Australia’s Innovative Capacity: 2008 Update

Joshua Gans and Richard Hayes have recently completed the 2008 update in their series “Assessing Australia’s Innovative Capacity”. The latest update paints a picture of Australia moving into uncertain times despite some gains mid-decade, particularly due to the weakening of the global economic environment. In a partial reversal of recent gains, Australia’s innovative capacity actually fell backwards in 2008. We maintained our 13th placed ranking only because a number of other countries also backtracked in their innovation efforts. The report highlights how drivers of national innovative performance – such as public education funding, support for universities as centres of research performance and the complex relationship between the intellectual property system and innovation outcomes – continue to be critical to the national debate and to innovative capacity. The report is available at http://www.ipria.org/publications/reports.html.

au-index
au-index

Author: kwanghui

http://kwanghui.com

6 thoughts on “Australia’s Innovative Capacity: 2008 Update”

  1. Australia is blessed with ingenuity, yet what passes for our enterpreneurial capitalist class has always been lazy, short-sighted and happy making a buck clipping coupons for the big boys. And our political leaders are little better.
    Howard did all he could to kill off government incentive for investment in innovation, so there’s a lost decade for starters. No wonder we’re languishing in the rankings. Don’t know that Rudd will do any better, if the handling of the solar industry is any indication, at least not in this term.
    Didn’t Donald Horne have some thoughts on the matter?

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  2. Why are patents used to measure innovation? In my years of patent work, many patents seem to be vague monopoly right grabs, or to meet quotas, and true innovation often happens outside of the patent system. Small businesses and lone inventors cannot afford the time and money to be involved in patenting, and the existence of patents is not a factor influencing their decision to innovate.

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  3. Hi Nick and Slim, Thanks for your comments. I have forwarded them to Richard Hayes who coauthored the report and have invited him to respond here, so do drop by later to read his response. Best regards, kwang.

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  4. Thanks for the comments.

    Nick asks why use patents to measure innovation? Books have been written about the measurement of innovation. While no measure is ideal, our use of US patents captures an important fraction of overall innovation in an economy – as a measure of economically significant commercial innovations at the world’s technological frontier. Patents are likely correlated with other measures such as trade secrets, copyrights and journal articles. From a practical international benchmarking perspective US patents are largely comparable across time and countries. Finally from an interpretation point of view the factors that tend to drive international patenting would also be expected to be supportive of other innovation efforts.

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