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Response to the Queensland R & D Strategy Issues Paper

By John Hartley, Stuart D. Cunningham, Gregory N. Hearn and Jeffrey I. Jones


Queensland’s R and D strategy articulates a strategy for research in the sciences and technology. It intent and purpose are excellent, but in its current form it poorly addresses R and D opportunities deriving from the applied social and the creative disciplines and the role of the social and creative disciplines in the development and commercialisation process for all research. Proposed research expenditure priorities reflect a science/technology led agenda for Queensland at the expense of new economy imperatives for research in knowledge consumption services. The ‘knowledge consumption services’ sector derives from the applied social and creative disciplines (business, education, leisure and entertainment, media and communications) and represents 25% of exemplary economies, whilst the new science sector (agricultural biotech, fiber, construction materials, energy and pharmaceuticals) for example, accounts for only about 15% of these economies. In fact all modern economies are consumption driven (60-70% of GDP) and the social technologies that manage consumption all derive from the social and creative disciplines. Knowledge consumption industries are not as research intensive as science based industries but historical research expenditure in Queensland has devoted only 3.7% to research in the applied social and creative disciplines and the currently proposed strategy does not significantly alter this allocation. Queensland can no longer afford to understand the social and creative disciplines as commercially irrelevant, ‘civilising’ disciplines. Instead they must be recognised as the vanguard of economic growth. In particular, the proposed R and D strategy does nothing to position Queensland for the emerging wave of innovation needed to meet demand for content creation in entertainment, education, government, and health information, to exploit universal networked broadband architectures currently in development. Not only is research in the applied social and creative disciplines required for its own commercial potential, but also because such research must be hybridised with science and technology research to realise the commercial potential of the latter. Commercialisation depends on ‘whole product value propositions’ not just basic research. QUT’s proposed CRC for Interaction Design provides one example of how research in the social and creative disciplines can be meaningfully hybridised with basic research in technology, to create new commercial opportunities for Queensland

Topics: creative industries, cultural industries, content industries, innovation policy, Queensland
Year: 2002
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