As promised, my thoughts on balancing the Government's responsibility for encouraging Industry to invest in their own R&D...
The Serendipity Award draws on the anomaly that most significant discoveries happen by accident but also whilst searching for something else. This interesting pattern could be seen as a risk for an industry engaging in their own R&D, not knowing where the real research could lead. Now maybe I have misdiagnosed this, but I think that this leads to companies not really digging deep and investing in research instead just merely fiddling in the margins.
I believe that the Serendipity Award should be a commercialisation fund available for any company to submit an emerging technology that they have stumbled across. The constraints on this prize would be that the technology is not able to be commercialised by the industry in which it was discovered.
Now the commercialisation fund, could be formed by volunteer companies who have an interest in recieving the IP/technology. So as you might be able to foresee, the real strength in this venture would be in the networking of organisations interested in the development of technologies here in Australia.