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Nurturing the knowledge tree: CSIRO in Australia's innovation systems

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Product Description

By Jane Marceau

Published: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-921348-09-9
Pages: ii+118

This special issue focuses on the role and nature of the contribution of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to innovation systems in Australia.

Overview

CSIRO, Australia's principal knowledge tree, is the largest and broadest single research producer and disseminator in the country but has always been at the centre of debates about how public sector research is best organised to maximise its contribution to the nation. The special issue of IMPP draws together Australia's leading experts in research and innovation policy to start a debate about issues associated with a large scale public sector research agency as a player in an era where countries are increasingly competing on the basis of innovation and knowledge.

An introductory paper begins an argument that Australia should devise a national research and innovation policy which includes both CSIRO and universities and parallels and complements industry development strategies. Science and technology policies alone will always disappoint: an overall strategy for research and knowledge diffusion, covering issues of scale, careers, equipment, international connections and sophisticated 'third generation' responses to new knowledge needs in economy and society, is essential to transforming diverse Australian innovation activities into a well-functioning national system.

With creating a debate in mind, the papers focus on three aspects of CSIRO: growing the knowledge tree, internal and external policies for 'doing science' in CSIRO; reaping the rewards of knowledge, especially through spin off firms, collaborations and capacity building for the future; comparing Australia's knowledge tree with sister organisations in India, France and New Zealand and finishing with a view from the business world. Numerous case studies shed new light on enduring themes.

The volume is organised to enable readers to easily draw comparisons with their own countries. Most issues raised are common to many countries and policymakers and analysts alike will find up-to-date material to inform their own fields and preoccupations and think again about the organisation of knowledge generation in their own environments.

Table of Contents

OVERVIEW

The knowledge tree: CSIRO in Australia's innovation systems - Jane Marceau

SECTION 1: GROWING THE KNOWLEDGE TREE

Adjusting to changing times: CSIRO since the 1970s - Garrett Upstill and Tom Spurling

Innovation agents and innovation tracks: CSIRO research scientists

and their peers - Jane Marceau and Tim Turpin

Teams in CSIRO: Reorganising for national research imperatives - Leon Mann and Robert Marshall

SECTION 2: REAPING THE REWARDS OF KNOWLEDGE INVESTMENT

CSIRO: Partnering for the future - John Howard

Spinning along: CSIRO's knowledge business - Lyndal Thorburn

Capability building and risk management: Lessons from Radiata - Mark Mathews

SECTION 3: POLICY, POLITICS AND PARTICIPATION

Contestability and contested stability: Life and times of CSIRO's

New Zealand cousins, the Crown Research Institutes - Sally Davenport and David Bibby

Large public research systems: The changing structures of India's CSIR and the CNRS in France - Venni Krishna

CSIRO and Australian innovation: A business commentary - Narelle Kennedy


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