Community of Innovation Academics and Researchers

The Department seeks to build and sustain links with academics and researchers with an interest in Innovation Research and/or Innovation Policy. As part of this process, the department has developed aCommunity of Innovation Academics and Researchers | working in the field of innovation theory and practice. The Community is open to academics and researchers in Australia as well as overseas (with an Australian affiliation).

The Community was developed in response to an identified need to have ongoing engagement with innovation experts in Australia. This supports the Department's access to latest thinking and also provides a means to signal to researchers areas where the government could benefit from further research / understanding. 

Definition of Innovation

The Community uses a broad definition of ‘innovation’ and includes work related to:

  • The innovation process;
  • Innovation within organisations, including the public sector; and 
  • Business model innovation.

Academics and Researchers

Academics and researchers include individuals affiliated with a university or public research organisation. 

The Community:

  • Identifies academics and groups who are pursuing innovation-specific research;
  • Assists those undertaking innovation research projects to be aware of others with similar interests; and 
  • Promotes the diffusion of research to innovation community stakeholders.

This Community only includes academics and researchers who have self-identified to participate. It is not a comprehensive or exhaustive listing. It does not rank academic excellence or endorse specific innovation related research findings.

Innovation Academics' Workshops

The Department has organised several workshops bringing together academics and public servants, to address issues the government is working on. These workshops are an important vehicle to encourage researcher-government discussion, and an invaluable source of research to inform policy. They also provide a safe and collaborative environment for researchers and government officials to come together and build stronger and more productive relationships.

The first Innovation Academics' Workshop - part of Innovation Week

The first Innovation Academics’ Workshop was held as part of Innovation Week on 5 June 2012.  It brought together over 30 academics and public servants for a dialogue on collaboration and innovation in the public sector. Academic participants shared their areas of expertise, including evidence of existing successful collaborative projects with government. However, it was acknowledged that, while some academics had strong and productive relationships with the government, most felt that their expertise was under-utilised. It was agreed that it is important to showcase examples of successful collaboration, as well as to identify and establish further opportunities for productive engagement.

The second Innovation Academic’s Workshop ‘Collaboration Challenges for Innovation in Australia’

The second Innovation Academic’s Workshop  ‘Collaboration Challenges for Innovation in Australia’, held on 4 December 2012, featured a series of presentations from academics and public servants sharing their experiences and knowledge of cross-sector collaboration in practice, and a discussion on the challenges for cross-sector collaboration in the area of innovation research. The Workshop participants identified opportunities to enhance collaboration between academics and government. It was agreed that it is important to:

  • continue developing a mutual understanding of both sectors’ interests, needs, and processes;
  • build long-term relationships based on mutual trust; and
  • develop long-term policy and research work plans across both sectors.

A summary of the Workshop is available from the Secretariat on request.

The third Innovation Academics’ Workshop on ‘Evaluation and Innovation’

The third Innovation Academics’ Workshop on ‘Evaluation and Innovation’ was held on 23 May 2013. It focused on developing a better understanding of the evaluation of innovation – how its impact could be better measured, and how this could be used to influence new programs and policy. This forum also aimed to facilitate dialogue between academics and public servants to further promote mutual understanding and build ground for future collaboration. The Workshop featured presentations from academics and government sharing their experiences and knowledge of the issues surrounding evaluation of innovation programs and instruments for measuring the impact of innovation.

Topics suggested for future workshops include linking productivity and innovation outcomes, procurement and innovation, absorption of overseas originated innovation, cross-industry and cross-sector diffusion, and measuring innovation systems. It was recommended that future workshops have wider inclusion of government departments, and a discussion on research meeting industry needs.

Asummary of the Workshop | includes the Program outline, along with a brief description of the issues discussed.

The fourth Innovation Academics’ Workshop ‘Promoting Productive Industry-Research Collaboration’

The fourth Innovation Academics’ Workshop, held on 11 June 2014 at Crawford School (ANU), focused on industry-research collaboration. The workshop brought together over 50 participants - academics from 14 universities, business people, and public servants from a number of Commonwealth departments including the Department of Industry, IP Australia, and the Department of Education.

The discussion centred around the barriers to successful industry-researcher collaboration, and the critical ingredients of success stories. In light of the lessons from Australia as well as other countries, the participants discussed what the government, universities and businesses can do to promote productive industry-research collaboration.

The Report on the Workshop |  includes the Program outline, brief summaries of the presentations, key issues addressed in group and round table discussions, and recommendations for policy suggested by the participants.


If you are an academic or researcher working in the area of innovation, and would like to be included in the Community, and be informed about workshops and forums organised by the Department, please email the Department.

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