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GENE MAPPING AND POLICY-MAKING: AUSTRALIA AND THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT
This paper examines various unsuccessful attempts by Australian geneticists to become involved in the international Human Genome Project. Several attempts were made by various scientists to gain support for organized gene mapping through the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce and the Cooperative Research Centres funding scheme. Different expectations of the role of science in each case played a crucial role in shaping policies and their eventual outcome.
THE HUMAN SIDE OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER A VIEWPOINT
It is argued that, despite evidence that technology transfer may not happen or may happen in unforeseen ways, exponents behave as if innovation will automancally occur and proceed without much further involvement by them with potential adopters. However, innovation implies change, which is not usually easy. Diffusion studies show that innovative products or ideas have to compete with what already exists and that there is a diversity of attitudes towards them. Consideration of failures often shows that the attitudes of people who are expected to change have been inadequately considered. The A VICTORY mnemonic provides a much better framework for understanding decisions people make. Apart from their perceptions often being different from those of the experts, people often work in an organisation or system which prevents knowledge being utilised or change being implemented. To improve the success rate of technology transfer, a well planned psychological operation is needed, based on studies of what persuades people of their need to change, and involving them at all stages of development of the new product or idea.
EVOLUTION, TECHNOLOGY, POLICY AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
J. S. Metcalfe
This paper outlines recent developments in our understanding of the process of innovation and the implications for technology management. It addresses the puzzle of the interface between technology management (private, for profit, firms) and technology policy (government), and the obvious implication that effective policy must be conditioned by an understanding of the practice of management. Equally important is the view that technology management is to be understood in terms of the systems of institutions which generate and support technology, systems which extend beyond the boundaries of individual firms. Underpinning these themes is a particular subplot, namely the link between technology management and competitiveness.
THE JAPANESE INNOVATION SYSTEM: HOW IT WORKS
The R&D expenditures of the top five Japanese R&D spenders — Hitachi, Toyota, Matsushita, NEC and Fujitsu — is as great (in terms of purchasing power parity) as the total R&D expenditure of the entire private sector in Britain. One of the key determinants of success has been the institution of lifetime employment. The assumption of ‘no exit’ has had important consequences which have influenced organisational practices conducive to innovation in new product development, the interfacing of R&D, production, and marketing, and just-in-time and quality control activities which depend on information flows and cross-functional coordination. MITI’s relatively great influence derives largely from its central nodal position in a vast and complex information network that criss-crosses not only Japan but also the world. MITI’s internal organizational structure consists of a matrix of vertical units, which correspond to the main industrial sectors in the economy, and horizontal units which deal with issues that cut across the various sectors.
NEW WAYS TO MAKE TECHNOLOGY PARKS MORE RELEVANT
R. A. Joseph
High technology policy has become a central feature of many national and regional strategies for encouraging industrial development. One of the more high profile instruments for implementing high technology policy supported by governments and regional authorities has been the technology park – a refinement of the familiar industrial park concept. The global recession, coupled with the failure of high technology policies in many countries, has now meant that technology parks are coming under closer scrutiny. The failure of Australia’s high technology recovery has also meant that its technology parks are being subjected to increasing demands for accountability. There is a need to consider how to make technology parks more relevant in an environment which is beginning to see the limitations of past high technology policy. This paper reviews recent literature on technology parks with a special emphasis on Australian experience. It is argued that the suggestions often put forward for making technology parks more relevant need not be associated with ‘objective’ measurements of commercial success. The problems are more fundamental and the solutions should be inherently linked to the nature of policy-making itself. The paper argues for a strategy for relevance which depends on: recognising high technology for what it is; replacing the linear model of innovation as a rationale for policy; avoiding the dichotomy of sunset and sunrise industries, and establishing new criteria for assessing technology parks.
POLICIES FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN CANADA: 1987–1993
Andrew H. Wilson
This is the third (and last) in a series of articles to appear in Prometheus on federal policies for technology development in Canada daring the two electoral mandates of Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney. The first and second articles covered the period that began with the appearance in July 1984 of the policy-related report by Dr Douglas Wright and his colleagues and ended in the middle of 1987 as the Mulroney administration was well into its first mandate and was putting in place changes to federal technology policies and programs, some of which were Wright-related. This present article completes the story through to June 1993 when the prime minister resigned. The changes have continued under a variety of influences and haw altered the ways in which technology development has been funded, organized and promoted by the federal government in Canada. They have generally been in line with the recommendations of the Wright report, making it a suitable framework against which to consider developments in this field during the six years covered by this present article.
THE EMPLOYMENT OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ENEMY ALIENS (ESTEA) SCHEME IN AUSTRALIA: A REPARATION FOR WORLD WAR II?
Uta v. Homeyer
The new fields of atomic and nuclear science represented a weapon of immense power which, following 1945, became the key to military and economic activity precipitating the post-war arms race. Antipodean Australia was not unaffected by these advances in scientific knowledge. The Australian government, impressed by the technological changes elsewhere in the world and confident in the belief that the nature of science was universal, participated in what was, in effect, a hunt for German scientists. During the Cold War period 1949/52, approximately 145 German scientists and engineers were brought to Australia under the ‘Employment of Scientific and Technical Enemy Aliens’ (ESTEA) scheme. Their arrival and subsequent activities were given minimum publicity and it took 46 years before application for access to the closed files, of what was quite an elaborate Commonwealth government project, was successful.
ECONOMICS OF FILM AND TELEVISION IN AUSTRALIA
Keith Acheson & Christopher Maule
Molloy and Burgan’s study of film and television production and distribution in Australia summaries the idiosyncratic features of the industry, identifies the domestic policies affecting this sector and discusses a number of the economic issues. This review of the study provides a different interpretation of some of the economic issues. A framework for analysing the industry is proposed, one which focuses on the management of three types of risk: uncertainty ex ante about what will attract viewers; difficulties in containing cost overruns; and the problem of piracy.