Monday, December 3, 2012

Aust. National Research Investment Plan embraces well-being

The Dept. of Innovation released the Australian National Research Investment Plan (NRIP, pdf 135 pp.) on 28 Nov 2012. The report contains some interesting introductions from the Prime Minister, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Chief Scientist mention key points:

  • Chief Scientist: "Governments invest in research and innovation to increase productivity, increase employment and improve national wellbeing" (p.v) ie  aim to create value.
  • Chief Scientist: "setting priorities for mission-based research that improves national wellbeing" (p.v)
  • Minister: "The Gillard Government recognises the contribution that science and research makes toward driving innovation. Our investment in science and research improves the wellbeing of all Australians by addressing the social, economic, technological and environmental challenges we confront." (p. iii) : links innovation and wellbeing
  • Prime Minister: "the discovery and use of new ideas makes the greatest possible contribution to the Government’s broader policy objectives and to the wellbeing of all Australians." (p.i)
Thus there is a sense of a purpose to innovation, which is to improve the quality of life and provide purpose for "our nation's future". Value is an important part of this link between innovation and wellbeing. Innovation -> Value -> Wellbeing.

Of particular interest to ANDS:
"To capture the full value of the Australian Government’s research investment, ARCom  will provide advice on a whole‑of‑government approach for opening access to the outputs and data from publicly funded research." (p.xiii); sharing is valuable
This suggests that data sharing may be mandated at some point, perhaps not too far off in the future.  

Innovation is defined quite narrowly (no value), following Schumpeter's definition (1934): " Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good  or service), process, new marketing method or a new organisational method in  business practices, workplace organisation or external relations." from OECD 2005 Oslo Manual for Measuring Innovation, 3rd Ed.(p.6).  

The report goes further saying: "Importantly, the process as a whole comprises, not just the conduct of research to create knowledge and translate it into a new product, but also the taking of action to deploy or implement the new product or process." (p.6). Still this is taking a product to market, and not the acceptance in the market of the product, ie value creation through acceptance of the product purchase.

The report makes an interesting point about why governments invest in science and innovation: "In the absence of government investment in research, neither the business nor non‑business sectors are likely to carry out the amount of research necessary to sustain national wellbeing;, government has a particular responsibility to sustain basic research capability; an excellent research capability strengthens Australia’s role in the global community; and government investment in research consistently provides high economic and social returns" (p.12).   This post looks at the report up to the end of Chapter 2.


john steve said...

really it's an important topic about research investment plan!
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