UQ encourages the next generation of entrepreneurial scientists

23 Sep 2022
The University of Queensland has launched a new PhD scholarship program to develop the next generation of entrepreneurial and industry-ready scientists.
AIBN PhD student and entrepreneurial scholar Michaela George
AIBN PhD student and entrepreneurial scholar Michaela George
The UQ Entrepreneurial PhD Top-Up Scholarship, run by the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) in partnership with UQ’s Liveris Academy, is an industry collaboration designed to help turn scientific ideas into commercial products.
AIBN Director Professor Alan Rowan said the program builds on the strong track record the Institute has with industry.
“AIBN is already a sought-after industry partner because we understand how to overcome barriers and turn a scientific idea into a commercially viable product,” said Professor Rowan.
“We’re now revamping the traditional PhD student model to focus on the needs of industry and upskill our best and brightest students.
“Our future scientists will better understand how industry works and how to translate their ideas and research into real-world solutions.”
Brisbane-based GMG has an existing relationship with AIBN in the form of a research agreement to manufacture faster-charging and more sustainable batteries.
GMG CEO Craig Nicol said initiatives such as the UQ Entrepreneurial PhD Top-up Scholarship were crucial.
“We already work with UQ on the deep technology we use in our products to help us get these products to market,” Mr Nicol said.
“Partnering with AIBN on this program means we can also now work closely with the next generation of scientists, to push the boundaries of what’s possible.” 
Herston Biofabrication Institute clinical director Dr Michael Wagels said the program bridges the divide that can exist between entrepreneurship and commercialisation.
“We’re keen to support Research Higher Degree students who are working on healthcare- themed projects, particularly those investigating medical devices,” Dr Wagels said.
“It’s an area where entrepreneurship and commercialisation are increasingly important, but poorly understood by the health care sector.”
AIBN PhD student Michaela George is among the first cohort of recipients and said she’s using the opportunity to hone her entrepreneurial thinking.
“This scholarship is giving me more options for the future and working directly with industry means I’ll be starting my career with a network of contacts and direct industry experience,” Ms George said.
“I’ll definitely be better prepared for wherever my career takes me.”
Would you like to support our UQ Entrepreneurial PhD Top-Up Scholarship program? Our industry partners can build their business by connecting with a talent pipeline of high-performing and job-ready future employees and hosting them for internships and placements.