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Why be a member?

KCA is a platform for shared experience and achieving common goals as a collective across the member base. It is the relational side of knowledge commercialisation in Australasia, linking members into the wider innovation ecosystem, and offering members community and opportunities for professional development and teamwork across cooperative initiatives. The great thing about being a member is that you are supporting the local knowledge exchange cooperative, and initiatives that are being executed tailored to meet the needs of the local market.

Subscribing to an annual membership with KCA is subscribing to the bigger purpose of advancing the knowledge exchange profession within Australasia. Member fees are what sustain KCA’s operational costs, and enable us to provide our current service offering and develop new offerings in the future. Your membership keeps the KCA platform alive and is what ensures that you and your office are represented and given opportunities at a national and international level. Membership is your commitment to the next generation of knowledge exchange professionals, and the wider community.

Participation is also really important to the success of KCA. From inception, members of KCA have freely assisted each other with “advice, sympathy and any other form of assistance ethically available” (quote from the history of ATTICA!). The support and participation of our members is the lifeblood of KCA; we are an association run by members for members, and your involvement is what gives us purpose. Getting on board with KCA initiatives and events helps to make us all better at our role as knowledge exchange professionals; sharing and growing together is what helps to define, grow and establish this as an acknowledged profession. Participation is also the best form of professional development that you can get.

KCA Membership is organisationally based and runs through the financial year (1 July – 30 June). Membership renewal is available online and is open from 1 May 2016. We thank you for your all your support in 2015-16 and look forward to doing more with you in 2016-17.

10 Reasons to be a Member:

Advocacy

1. KCA is your voice; KCA represents you and your organisation's interests when it comes to the issues which matter most to your office.

During the last 12 months, KCA has participated in the IP Australia IP Stakeholders Member Forum, Source IP discussion and launch, ATSE Research Engagement Metrics roundtables, NSRC Review discussions and the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science Research to Business Online Collaboration Project (not to mention plenty of other informal correspondence and communication via different forums and events).

2. KCA is the repository of knowledge and materials for technology transfer professionals in Australia and New Zealand

Your membership provides you with access to useful benchmarking surveys, such as the KCA Salary Survey which will be made available mid-year to members who participate. KCA is also working on creating a repository of KCA endorsed templates and best practice principles.

Networking

3. KCA is your forum which links like-minded individuals and organisations to achieve outcomes which are of benefit to the broader collective.

The recent KCA Accessing Innovation Series events attracted a combined audience of over 300, mainly industry representatives, with an interest in innovation adoption. Eighteen current partnership opportunities were presented as part of the series. We are aware of at least one active licensing negotiation between a University and an Australian mining services business that has directly resulted from the events. Many more connections were made that have improved the potential for future collaboration.

Training

4. KCA has just completed a world-first study which sought to identify the skills and competencies required to effectively take publicly funded research to market

The end result of this twelve month project is a competency framework which outlines the broad spectrum of skills required across teams to commercialise research. The framework (currently only available to KCA members) can be used by tech transfer professionals, office managers and stakeholders for better role definition, career planning and succession planning, and better understanding the breadth and scope of work undertaken by teams. A member only toolkit will be released shortly to help practitioners best use this framework.

5. Your membership enables early career professionals in your office to apply for a scholarship program to head overseas and learn and network with our colleagues internationally

For the past three years, KCA has offered a $5000 scholarship program, which has supported the travel and registration costs for one deserving early career KCA Member to attend an international sister association event. In addition to supporting the travel costs, we also coordinate an office hop which enables our recipient the opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to work in a foreign technology commercialisation office and learn how their international counterparts tackle similar issues in a different setting. The learnings of previous recipients can be found here.

6. As a member you are entitled to discounts on KCA training courses (such as the Best Practices Course and the KCA Licensing Course) and the annual conference (1-2 September, 2016).

KCA has also been working with other like-minded associations in recent times to obtain reciprocal discounted member rates for our members to attend conferences such as LESANZ, AusBiotech and PraxisUnico.

7. KCA is your platform to earn professional recognition for excellence

KCA is a founding member of the “Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals” (ATTP), the international, member based organisation comprised of nine national, technology commercialisation professional bodies from around the globe. This new body was formed to: create mechanisms by which to recognise career progression within Academic Tech Transfer, create an international standard for the Profession in terms of professional development and recognition, and become the repository for the Body of Knowledge for the Profession. The main focus of ATTP at present is to promote and recognise excellence amongst individual members of ATTP member associations. This is primarily done via the peer-reviewed process which awards eligible individuals the Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) mark of recognition. The RTTP program reflects the highest quality expectations defined by the profession – it is a mark of recognition earned by technology commercialisation professionals who have demonstrated competency within their role in a commercial office, and it is a mark which is recognised globally.  

Other Initiatives

9. Your membership enables an awards program which recognises excellence in successfully putting research to use

The KCA Research Commercialisation Awards are back for another year and are open to all KCA members and their respective research and industry partners. These awards are unique in that they showcase and recognise the powerful relationships and partnerships transforming our country’s cutting edge research into products and services; the majority of which improve and benefit the lives of everyone in our community, return economic value, and/or increase our nation’s competitiveness globally. No other awards focus on acknowledging the merits of the work undertaken to put research to use by our people.

10. Your membership means you are able to participate in the soon-to-be-annual KCA National Accelerator Demo Day

The nation’s best recent graduates of university accelerator programs came together on Tuesday 17 May in Sydney to pitch to an audience of over 100 drawn from Australia’s innovation community at the inaugural KCA Accelerator Demo Day. In true Dragon’s Den style, teams pitched their businesses to industry experts and got money-can’t buy time in front of key opinion leaders from the likes of Blue Chilli, Blackbird Ventures, StartupAus and Google.

Owing to the success of this event, KCA and Google are working towards running a second event in May 2017. More details coming soon. Thank you to Rohan McDougall and all the teams and program managers who participated to make the 2016 event such a success.