Over 40 years ago ANU needed to secure some discreet research funding for a solar energy-related project called the White Cliffs project. The ANU set up a separate legal entity – now known as ANU Enterprise, to secure the funding, own the entity that ran the project, and to ensure that the University remained a stakeholder in this important research opportunity with a profound impact on society.
About our founding project – The White Cliffs project.
Emeritus Professor Kaneff founded the Energy Conversion Group, within the ANU Department of Engineering Physics, which had the objective of ascertaining the feasibility of the mass utilisation of solar energy. Emeritus Professor Kaneff led the first major flagship project undertaken in solar energy in Australia, the White Cliffs facility. The White Cliffs project led directly to the 400 m2 ANU “Big Dish” in the 1990s, and another in Israel, as well as several other major projects. When it was commissioned in the 1990s the Big Dish was the world’s largest solar dish collector.
Is ANU Enterprise separate to the University?
No. ANUE is the engagement company of the ANU and sits within the ANU Research and Innovation Portfolio. Whilst being a not for profit company makes us separate from a corporate and legal standpoint, it allows us to provide flexible and commercial services assisting the ANU to engage with Industry and Government in a professional and agile manner.
Why are you a not-for-profit?
Our constitution notes our ‘for purpose’ nature, meaning that our activities are limited to supporting ANU with its research and education activities. ANUE is a not for profit entity registered as a charity with the ACNC. We only have one Shareholder – the ANU. Any surplus generated goes back into subsidising new or existing services to the ANU community. We also do not pay dividends to the ANU.
Is ANU Enterprise the same as ANUTech? Didn’t ANUTech go broke?
ANU Enterprise was established in 1979 under the trading name of ANUTech. In 2005, ANUTech changed its trading name to ANU Enterprise. The legal structure, ABN and tax registration remained the same.
ANUTech did not go broke, it simply changed its trading name. In 2000, the University did seek to recapitalise following a series of research, development, and technology commercialisation costs, and injected $4.5 million of share capital into ANUTech.
Yes. Reporting is governed by the governance reporting requirements inherited by the University. We report four times a year to the University Finance Committee, we report twice a year to the University Council, as well as ad-hoc reporting requests as part of the Innovation ANU portfolio.
Are you audited?
Yes. Externally and internally. We are externally audited by the ANAO, the same auditors as the ANU. ANU Enterprise has a rolling three-year internal audit plan.
How is the performance of ANU Enterprise assessed?
ANUE performance is assessed yearly by the ANU against an agreed set of value metrics which encompass both agreed financial and non-financial value creation targets.
Does somebody check what you are up to?
Absolutely. Our strategic plans, our business plans and our annual budgets are reported to the ANU Council and form part of the broader ANU Research and Innovation Portfolio strategy.
Is ANU Enterprise subject to ANU policy and process?
Whilst we have our own operational processes to run the company, everything we do for the ANU incorporates compulsory alignment with ANU policies and processes e.g. delegate approvals and costing and pricing policy.
Our primary source of revenue is through project management work that we undertake at the request of ANU. We may also receive dividends from entities owned by the ANU Enterprise group, including the Social Research Centre and Australian Scientific Instruments.
Do you charge overheads?
We do not charge for the Business Development/tender support service. However, where we are required to provide project management assistance a management fee that includes our input and associated overheads is charged to the project budget (usually incorporated in the budget accepted by the client).
Why are your overheads different from the rest of the University?
Our size and scale enable us to keep overheads low. We enjoy the benefits of being a separate and smaller entity than ANU, without the infrastructure costs.
Yes, we can. Contact our Head of Business Development to get moving on your next opportunity.
Do you work on Grant Applications?
If it’s a grant, ANU Enterprise generally doesn’t get involved. Contact your college research office to action grant applications.
Can you find funding for my project?
We’d love to say we have a big bucket of research money ready for distribution to ANU Academics – but that is not the case.
The best way to maximise success using ANU Enterprise is to make sure you are in contact with us to ensure you are notified of new project opportunities. We monitor new tender opportunities daily. As new opportunities arise, we send you notifications aligned with your expertise. Once you are receiving notifications, it can be as easy as replying by email to say you are interested in responding to a new request.
Contact our Head of Business Development to get on the notification list for new research opportunities.
Will HERDC eligibility alter or be compromised if I use ANU Enterprise?
Whilst all research work should be driven through your school or college, ANUE provides support for consulting and executive education. From time to time, the client might request some additional work that could be categorised as a research component. The good news is that because ANUE is a wholly-owned entity by the ANU, ANU can capture the HERDC eligibility associated with this component if applicable.
I am an Emeritus Professor OR an ANU Affiliate, can I access services from ANUE?
Absolutely, but we ask that you contact the school or college that hosts you before approaching us.
How much notice should I give if I have a tender that I would like support with?
When you find an opportunity that works well with your research and expertise, the deadlines begin. Our full tender service will see us co-ordinate contributions from multiple academics, manage profiles, complete the budget response, complete forms, compile documents, ensure compliance, harmonise written responses and handle document submission. For us to provide this full service we need at least 2 weeks’ notice. With less than 2 weeks’ notice, we will still help as much as we can (depending on capacity) but can only commit to give you advice about your budget, help with compliance and give you support to lodge your documents.
The University is a big place. Here’s a guide that may help:
ANU Enterprise: Helps win and deliver project-based opportunities with Industry and Government e.g. consultancies and executive education.
Innovation ANU Office of Business Engagement and Commercialisation: assists with large scale Research Initiatives (ITRPs, CRCs etc.) Commercialisation and IP advice and new ventures (e.g. startups) and Entrepreneurship.
Research Office: drives and support research grants and activities at the College level.
Please note that all the above offices work together as one team to ensure your opportunity gets the most appropriate assistance/support.
Do you look after start-ups?
No. Contact the office for Business Engagement and Commercialisation for assistance.
Do you look after IP protection and commercialisation?
No. Contact the office for Business Engagement and Commercialisation for assistance.
There is no charge to use our business development services.
Contract management and project management (not tender support services) does incur a fee but is typically charged to the client via the project budget included in the bid. Contact our Head of Business Development to get a quote.
I’ve heard ANU Enterprise Contract and Project Management services costs a lot, is that true?
Fact check: No – pricing is designed to provide accessible and flexible support to the ANU.
How much does insurance cost if I go it alone?
It’s best to speak to an insurance broker so that you get a comprehensive quote that covers professional indemnity, public liability insurance, workers compensation insurance and travel. However, our data tells us that getting the cover through ANUE services is one of the most competitive alternatives (not to mention the other benefits of working with us).
If ANU Enterprise works with me to respond to a tender, do I have to use your Project Management office to run the projects the tender covers?
No. You are in control of your project and can elect to secure the support you need from elsewhere. No hard feelings. We are happy we help you win the tender.
Call our Business Development team to get the contracting and budget support to set your project in the right way, and then you’ll work with our Project Management team for delivery.
If you’ve already got an industry relationship, you’ll still need to set up your deal correctly for the project with our team.
What projects is ANU Enterprise working on right now?
From working internationally with DFAT funded projects to a domestic consultancy with a local government, our project portfolio changes all the time. Check out our latest Year in Review.
How is COVID-19 affecting your projects?
We have adapted our projects to online where practical. Some projects that require international travel have been adjusted or suspended.
Do you work internationally?
Yes. We regularly work throughout Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa to name but a few locations.
Have you worked with project funders like the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The United Nations Development Program and the Asian Development Bank?
Yes (and others).
What is ANUE’s style of OR approach to Project Management?
We adapt to suit the needs of the project rather than subscribing to a narrow framework.
Can I speak to a researcher that has used your services in the past two years?
Yes. Call us and we can connect you to someone who has used our services before.
No, but work with us and you’ll get the benefits of insurance coverage, financial, contract and management support and a payment regime that make your work sing rather than be a burden. Use us as a conduit to maximise and legitimise the association between your professional reputation and the ANU brand.
Do I need an ABN?
If you have one: great.
If you don’t have one: let’s talk about your options as provided through the ATO, usually, the ATO Statement by Supplier form will suffice.
Do I need insurance?
For Paid Outside Work or 52 Day rule, ANU Enterprise has a range of comprehensive insurance coverage as part of the overall ANU Insurance umbrella.
For all other project types, speak to our Head of Project Management.
Can I put all my commercial research projects through ANU Enterprise?
It’s not that simple. Everything we provide support on will need approval and endorsement from your school and comply with existing ANU policies and processes.
We support you to achieve your project goals in whatever way you need. We can provide advice, relationship management, subcontract management, financial management (budgets and administering payments), tailored insurance to project-specific risks, scheduling, logistics and or negotiation on your behalf.
If I use ANU Enterprise, will you take the credit for my project?
No, we are there to support you as your “pit crew”.
Do you have access to Wattle and ARIES?
Yes, as we work with ANU policies and processes. We have access to many ANU systems. All our staff have U numbers and University ID. We can access, understand, and navigate these systems.