2014 survey instructions

Overview

Thank you for participating in the National Survey of Research Commercialisation (NSRC) to collect 2014 research engagement and commercialisation data.  Please read these instructions and definitions carefully before completing the survey. The specific instructions and definitions for each question will be available through a hyper link from the question in the survey. If you have any questions, please contact the survey manager by emailing nsrc@industry.gov.au.

Purpose of the survey

The NSRC is a national survey on the research engagement and commercialisation activities of publicly funded research organisations (PFROs) in Australia. The NSRC is the primary source of information on the publicly funded research sector’s efforts to collaborate with industry to transfer knowledge and commercialise research. It provides information that is useful for policy, planning and benchmarking (such as between institutions, cohorts, regions and internationally).

Universities, medical research institutes, publicly funded research agencies and other select PFROs are invited to participate in the survey. Participation in the NSRC is voluntary. Your time and effort to provide accurate data to the survey is valued as this contributes to a robust and reliable data set that benefits all stakeholders. Accurate data will also correctly represent your own organisation’s comparative performance.

What’s new?

Following the 2014/15 NSRC Review, a number of changes have been implemented for the 2014 collection. This includes:

  • a significant reduction in the number of questions over earlier surveys;
  • new supplementary questions and optional case studies;
  • an annual data collection cycle; and
  • new survey tools such as a web-based instrument and refined instructions.

Further details on these changes are in the review report.

NSRC Data Collection

NSRC survey data will be collated with data from a wide range of research-system-relevant data collections on engagement, collaboration, commercialisation and impact. Initially this will include data from IP Australia’s National Patent Analytics Hub, the ANZ Clinical Trials Registry and bibliometric data collections.

Patents Data

An agreement with IP Australia is in place to source data and metrics on patents and plant breeders’ rights, previously collected through the NSRC, from IP Australia’s Analytics Hub. This information will be reported as part of the broader NSRC data collection. 

Start-up Company Data

The department collected 2014 start-up company data from existing survey participants through a separate spreadsheet required by IP Australia to provide patents data. This start-up company data will be sent to respondents for finalisation as part of the NSRC survey process – instructions on what is required will be outlined in the accompanying email. Data on start-up companies will be reported as part of the NSRC data collection. Participants that are new to the NSRC in 2015 will not be required to provide start-up company data for 2014.

General Instructions

The NSRC will be open from 18 September to 30 October to collect 2014 data. A link to the live Survey Monkey instrument will be emailed to all respondents with a PDF version of the survey together with the instructions and definitions. A link to the survey and a copy of the instructions and survey questions will also be posted on www.industry.gov.au/nsrc.  

Survey population

The target population for the NSRC consists of research organisations with the following characteristics:

  • undertakes research (rather than commissioning it from other organisations such as Cooperative Research Centres and most Rural R&D Corporations);
  • receives public funding for research (this excludes research service providers that are funded entirely through contracts with research users);
  • is not-for-profit (this excludes businesses that receive public funding through the R&D Tax Incentive); and
  • has an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) (this excludes sub-units within universities).

Given the above parameters, the target population primarily consists of universities, medical research institutes (MRIs) and major publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs).

CRCs and RDCs are an important part of Australia’s publicly funded research system. Information on the performance of CRCs will be sourced separately from the CRC Management Data Questionnaire and reported as part of the broader NSRC data collection. If you are a participant in a CRC, unless otherwise specified, do not include CRC activity in your survey data. Performance information on RDCs is being negotiated for possible inclusion in the NSRC data collection in future years.

Industry Definition

For the purposes of this survey, the term ‘industry’ is defined as a party external to your organisation listed in the Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classifications that is not a research organisation.

Confidentiality

Handling of NSRC data will comply with the Privacy Act 1998. Responses to the survey will be published on the Department of Industry and Science website and disclosed at an institutional level as part of a raw dataset as well as collated and aggregated into various reports.

Reporting period

Data provided to the survey should be for the 2014 calendar year. If your organisation operates on a financial reporting basis please calculate data so it correlates with the relevant calendar year.

Data Entry

Zero/No data differentiation: If you have no data or do not wish to answer a question please input N for ‘no data’. Do not input 0 (zero) as this is a valid data field.

Fractional Reporting: Where your organisation is a joint owner of a Licence, Option or Assignment (LOA), please report accordingly, to the second decimal point. For example, if your organisation has a quarter-share in a LOA, then report your organisation’s share of the LOA as 0.25.

Currency: Please report all financial values in numerical value format ($xxx,xxx,xxx) using Australian dollars.

Supplementary Questions

The NSRC now includes a supplementary section where qualitative data or data on particular policy or survey development issues will be collected. Questions in the supplementary section may not be fixed features of the NSRC.

In 2014, the majority of supplementary questions will collect qualitative data on industry engagement. With the exception of the optional case studies, all supplementary questions should be answered.

Survey Collection

The survey is live from 18 September to 30 October 2015. Please ensure you complete and submit your survey return by the end date. Under some circumstances, extensions may be granted on request – please email the survey manager at nsrc@industry.gov.au.

Data Verification

Survey returns must be verified by a senior official in the organisation who can certify the accuracy of data.  A senior official includes a chief operating officer, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, vice chancellor or deputy vice chancellor or their delegate. The data verification requirement is on the final page of the survey.

Publishing

Data collected from this survey will be published as part of the broader NSRC data collection on the department’s website and on data.gov.au. Data will be published at institution level and in an aggregated format in different data sets including the NSRC time series collection.

Technical Notes on Survey Monkey

  • The survey is compatible with most web browsers and devices including mobile devices that have internet connectivity.
  • The survey can be completed by two methods – using the web link (emailed to all participants and available on the department’s website) or by using an email invitation collector method. If you conduct the survey via the web link, one person will need to coordinate and input data into the survey instrument. If you prefer to send the survey to other parties to input data the email invitation collector method supports this. Please email the survey manager at nsrc@industry.gov.au and an email invitation collector link will be sent to you. A PDF version of the survey will be provide via email and at www.industry.gov.au/NSRC to assist in either approach.
  • JavaScript and cookies must be enabled in your browser for the survey to work. If you are experiencing technical issues (such as accessing the survey link) please clear your browsing history, cookies, and cache and then visit the site again. This will solve most common technical issues. However please note if you are completing the survey via the web link, clearing the cache and cookies may result in a loss of data so you may wish to record data offline beforehand.
  • If you are having trouble accessing or loading the site you may need to add the web address (surveymonkey.com) to your whitelist so the site is not blocked by your firewall. More information is available at: http://help.surveymonkey.com/articles/en_US/kb/What-are-the-IP-addresses-to-your-website-for-our-firewall-configurations. 
  • You can access the survey multiple times so if you cannot finish the survey in one session, you can return to it later as long as you have saved the last page you were on before closing. To return to the survey reopen the survey link.
  • Questions marked with an asterisk (*) require an answer and you cannot move on to the next page until these questions are answered.
  • To navigate through the survey, please use the following features:
  • Next and Save button >> to save and continue to the next page, responses are automatically saved;
  • Previous >> button to return to the previous page to make any required changes;
  • Exit the Survey >> to exit the survey, content will be saved and you can come back to continue at a later time;
  • Submit >> button to submit the survey once you have finalised and verified data and have no further changes to your survey return.
  • You should not use your web browser’s navigation buttons (i.e. back and forward) to move through the survey because these features will not change or save your responses.
  • Once you click the “Submit” button, your responses will be submitted and the survey can no longer be edited through Survey Monkey. Any request for changes to data after this time can be made by email to the survey manager at nsrc@industry.gov.au. The survey manager may contact you to review and update data following verification checks.
  • You will not receive a copy of your survey response automatically after you submit your return. If you would like a copy of your response please ensure you have provided an email address on the last page of the survey.
  • If you have any other technical questions, please visit the Survey Monkey Help Centre or email nsrc@industry.gov.au.

Instructions and Definitions

Notes on survey questions are provided in this section to clarify data requirements and help with data accuracy. If you are still unsure about the survey questions after reading this document please contact the survey manager at nsrc@industry.gov.au for assistance. 

Preliminaries

This section requires administrative data relevant to your organisation and survey return including name of institution, ABN or ACN and contact information.

Question 1 – What was your institution’s total research expenditure?

Research is defined as creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

For the calculation of research expenditure in calendar year 2014, respondents may refer to Research and Development (R&D) expenditure as reported to the 2014 ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia; the 2013-14 ABS Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia; and/or the 2014-15 ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non Profit Organisations, Australia.

Report the total expenditure for research performed by your institution in 2014 regardless of the funding source. However, R&D funded by your organisation but performed wholly by another party on your behalf should be excluded. If your institution participates in a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) include research expenditure related to your institution’s role as a CRC participant.

Question 2 – How many dedicated Full Time Equivalent (FTE) research commercialisation staff were employed in, or engaged by your institution?

Dedicated research commercialisation staff are person(s) employed in your organisation in either full or fractional Full Time Equivalent (FTE) allocation whose duties are specifically involved with research commercialisation activities, such as:

  • licensing and patenting processes;
  • licensee solicitation;
  • technology valuation;
  • start-up activity efforts;
  • licence agreement drafting and negotiation in support of commercialisation;
  • marketing issues in a commercialisation context; such as marketing of technology in support of commercialisation; and
  • initiating, negotiating and managing contracts and consultancies or organising community information sessions.

Question 3 – What was the total budget cost for dedicated research commercialisation staff for your institution as reported in Question 2?

Using the definition above for dedicated research commercialisation staff, include the direct and indirect salary and related costs of:

  • wages;
  • on-costs (including tax, superannuation, leave accruals and all allowances); and
  • administration and infrastructure (including travel, building, office and consumables).

Question 4 – What was the cost of fees and legal costs your institution spent to secure or defend statutory protection of intellectual property rights?

Report the Fees and Legal Costs spent by your institution to protect patents, plant breeder rights, copyright, trademarks, maintaining patents filed in prior years and/or registered designs. Include all fees and costs associated with patent applications and securing background IP. Legal fees may include patent and copyright prosecution including patent searches, maintenance, and interference costs as well as minor litigation expenses that are included in everyday office expenditures.  Exclude direct payment of any of the above costs by licensees.

Question 5 – How many invention disclosures did your institution receive?

Please record the number of invention disclosures your institution received in 2014. 

An invention disclosure is a document written by a researcher describing their invention for use to determine whether patent protection should be sought for the described invention.

Question 6 – How many Material Transfer Agreements did your institution enter into where your institution provided the materials?

A Material Transfer Agreement is an agreement outlining conditions under which material is provided from the owner to another entity for a specific use. This question only applies to material transfer agreements (MTA) in which the institution is providing its "materials" to an external business user, and does not apply for agreements where the institution is the recipient of materials. Exclude implicit or explicit material transfer agreement rights granted under licence or under terms of a research contract.

Note: This question only applies to MTAs in which the institution is providing its "materials" to an external business user, and does not apply for agreements where the institution is the recipient of materials.

Licences Options and Assignments (LOAs)

A licence agreement formalises the transfer of technology between two parties, where the owner of the technology (licensor) grants rights to the other party (licensee).

An option agreement grants the potential licensee a time period during which it may evaluate the technology and negotiate the terms of a licence agreement. An option agreement is not constituted by an option clause in a research agreement that grants rights to future inventions, until an actual invention has occurred that is subject to that option.

An assignment agreement conveys all right, title and interest in and to the licensed subject matter to the named assignee.

Only report on LOAs negotiated on full commercial terms, granting access to institutional intellectual property (patented or otherwise) in return for royalties or licence fees.

Question 7 – How many LOAs did your institution execute?

Count the number of LOAs that were executed in 2014 for all technologies. Each agreement, exclusive or non-exclusive, should be counted separately. Include:

  • LOAs generated as a result of competitive research grant projects (e.g. Australian Research Council Linkage Grants and National Health & Medical Research Council Development Grants), including where LOAs are provided to industry participants;
  • Multiple individual licences for the same software product worth $1,000 or more (per package) must be counted as a single technology licence.  This applies irrespective of whether the product is patent protected or not; and
  • Licences and assignments to other research institutions, including those provided as inputs to CRCs.

Exclude:

  • MTAs, including the provision of biological material (this is captured in Question 9);
  • Licences granted in research contracts to an institution (and thereby an institution’s researchers) enabling researchers the freedom to operate for the purposes of teaching and undertaking further research for the project identified in the research contract;
  • Provision for the use of institutional background intellectual property within a licensing agreement should not be separately counted;
  • LOAs generated as a result of work completed by CRC, that is as CRC outputs (this information will be obtained separately through the CRC Programme); and
  • LOAs for individual (personal) use software licences.

Question 8 – How many active LOAs did your institution hold?

Active LOAs are 'legally enforceable' licences and options that earned income in the reporting year, or which are contracted to provide income in future years and for which there is a reasonable expectation that income will be paid. You may also include LOAs where there is no financial consideration associated but there is a continuing relationship between parties.

Question 9 – How many active LOAs yielded income?

This question refers to LOAs identified in Question 8. Record the relevant number of LOAs.

LOA income includes the gross amount (before deduction of service fees, if any) of: licence issue fees; payments under options; annual minimums; running royalties; termination payments; the amount of equity received when cashed-in; and software end-user licence; but not research funding; patent expense reimbursement; a valuation of equity not cashed-in; software and biological material end-user licence fees; or trademark licensing royalties from university insignia. LOA income also does not include income received in support of the cost to make and transfer materials under Material Transfer Agreements.

You should also include:

  • Equity as ownership interest (e.g. stock and rights to receiving stock) in a start-up company which was dependent upon the licensing of IP or the bestowing of tacit knowledge from your institution or its commercialisation company in order to become operational;
  • Running Royalties: Royalties earned on the sale of products. Excluded from this number are licence issue fees, payments under options, termination payments, and the amount of annual minimums not supported by sales;
  • Cashed-In Equity: This includes the amount received from cashing in equity holdings, resulting in a cash transfer to the institution (or its commercialisation company). The amount reported should be reduced by the cost basis, if any, on which the equity was acquired. Excluded from this amount is any type of analysis or process whereby a value for the equity holdings is determined but a cash transaction does not take place through the sale of these holdings; and
  • Other: Any remaining types of LOA income not covered by running royalties or cashed-in equity. LOA income also does not include income received in support of the cost to make and transfer materials under Material Transfer Agreements.

Question 10 – What was the total income received from your active LOAs

Refer to Question 9 for the definition of LOA income.

Question 11 – How much of the income reported in Question 10 was paid to other institutions or commercial entities?

Include cash amounts paid to other institutions under inter-institutional agreements. Exclude fees for background IP and expert advice, and in-kind payments.

Question 12 – What was the value of all research commercialisation equity holdings at 31 December 2014?

This question asks for the value of current equity holdings at the end of the reporting period. It is not intended to capture the proceeds of capital investments in companies, or general investments in the share market.

Equity is ownership interest (e.g. stock and rights to receiving stock) in a start-up company which was dependent upon the licensing of IP or the bestowing of tacit knowledge from your institution or its commercialisation company in order to become operational.

Equity in companies spun out of CRCs as separate entities that required no direct funding from the CRC Programme may be included.  Similarly, equity in organisations that were Commonwealth funded CRCs but have exited the programme and where a market value for the organisation has been established can be counted.

Valuations must be independently determined based upon a market assigned valuation of the organisation or must be derived in a manner that is consistent with the application of the International Financial Reporting Standards. The following guidelines may assist:

  • value of all equity holdings refers to equity that is related to the licensing/intellectual property assignment activity of the institution;
  • if your institution holds equity in a publicly-traded/listed company, use the market price of your institution’s holdings on the closing day of the period for which you are reporting; and
  • if your institution held equity in a private company, use the price established in the most recent transaction as the fair market price. For example, if you formed a company with an investor in 2011 and they put in $3 million for 60% of the company and there have been no more investments since, then your value for both years (2012-13) will be $2 million (i.e. the institution’s 40% share value). If there have been no transactions, treat value as zero.

Question 13 – How many Consultancies, Contracts, Collaborations and Direct Sales transactions did your institution enter into?

See definition for Research in Question 1.

  • Consultancy is the provision of expert advice to clients external to your organisation based on your institution’s existing research knowledge, skills and capabilities.
  • Research contract is an agreement to undertake research on behalf of clients external to your organisation.
  • Research collaboration is a structured research project that involves researchers from your organisation and one or more industry partners where all parties work together toward a common goal by sharing resources, knowledge, learning and building consensus.

Consultancies, contracts and collaborations may include work with partners in grant-funded research such as competitive research grant projects (e.g. Australian Research Council Linkage Grants and National Health & Medical Research Council Development Grants). Do not include contracts or agreements with the granting agency itself. Include consultancies, contracts and collaborations executed in the reporting year.

If your organisation cannot disaggregate contract and collaborative research data, please provide a combined figure under either the collaborative or contract income fields and provide a handling note in the additional information section of the survey. 

Direct Sales are sales by your institution of physical products generated by your institution which embody technology-based IP (as opposed to the provision of research or expertise).

Direct Sales do not include:

  • earnings from Material Transfer Agreements already mentioned in Question 6;
  • earnings from software sales already mentioned in Question 9;
  • sales of products able to be bought through retail outlets; and
  • direct sales of goods which embody non-technology based IP (e.g. university press books and audio-visual products).

Question 14 – What was the total gross contracted value of Consultancies, Contracts, Collaborations and Direct Sales your institution entered into?

Report the gross contract value of consultancies, contracts, collaborations and direct sales reported in Question 13.

Gross Contract Value is the full contracted value of the work, regardless of whether any or all payments were made in the reporting year. Where the contract is not for a fixed price but for services at a capped rate, count the capped value of the contract. Include only cash values and exclude in-kind contributions.

If your organisation cannot disaggregate contract and collaborative research income data, please provide a combined figure under either the collaborative or contract income fields and provide a handling note in the additional information section of the survey. 

Question 15 – Does your organisation offer researchers or research students training in industry skills?

Industry skills prepare researchers and research students for jobs in industry after they have graduated. Training may take the form of short or long courses and skills may include but not be limited to entrepreneurship, commercialisation, business management, communication and teamwork. Delivery methods may include face to face, online, mixed mode, and industry placements.

Question 16 – How many participants completed training as described in Question 15?

Report the number of individuals that have undertaken industry skills training as reported in Question 15.

Question S1 – Rank the following knowledge transfer channels by order of priority

Rank the listed knowledge transfer channels by order of priority for your organisation. You may provide additional information about your ranking in the text field.

Please pick the options that are N/A to your organisation first then drag and drop the applicable options in order of preference, with your first choice in the top position, your second preference in the second position and so forth.

Definitions of knowledge transfer terms include:

  • Networking events refers to organised opportunities and occasions between research and industry individuals and/or organisations that support professional relationships that include exchanging and sharing values, visions, ideas, knowledge, technology or resources.
  • Professional development is defined as the means by which industry employees maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives, usually through a range of short and long training programmes, some of which have an option of accreditation. This includes award and non-award courses.
  • Consultancy is the provision of expert advice to clients external to your organisation based on your institution’s existing research knowledge, skills and capabilities.
  • Research collaboration is a structured research project that involves researchers from your organisation and one or more industry partners where all parties work together toward a common goal by sharing resources, knowledge, learning and building consensus.
  • Research contract is an agreement to undertake research on behalf of clients external to your organisation.
  • Licensing includes activities and agreements that allow the transfer of technology between two parties, where the owner of the technology (licensor) permits the other party (licensee) to share the rights to use the technology, without fear of a claim of intellectual property infringement brought by the licensor. This includes activities that on patenting and other forms of formal IP.
  • Company creation is the creation of spin-off and start-up companies. Spin-offs are defined as companies set up to exploit IP that has originated from within the research organisation. Start-ups are defined as newly-formed companies that are in a phase of development and research for markets.

Question S2 – Does your research organisation have the following structured systems to support engagement with industry partners?

You should tick as many as apply at the institution level. A text box is provided for additional information including web links to your strategic plan and other systems.

Systems that support engagement with industry partners include:

  • A single enquiry point for industry. This may include dedicated phone, email, web portal or personnel;
  • Business development personnel. This refers to staff dedicated to building relationships and developing/ managing research projects with industry;
  • Information and/or communication material that promote, inform and foster research industry engagement;
  • A strategic plan. Only report public documents that set priorities and goals, and guides how your research function engages with industry;
  • Regular networking events that connect researchers with industry partners; and
  • Dedicated administrative systems that support research industry engagement. This may include dedicated contracting, finance and reporting systems.

Question S3 - Do you have available data on professional development in your information systems?

Indicate if income data derived from professional development is available and provide details in the text field. Please refer to Question S1 for the definition of professional development.

Question S4 - Do you have available data on networking/events in your information systems?

Indicate if you have data available on networking events and provide details in the text field. Please refer to Question S1 for the definition of networking events.

Question S5 - Does your organisation provide incentives for researchers to engage with industry?

Incentives may include but not be limited to career progression, professional opportunities, performance pay, prizes and awards. Please indicate if your organisation provides incentives for researchers to engage with industry and provide details in the text field.

Question S6 - Are staff as individuals rewarded by the organisation, financially or by other means, for the intellectual property that they generate?

Other means may include increases in departmental research budget, awards and prizes, career progression or professional opportunities.

Please indicate if your organisation provides rewards to individuals for the intellectual property they generate and provide details in the text field.

Question S7 - Do you have industry representation on your research governance structures?

If you have industry representatives as part of any research governance arrangements please note the name of the committee or board, key roles and responsibilities, and the industry sector that is represented and the tenure of the position.  

Question S8 – List up to five products, processes or services originating in your organisation that have had the greatest impact on society, however you measure that impact

Please include the name of the product, process or service; the relevant industry sector or partner; what the product, process or service does; the main impact; and a web link. Respondents may include up to five examples in no particular order and use discretion as to how they measure impact. Only include products, processes or services originating from your organisation that reached maturity in the last 5 years. You may provide additional information on these examples in the text box provided or link to a case study.

Question S9 - How many patents were filed solely in the name of an industry partner that included a researcher from your organisation?

Please estimate the number of patents filed by industry partners that list a researcher from your organisation as contributing to that patent. The industry partner should be external to your organisation and the researcher must have been affiliated with your organisation at the time of filing. Do not report patents filed by start-up or spin-off companies that you have a legal or financial interest in.

Optional Case Studies

Case studies are optional and may be focused thematically. For 2015, you are invited to provide up to three case studies on successful industry focused research initiatives. You may link case studies to information provided under Question 15 or Question S8. 

Please forward your case studies to nsrc@industry.gov.au and include contact officer details.

Case studies should be kept to a maximum of two pages and include the following information:

  • Case study title;
  • Significant milestone/s;
  • Description of initiatives and benefits including the industry partners involved and type of industry engagement;
  • Outcomes for your organisation, researchers, students and industry partners;
  • Funding sources, relevant discipline or sector;
  • Web link to further information;
  • Relevant photos or illustrations ;

Case studies may be published by the department as companion data to the NSRC data set, and in other departmental reports and material.

Additional Information

This section provides the opportunity for you to:

  • advise us on how long it took your organisation to complete the survey;
  • provide details on any questions you found problematic and any improvements you would like to suggest; and
  • provide additional notes on your data.

Verification and Finalisation

At this stage, you are still able to move back through the survey by clicking on the ‘prev’ button to ensure that you have no further changes to make.

Please do a final check that you have completed questions 1 – 16 of the survey including the supplementary questions. If you are providing case studies please email your information to nsrc@industry.gov.au.

Survey returns must be verified by a senior official in the organisation who can certify the accuracy of data.  A senior official includes a chief operating officer, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, vice chancellor or deputy vice chancellor or their delegate. The verification requirement is on the final page of the survey.

Please indicate if you require a copy of your submitted survey return by providing an email address

Once you have completed and verified the survey, press the submit button to conclude your survey.  Please note that once you have submitted your survey, it can no longer be edited through Survey Monkey. Any request for amendments to data will need to be made by email to the survey manager at nsrc@industry.gov.au.  

Thank you for participating in the National Survey of Research Commercialisation.

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