and to explore new approaches to fostering our partnerships,” she said.

“It also gives us the opportunity to showcase UQ’s initiatives that recognise university-industry collaboration, including the UQ Partners in Research Excellence Awards.”

Under the terms of UIDP membership, universities are required to nominate an industry partner.

Cook Medical Australia, a privately owned medical device manufacturer, will join UIDP as UQ’s industry partner.

Director for Cook Medical Asia Pacific Mr Barry Thomas said the membership would strengthen existing relationships and facilitate new connections.

“Our objectives through this membership are to explore new opportunities to engage with UQ and to generate relationships with other UIDP universities across the Asia Pacific,” Mr Thomas said.

The membership will be managed on behalf of UQ by UniQuest, UQ’s main commercialisation company.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said UQ’s involvement with UIDP was a welcome opportunity.

“UQ has a strong track record in engaging with companies and building productive, progressive relationships with industry,” he said.

“Given the current focus on university-industry collaboration, prompted by the National Innovation and Science Agenda, this partnership will give us access to an invaluable forum for sharing best practice in industry engagement and for finding new ways to bring UQ’s exciting discoveries and technologies to the world.”