New leadership to drive research commercialisation

Monday, 4 April 2016

The University of Adelaide has today announced the appointment of a Director for University of Adelaide Enterprise, the new unit established for accelerating innovation and commercialisation of research.

Kiara Bechta-Metti has more than 20 years' experience in technology commercialisation, finance and new business creation in Australia and the United States.

From 2005-2014, Ms Bechta-Metti led the commercialisation on a wide range of technologies developed at CSIRO across the fields of agriculture, food, health and mining.

Ms Bechta-Metti has worked in the biotechnology industry as a scientist – having started her career as a molecular biologist – before moving into regulatory and marketing roles. In Australia, she began as a financial analyst with her roles including corporate advisory and equities research at global financial firms UBS and Deutsche Bank, with a focus on healthcare, medical device and biotechnology companies.

Ms Bechta-Metti has also worked for several Silicon Valley-based biotechnology firms, and is experienced in raising funds for start-up companies.

"Kiara has an outstanding reputation for research translation in Australia, and we welcome her appointment to lead this new direction for innovation and commercialisation at the University of Adelaide," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

"Her strong leadership, strategic thinking and ability to generate deal flow in startups and licensing led to significant revenue streams for CSIRO. She is experienced at managing large and diverse IP portfolios, and understands the broader value of research to the state and national economies."

Ms Bechta-Metti says: "With innovation being such a key platform for both Federal and State government agendas, this is a tremendously exciting time to be joining the University of Adelaide, which is widely recognised as an Australian leader in research.

"I have a real passion for both science and business, and for finding opportunities to bring the two together. I look forward to generating real impact for the local economy and the University through the knowledge transfer activities of Adelaide Enterprise," she says.

Ms Bechta-Metti holds a Bachelor degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Adelaide Enterprise has been established this year to drive the University of Adelaide's entrepreneurship efforts, generating increased spinouts and licensing deal flow. It will work side by side with the new unit Research Contracts and Partnerships.

Ms Bechta-Metti will take up her position on 18 April 2016.


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