Government looks to the future with innovation review

The Australian government has launched a consultation for its Review of the National Innovation System, which is designed to identify drivers for innovation and also implement processes to optimise the innovation process in Australia. Certain drivers of innovation (eg, climate change) are to be given particular consideration. For example, the government has just launched its green car fund, which will provide one dollar for every three dollars privately invested in developing environmentally friendly vehicles. The fund is not limited to Australian investors; foreign investment is encouraged as well.

The review is likely to consider concepts such as ‘open innovation’, where knowledge is transferred with little restriction to facilitate expansion on the work of others. As stated in the review:

“How do we make it easy for people to use tools or apply ideas in novel ways? 

This involves expanding on the work of others, so people need the freedoms to use and adapt other people’s tools and ideas. What are the barriers to adaptation and novel applications?”

Although directed at the broader public benefits of innovation, the identified core functions of an innovation system will resonate with practitioners of intellectual asset management. The review identifies features of an innovation system, including: 

  • the identification of opportunities; 
  • the creation and distribution of knowledge and capabilities; 
  • mobilising resources, including supporting and financing development and production capacities; 
  • managing risk and uncertainty; and 
  • building and maintaining infrastructure.

While these issues are high level and conceptual, they are also features of a private innovation system. However, in the private sector (at least), commercially effective exploitation remains a necessary aspect of any innovation system.

The deadline for filing of submissions is 30th April 2008.


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