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TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT IN MEDICINE: AN AUSTRALIAN PROPOSAL
A large part of the increasing cost of health care services is often attributed to the introduction of new technology. While a review of the literature reveals that the evidence to support this view is ambiguous, it does indicate that the unregulated market fails to discriminate well between effective and ineffective health care technology. In some cases it has permitted the proliferation of medically harmful technology. At present Australia does not have a regulatory mechanism for ensuring the efficient use of new technology. The present paper suggests how such a mechanism could be established and the incentives that would be necessary to encourage the proliferation of only effective and efficient medical technology.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER REVISITED: RECENT TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Technology transfer between countries is a complex process which takes many forms. This paper examines aggregate statistics to give a picture of recent developments in international licensing, R & D performed by foreign firms and foreign direct investment. These general developments provide the context for the evolution of firm strategies and the elaboration of government policy.
RESEARCH INTO THE CONSUMER ADOPTION OF NEW SERVICES TECHNOLOGIES: A CRITICAL REVIEW
Robin N. Shaw
Consumer research into new technologies in the retail services area has evolved from unsophisticated industry studies. Focusing on point-of-sale scanning systems, various research studies are reviewed following an indication of the more general conceptual bases which could be relevant internationally. Some proposals are made to encourage more theory-driven research.
RESEARCH FUNDING IN AUSTRALIA: A VIEW FROM THE NORTH
This paper seeks to contribute to the continuing controversy in Australia on the best way to deploy that country’s scientific and technological research and development (R & D) resources. It puts forward and discusses some policy options relating to the ‘restructuring’ of the Australian R&D system currently underway, for the consideration of the research community and those responsible for the research policies. In particular, the paper comments on how overall objectives and priorities for R&D can be set, the need for evaluations of the research and development that is conducted, the need to develop a dialogue between the public and the scientific community over the setting of research and development directions.
THE ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA: TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IN A MIDDLE ECONOMY
André Morkel & John Syme
The electronics manufacturing industry of Western Australia consists of a group of innovative technology-based firms in a regional middle economy. Four basic strategies were identified where local manufacture and local technological entrepreneurs are able to develop viable businesses with little or no protection and only modest (if any) government support. The circumstances of the firm’s establishment, whether market driven, technology driven, capital driven or oriented towards local business only, persisted in shaping the strategic orientation of the company, at least in the present stages of the industry. The companies do not compete directly with multinationals in consumer markets, but rather are oriented towards specialised industrial markets using niche strategies.
INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CO-OPERATION, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND AID: ASEAN COUNTRIES, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
This paper considers the scope for beneficial scientific co-operation and technology transfer among ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand in the light of differences in the development status of these countries, their proximity to one another, their resource endowments and other factors. Australian official science and technology aid in the ASEAN region (which of necessity involves some co-operation between the donor and aid recipients) is considered as well as recent initiatives of the Australian Department of Science to promote fully co-operative (‘non-aided’) R&D in the region. Two examples of regional co-operation in R & D are considered briefly, namely the development of a malaria vaccine and giant clam farming.
COMPUTER USERS AS MEDIA AUDIENCES
Virginia Nightingale & Ian Webster
This paper draws attention to the changing nature of the range of experiences people currently engage in as computer users. It is argued that computer-based technology is a medium of communication, following similar patterns of development to other media, and employing specific codes of representation and presentation to construct images of the world. It is suggested that the development of increasingly user-friendly programs simultaneously increases access to the medium while distancing users from control of the means to program images. The term computer is used to mean computer-based technology, and the term computer program for the delivered experience of the hardware and software.
NEUTRALITY IN SCIENCE POLICY: THE PROMOTION OF SOPHISTICATED INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY IN ISRAEL
This paper provides a review of Israel’s science and technology policy and traces the growth and development of technology intensive industry in that country. Such policy has generally been neutral with regard to industry, technological field or class of product; concentrates on industrial R & D directly performed in industrial firms; and is an integral part of overall national industrial policy — being centred in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Drawing upon case studies and other statistical evidence, the paper argues that such policy has been partly responsible for Israel’s success in building up an indigenous, export-oriented, high technology sector.