The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Science Policy and Commercialisation equips students with an understanding of the social, political and economic drivers of the commercialisation of science. It provides core skills for science project managers by developing an understanding of how science moves from the laboratory to the market, and how government policy towards science reinforces and accelerates, or else hinders the commercialisation process. This subject develop skills in science project management by providing insights into the processes and methodologies of science, and the management of science projects.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Trimester 3 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. possess skills in the synthesis and evaluation of information from a variety of sources relevant to the management of science projects in the public and private sectors

2. be able to present position papers and reports relating to the commercialisation of science and the impacts of government science policy

3. be able to scope strategic solutions for optimal outcomes in science projects or in science policy areas.


Module 1: Science, Innovation and R&D

  • The nature of scientific progress; quantal leaps and punctuated equilibria; research & development: transition from fundamental science to applied science and prototypes; protecting innovation with intellectual property; patent and innovation indicators.

Module 2: New Industries - from Lab to Market

  • New Industries - case studies of the basic science to industry transition: selected from examples such as GMOs; IVF; DNA profiling; nanotechnology; fibre optics; nuclear power; The industry cycle - development, growth, maturation, senescence

Module 3: Exploiting new Science: Venture Capital, Start-ups and Science Project Management

  • Strategies for commercialising Science: starting new businesses or going with old ones; entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial culture; introduction to financial concepts, capital management issues in commercialisation; producing a business plan for a start-up company.

Module 4: Government Policy: Science Policy, Funding and Regulation

  • Australian science and innovation system; Government science policy and regulation: political and economic drivers; the role of the university sector in innovation and commercialising science; public sector research agencies; funding R& D: business and government expenditure on research and development; government supported business programmes: the role of government support in funding early stage development and commercialisation; evaluating outcomes and benchmarking of government inputs; cost-benefit analyses

Assessment items

Report: Reports

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

Project: Projects

Contact hours


Self-Directed Learning

Online 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Course presented online, over full trimester. Student commitment assumes 4 hours per week working through online modules, and associated readings; 3 hours per week on assessment items.