2016 Survey instructions

The information below is also available in the following formats

Overview

Thank you for participating in the National Survey of Research Commercialisation (NSRC) to collect research engagement and commercialisation data for 2016. 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 within the survey questions. If you experience any difficulties, please contact the NSRC team 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. It is the primary source of information on the publicly funded research sector’s efforts to collaborate with industry to transfer knowledge and commercialise research. The NSRC provides information that is useful for policy, planning and benchmarking (such as between institutions, cohorts, regions and internationally).

Universities, medical research institutes (MRIs) and other select publicly funded research organisations (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 appreciated as this contributes to a robust and reliable data set that benefits all stakeholders. Accurate data will also correctly represent your institution’s comparative performance.

Survey population

The target population for the NSRC primarily consists of research organisations which:

  • undertake their own research rather than commissioning it from other organisations
  • receive public funding for research (this excludes research service providers that are funded entirely through contracts with research users)
  • are not-for-profit (this excludes businesses that receive public funding through the R&D Tax Incentive)
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) (this excludes sub-units within universities).

Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) are an important part of Australia’s publicly funded research system. Information on CRCs is sourced separately through 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.

General Instructions

Reporting period

Data provided to the survey should be for the 2016 calendar year. If your institution operates on a financial year reporting basis please calculate data so it correlates with the relevant calendar year.

Privacy and Publishing

Privacy Collection Statement

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (the Department) is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) outlined in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) which regulates how entities may collect, use, disclose and store personal information.

The Department will collect from your response to the NSRC your personal information including your name, position in organisation, address, email address and phone number.

Your personal information is being collected by the Department to carry out its functions and purposes including administering the NSRC which will inform future policy development and assist with analysis, research and evaluation of research and commercialisation. We may also use your personal information to contact you about your survey response.

You must notify and have the consent of any third party whose information you provide to the Department in the NSRC (including in any case studies) before doing so and provide the third party with a copy of this privacy notice.

Third party websites and offshore storage

The Department uses SurveyMonkey (a web based survey tool) for the facilitation of the NSRC. By completing the NSRC, your personal information may also be disclosed to SurveyMonkey Inc. (and its subsidiary company, Infinity Box Inc.) and SurveyMonkey Europe UC, overseas third parties. For further information about how SurveyMonkey handles personal information, please refer to their Privacy Policy.

Department’s Privacy Policy

The Department’s Privacy Policy contains information about how you may access the personal information the Department holds about you, and how you may correct any inaccuracies in that information. We will correct your personal information if it is inaccurate (subject to restrictions on such access/alteration of records under the applicable provisions of any law of the Commonwealth).

The privacy policy also includes information as to how you may make a complaint about a breach of the Privacy Act, and how the Department will respond to such a complaint.

If you have an enquiry or request relating to your personal information, please contact:
Privacy Contact Officer
Legal Services Branch
Corporate Network
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
GPO Box 9839
CANBERRA ACT 2601
AUSTRALIA
Email: privacy@industry.gov.au

Consent

By clicking “I Agree” you are indicating your consent to:

  • data being published on the Department’s website in aggregated and unit data format.
  • data being published on data.gov.au.
  • data being used in data visualisations.
  • the collection, use, storage and processing of your personal information as described in the Department’s Privacy Policy and the SurveyMonkey Privacy Policy.

By providing your consent to the disclosure of your personal information to SurveyMonkey (an overseas third party), you acknowledge that Australia Privacy Principle 8.1, contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act will not apply. Rather, the relevant privacy legislation of Europe or the United States will apply. You also acknowledge that:

  • the overseas third parties are not subject to the Privacy Act;
  • the Department will not be liable if SurveyMonkey handles your personal information in a way that breaches the Privacy Act; and
  • you will not be able to seek redress under the Privacy Act.

All personal information collected by the Department will be stored and held in accordance with the Department’s obligations under the Privacy Act and the Archives Act 1983 (Cth). and will only be used and disclosed by the Department for the purposes outlined above, or with your consent, except where authorised or required by law, and under certain circumstances as detailed in the Department’s Privacy Policy.

Survey Collection

The survey is live from 19 September to 31 October 2017. Please ensure you complete and submit your survey return by the end date. If you experience any difficulties, please contact the NSRC team by emailing: nsrc@industry.gov.au.

An email invitation will be sent to all participants. Survey instructions and definitions will be embedded within each survey question in the survey instrument. Additionally, all survey documentation including the instructions and a PDF version of the questions will be posted on www.industry.gov.au/nsrc for your reference. The PDF document should be used as a reference document only, it should not be used to provide your survey response.

Survey Instrument

Email invitation collection method

The NSRC survey will be distributed via SurveyMonkey’s email invitation collection method which will be sent to the primary respondent email address as provided by each institution. This method will allow the email invitation to be forwarded by the primary respondent to multiple parties within their institution to fill in parts of the survey. It will also enable respondents to return to the survey to pick up where they left off and/or edit previous responses until the survey is submitted. All responses submitted are tied to the unique survey link embedded within that email invitation, therefore only one submitted response per institution is possible.

It is important to note that responses are only saved when the respondent clicks the "Save and Next" button on each page. This means that if the respondent exits the survey halfway through the page, all responses on the page will be lost if "Save and Next" button has not been used.

Survey Access

Browsers

SurveyMonkey works on most popular web browsers. JavaScript and cookies need to be enabled in your browser in order for the site and surveys to work properly. If you are experiencing technical issues, please clear your browsing history, cookies, and cache. This often solves most common technical issues. Most browsers have these features configured as default settings, so we recommend use of a SurveyMonkey supported browser including:

  • Chrome 18 and later
  • Firefox 24 and later
  • Safari 7 or later
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer 9 – 11

For the best experience, we recommend downloading the newest version of your preferred browser.

Cookies

Cookies are small text files stored in your browser that websites use to recognize repeat visitors. Most browsers store cookies by default, so they are already enabled for you. If you are experiencing issues using SurveyMonkey, we recommend clearing your cookies and then visiting the site again. Clearing your cookies helps to refresh your browser and can significantly improve its speed and performance—it doesn't disable cookies from your web browser. SurveyMonkey won't function properly if cookies are disabled.

Survey instrument navigation

The following points will assist you in your navigation through completing the survey.

  • Questions marked with an asterisk (*) require an answer and you cannot move on to the next page until the question is answered.
  • To navigate through the survey, please use the following features:
    • Save and Next >> button to save and continue to the next page, responses are automatically saved
    • Prev >> button to return to the previous page to make any required changes
    • Exit this Survey >> to exit the survey, save the page and exit the survey will ensure the content is saved so you can come back to continue at a later time
    • Submit >> button to submit the survey once you have finalised and verified the 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.
  • 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.
  • Once you click the “Submit” button, your responses will be submitted and the survey can no longer be edited. Any request for changes to data after this time can be made by email to the NSRC team at nsrc@industry.gov.au
  • If you would like a copy of your submitted survey please ensure you have provided an email address on the last page of the survey.
  • The NSRC team may contact you to review and update data following verification checks.

Troubleshooting

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 Surveymonkey firewall configurations. If you have any other technical questions, please email nsrc@industry.gov.au.

Survey Questions, Explanatory Notes and Definitions

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

Industry Definition

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

Data Entry

Zero/No data differentiation: If you have no data for any questions please input ‘N’ for ‘no data’. Do not input 0 (zero) as this is a valid response.

Fractional Reporting: Fractional reporting is allowed. For example, where your institution is a joint owner of a LOA, please report accordingly, to the second decimal point. That is, if your institution has a quarter-share in a LOA, then report your institution’s share of the LOA as 0.25.

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

Preliminaries

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

Reporting period

The reference period for this data collection is 2016. All questions relate to 2016 calendar year.

1 Resourcing and Disclosures

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 humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

Please provide your research expenditure for 2016 based on the Research and Development (R&D) expenditure reported to the 2016 ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia; the 2015-16 ABS Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia; and/or the 2015-16 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 2016 regardless of the funding source. Research funded by your institution but performed wholly by another party on your behalf should be excluded. If your institution participates in a CRC include research expenditure related to your institution’s role as a CRC participant.

Dedicated research commercialisation staff

Question 2

Question 2a - What was the total number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) research commercialisation staff employed in, or engaged by your institution?

Total number of research commercialisation staff includes:

  • Dedicated Commercialisation staff are persons employed by your institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties are specifically involved with commercialisation activities such as licensing and patenting processes, licensee solicitation, technology valuation and start-up activity and not including dedicated legal staff and dedicated marketing staff (as defined below).
  • Dedicated Commercialisation legal staff are persons employed by your institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties are specifically and solely concerned with legal issues in a commercialisation context such as license agreement drafting and negotiation in support of commercialisation.
  • Dedicated Commercialisation marketing staff are persons employed by the institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties are specifically and solely concerned with marketing issues in a commercialisation context such as marketing of technology in support of commercialisation.
  • Industry/community Engagement staff are persons employed by your institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties and responsibilities are specifically and solely concerned with industry or community engagement activities such as initiating, negotiating and managing and contracts and consultancies or organising information sessions.
  • Other Commercialisation staff are persons employed by your institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties are to provide professional, administrative or staff support of commercialisation activities that are not otherwise included in 2a or 2b. Such duties might include management, compliance reporting, licence maintenance, negotiation of research agreements, contract management, accounting, MTA activity and general office activity including general administrative assistance.

Include: FTEs working on commercialisation through licensing, sale of IP or formation of startup companies. Please note FTEs reported may or may not have a formal commercialisation or similar job title and may or may not have been in an organisation unit with ‘commercialisation’ or ‘technology transfer’ in its title.

Exclude: external legal counsel. Do not include people working on, course delivery, consulting or other activities.

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

While included in Question 2a, this data is also collected separately to contribute to a longitudinal data series.
Dedicated Commercialisation staff are persons employed by your institution in either full or fractional FTE allocation whose duties are specifically involved with commercialisation activities such as licensing and patenting processes, licensee solicitation, technology valuation and start-up activity and not including dedicated legal staff and dedicated marketing staff as defined in Question 2a.

Question 3

Using the definitions above, staff costs include all direct and indirect salary and related costs including wages, on-costs (including tax, superannuation, leave accruals and all allowances) and administration and infrastructure costs (including travel, building, office and consumables).

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

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

Cost of protecting IP rights

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 in 2016 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 and the cost for dedicated research commercialisation legal staff undertaking these activities.

Invention disclosures

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

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. Please report the number received in 2016.

2 Licences Options and Assignments (LOAs)

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

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) 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 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.

Question 6b – What income did you derive from the Material Transfer Agreements executed in 6a?
To calculate income please sum all earnings from supplying MTAs.

Exclude: implicit or explicit MTA rights granted under licence or under terms of a research contract.

Questions 7-11

Technology is the embodiment of an idea that results from the creative work performed by faculty, students or staff during research or teaching which may be protected through the following IP arrangements: patents, plant breeders’ rights, copyright, registered designs, trademarks (excluding the institution’s insignia), trade secrets and circuit layouts. For definitions of IP types please refer to IP Australia - getting started with IP.

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 to 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 LOAs negotiated on full commercial terms, granting access to institutional IP (patented or otherwise) in return for royalties, licence fees, consulting or contract research revenue.

Question 7 – How many Licences, Options and Assignments did your institution execute?
Count the number of LOAs that were executed in 2016 for all technologies as defined above. 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
  • Licences and assignments to other research institutions, including those provided as inputs to CRCs
  • Licences and assignments granted in research contracts, collaborations and consultancies.

Exclude:

  • MTAs, including the provision of biological material (this is captured in Question 6)
  • 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 IP within a licensing agreement should not be separately counted
  • LOAs generated as a result of work completed by a CRC as a CRC output (this information will be obtained separately through the CRC Program
  • LOAs for individual (personal) use software licences.

Question 8 – How many active Licences, Options and Assignments 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. Please report the number received in 2016.

Question 9 – How many active Licences, Options and Assignments yielded income?
This question refers to the active LOAs identified in Question 8.

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.

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
  • 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
  • Other: Any remaining types of LOA income not covered by running royalties or cashed-in equity.

Exclude: income received in support of the cost to make and transfer materials under MTAs; research funding; patent expense reimbursement; a valuation of equity not cashed-in; biological material end-user licence fees; or trademark licensing royalties from university insignia.

Question 10 – What was the total income received from your active Licences, Options and Assignments?

Refer to Question 9 for the definition of LOA income. Please report the income received in 2016.

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.

3 Start-up companies

Equity holdings

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

This question asks for the value of current equity holdings at the end of 2016. 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 Program may be included. Similarly, equity in organisations that were Commonwealth funded CRCs but have exited the program 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/IP 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
  • 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 2015 and they put in $3 million for 60% of the company and there have been no more investments since, then your value in 2016 will be $2 million (i.e. the institution’s 40% share value). If there have been no transactions, treat the value as zero.

Start-up companies

Start-up companies are companies or traders as persons engaged in businesses that were partially or entirely dependent upon licensing or assignment of your institution’s technology for initiation.

Question 13: As at 31 December

13a - How many start-up companies that your institution was formally involved with were operational?

A company is operational when it possesses sufficient financial resources and expends these resources to make progress toward stated business goals. The company must also be diligent in its efforts to achieve these goals. Please report the number received as at 31 December 2016.

Include: start-up companies that were created in the five years leading up to and including the reporting date.
Exclude: start-up companies that were created greater than five years before the reporting period.

13b - In how many of the companies identified in 13a, did your institution hold equity?
Refer to Question 12 for the definition of equity. Please report the number as at 31 December 2016.

Question 14 – How many start-up companies did your institution launch?
Please report the number for 2016. For EACH start-up company launched, please provide the following information:

  • Company Name
  • ABN/ACN
  • Country (if outside Australia)

4 Research Consultancies, Contracts, Collaborations and Direct Sales

Question 15 – How many Research Consultancies, Contracts, Collaborations and Direct Sales transactions did your institution enter into?

See definition for Research in Question 1. Please report the numbers for 2016.

  • Consultancy is the provision of expert advice to clients external to your institution 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 institution.
  • Research collaboration is a structured research project that involves researchers from your institution and one or more industry partners where all parties work together toward a common goal by sharing resources, knowledge, learning and building consensus.
  • 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).

Research 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).

Include: consultancies, contracts and collaborations executed in the reporting year.
Exclude: contracts or agreements with the granting agency itself.

If your institution cannot disaggregate contract and collaboration data, please provide a combined figure under either the collaboration or contract 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).

Exclude:

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

Question 16 – What was the total gross contracted value of Research Consultancies, Contracts, Collaborations and Direct Sales your institution entered into?

Report the total gross contract value of research consultancies, contracts, collaborations and direct sales for 2016.

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.
Exclude: in-kind contributions.

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

5 Skills development and transfer

Question 17 – Does your institution offer academic researchers or research students training in industry skills?

Industry skills prepare academic 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 18 – How many academic researchers or research students completed training as described in Question 17?

Report the number of academic researchers and research students that have undertaken industry skills training in 2016 as described in Question 17.

If your institution cannot disaggregate academic researchers and research students data, please provide a combined figure under either the academic researchers or research students fields and provide a handling note in the additional information section of the survey. 

Exclude: training which is provided to researchers or research students in their capacity as participants in a CRC.

Additional Information

This section provides the opportunity for you to:

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

Verification and Finalisation

Survey returns must be verified by a senior official in the institution who can certify the accuracy of data. A senior official can include 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.

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 – 18 and indicate if you require a copy of your submitted survey return. 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. Any request for amendments to data will need to be made by email to the NSRC team at nsrc@industry.gov.au.  

Thank you for participating in the 2016 National Survey of Research Commercialisation.

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