Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - AMANDA DUCKER

GREATER pros­per­ity is ours if we meet Tas­ma­nia’s re­search needs, says an aca­demic whose con­tri­bu­tion to in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment is worth froth­ing over.

Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor (Re­search) An­thony Koutoulis may not be solely re­spon­si­ble for the ir­re­sistible taste of Tassie craft beer, but he is well known for his fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion with the state’s hops in­dus­try over 20 years.

Now he is help­ing to drive the univer­sity’s mis­sion to forge more such part­ner­ships.

“We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­liver on the re­search needs of Tas­ma­nia,” he said.

“We are the univer­sity for Tas­ma­nia, not of Tas­ma­nia.

“This how we have framed it in the past, though we have al­ways had a prac­tice of do­ing this kind of re­search.

“Now we are send­ing a strong sig­nal that from a strate­gic per­spec­tive we will have an in­creased fo­cus on meet­ing the needs of Tas­ma­nia.” That com­mit­ment aligned with the univer­sity’s un­der­stand­ing of its fu­ture as a place-based, glob­ally con­nected in­sti­tu­tion.

“These terms are crit­i­cal,” Mr Koutoulis said. “Re­search is an in­ter­na­tional en­deav­our — and should be — and our place-based re­search will be of world-class qual­ity, which is what we need for this state.”

Un­der­stand­ing and am­pli­fy­ing the strengths of that dis­tinc­tive­ness to be glob­ally com­pet­i­tive was what we should be fo­cus­ing on in what­ever way we could.

“Get­ting back to lan­guage, we talk about a univer­sity for Tas­ma­nia, and a univer­sity from Tas­ma­nia to the world.

“This speaks of mak­ing con­tri­bu­tions both in Tas­ma­nia and na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Prof Koutoulis said Ho­bart’s Antarc­tic gate­way city func­tion showed how aca­demic re­search could part­ner with other in­sti­tu­tions and agen­cies to make sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to Antarc­tic science and pol­icy.

De­fence, space and agri­cul­ture re­search all showed vast po­ten­tial for boost­ing pros­per­ity through re­search.

“We are try­ing to see what our re­gional ad­van­tages might be in these and other in­dus­tries.

While the univer­sity would al­ways do fun­da­men­tal bluesky re­search, he said UTAS wanted to make a big­ger con­tri­bu­tion to cur­rent needs through ap­plied re­search.

Pro­fes­sor Koutoulis’s ex­pe­ri­ence part­ner­ing in re­search and de­vel­op­ment with Hops Prod­ucts Aus­tralia over many years had yielded more than just good beer, with Tas­ma­nia to­day pro­vid­ing about half the na­tional hops har­vest.

“They value re­search, they com­mit to it,” he said. “If they don’t in­vest in it, they don’t stay ahead of the game.”

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