17 December 2015
The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and seniors' Lifestyle & Care provider, IRT Group, have answered the Prime Minister's call for more collaboration between researchers and industry, signing their first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today.
"Collaboration is a key pillar of the Prime Minister's new National Innovation and Science Agenda to drive an ideas boom in Australia," said IRT Group Chief Executive, Nieves Murray.
"The Turnbull Government has called for industries and universities to address current low levels of industry-research collaboration.
"Today we have answered that call, signing our first MOU with USC to collaborate on innovative ideas to improve the quality of life of older Australians," Ms Murray said.
USC Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Greg Hill said enabling the Nation's growing ageing population to live independently for longer with better health, is a key challenge.
"By 2055 there will be 5.3 million more Australians aged over 65," said Professor Hill. "It's imperative that we research and commercialise new ways to help older Australians stay healthy, happy and independent for longer.
"This will not only help to address a looming health budget blow-out, but more importantly, to harness the potential of older Australians to continue to be active members of our communities," he said.
The MOU will formalise USC and IRT Group collaboration of a range of activities, including:
• Clinical placements - to enable USC students to experience the industry firsthand, helping to produce job-ready graduates in a range of fields, such as Public Health
• Pilot sites - to enable researchers to test new ideas in real world environments
• Matching problems with solutions - sharing insights about "wicked problems" facing the aged care and retirement living industries to help the university to better focus and commercialise its research
"Today's signing is the first step in what I am sure will be a successful journey for USC and IRT as we work together to help more Australians to live well as they age," said Ms Murray.