CSIRO signs wireless deal with Chinese research company

Wireless antennas to be taken to market

CSIRO on Thursday announced a partnership with research and manufacturing company, the China Electronic Technology Corporation (CETC), to commercialise its wireless technologies in China.

The deal is said to be among the first to be reached with a Chinese partner, and will require CSIRO to transfer its advanced wireless antenna technology to CETC for a stipulated upfront fee. When CETC begins manufacturing the resulting product, CSIRO will also receive a portion of retail revenues in the form of royalties.

Besides immediate financial benefits from the technology transfer, the deal is expected to provide CSIRO with an opportunity to enter the booming Chinese market, according to Jay Guo, director of the CSIRO Wireless Technologies Laboratory who negotiated the deal.

CSIRO, which is also partnered with several Australian companies and organisations for its other technologies, had previously approached local manufacturers to bring its wireless technology to market, but found none as suitable as CETC, which Guo says has around 50 percent market share in China's wireless space.

"China, at the moment, is one of the most promising, fastest growing markets; they are becoming the early adopters of technology," he said. "This [deal] opens the door for us to commercialise our advanced technologies in cases where there aren't any Australian adopters, because Australia doesn't have as strong a manufacturing base."

The deal builds on a long-standing relationship between the Australian government-owned scientific research organisation and the Chinese state-owned corporation, although dealings in the past have had more of a scientific slant than commercial.

Guo described the contract as a sustainable model that is mutually beneficial, while protecting CSIRO's intellectual property. He expects the deal to set precedent for future partnerships.

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