MICCN’s Professor of Enterprise enhancing Institute-to-industry focus
28 February 2017
It has been a few months since the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN) appointed leading cognitive neuroscience expert, Professor Paul Maruff, as Professor of Enterprise.
Professor Maruff’s focus is to develop a strong enterprise and commercial focus for the Institute, while also inspiring students from MICCN and the Monash School of Psychological Sciences to consider the many industry-related career possibilities available to Psychology graduates.
We caught up with Professor Maruff to see how he is settling in to this brand new role.
How are you settling in to the role of Professor of Enterprise?
The role is interesting and I feel it has provided me with an incredible opportunity. Over the past few months, I have been talking to different people in the School and Institute about their research and endeavours. I have been struck by what a motivated, hard-working and clever group they are. There is a huge breadth of interests, and I think much opportunity to have these move from the academy into the community. Of course, many of the scientists within MICCN are already integrating their work into community settings. Now it will become important for us to identify where we can develop commercial opportunism from this experience and expertise.
What opportunities the role has presented to date?
There is a great body of work that is being undertaken by the scientists and their students within MICCN. The really unique thing about the Institute is its significant industry focus in the psychology discipline. Its Graduate Education and Industry Centre, for example, provides an integrated training program that prioritises industry partnerships and the commercialisation of research. This makes the centre the first of its kind in Australia – bringing together psychology and neuroscience in an industry-linked program that fosters the development of our future industry leaders. I have had the great fortune to become involved in the work of a number of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. In addition to this, I have had the opportunity to hear the plans from the executive group and also to meet with individuals from the University more broadly. Hopefully I will be able to retain some of this expertise in my own company [Cogstate]. The Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity has also provided information relevant to the conduct of our business at Cogstate.
On which projects you are working?
One of the projects we are working on is to develop some application of information we have learned from our research at the Alertness CRC. I have some pharmaceutical companies interested in MICCN’s expertise in dopamine biology and cognition, and we are pushing on with the development of web-based tools for use within the Institute’s Addiction team.