World-leading IMAS research paving the way for the development of a lobster aquaculture industry in Tasmania has attracted more accolades for the University of Tasmania.
Based at IMAS Taroona, researchers at the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems developed a unique process that allows tropical rock lobsters to be bred on a commercial scale, overcoming the challenges posed by the lobster’s long and complex lifecycle.
The University won both of the awards on offer at last week’s Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) annual conference for work supporting the commercialisation of the innovative research.
The University’s Director of Business Development and Technology Transfer, Dr Darren Cundy (pictured above, centre, with past & present KCA Chair), was in Melbourne to accept the Research Commercialisation Award and the People's Choice Award.
“Leveraging skills from across the University, the technology transfer unit led the effort to commercialise the results of more than 17-years of lobster research,” Dr Cundy said.
“In doing so we have created the commercial framework to allow Tasmania and the State’s economy to benefit from this invaluable home grown intellectual property.
“The commercialisation process involved creating a new Australian company, issuing an exclusive Australian licence to the University, attracting $2.5 million in equity investment to sustain the ARC Research Hub and leveraging our intellectual property right to secure commercial partners.”
Dr Cundy said a sub-licence of the technology to Tasmanian based Plastic Fabrications Group (PFG) is now in place on terms that will see the world’s first commercial scale tropical rock lobster hatchery begin production in Tasmania before August 2021.
The Director of the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems, Associate Professor Greg Smith, said it was exciting to see the research being turned into a commercial reality in collaboration with PFG.
“As a result of sustained collaboration between scientists, funding bodies and our industry partners, our research has reached a point where it can deliver real economic and commercial impact,” Associate Professor Smith said.
“We have demonstrated that our hatchery process can annually produce tens of thousands of juveniles suitable for stocking grow-out facilities, and we look forward to seeing the technology scaled-up further through the commercial aquaculture facility.”