Home' Forge : Vol 2 No 3 Contents From the publisher // 1
Australia needs more ‘collisions’:
innovators coming together from diverse
fields and sectors to blend knowledge and
form unique perspectives. It also needs
recognition that the world’s most complex
problems (and biggest opportunities)
require multidisciplinary solutions.
In the new economy, no country can
afford to have innovation silos where
people work in isolation. Collaboration
drives creativity, brings innovators and
entrepreneurs together, and turns great
ideas into commercial and social wealth.
For all of the effort it’s put in, Australia
has not had the right structures and
incentives to drive collaboration. We
rank poorly by OECD numbers for
industry and university engagement in
research. Our universities have been too
‘departmental’ – their faculties sometimes
working in isolation from each other.
The same is true of government. Too
many councils initiatives are developed in
isolation from neighbouring municipalities.
They have not facilitated collisions
of innovation and entrepreneurship
across their regions in order to create
new companies and jobs. Collaboration
between tiers of government around
innovation is often lacking. I’m pleased to
report that this is changing rapidly.
Australia’s multidisciplinary approach
to innovation and entrepreneurship is a
recurring theme throughout this edition
of Forge. Editorial features and company-
sponsored reports reinforce the work
of councils, universities and industry to
solve problems together.
This edition’s Smart Cities feature
showcases the impressive work of local
government in this regard. Councils
are developing co-working spaces for
entrepreneurs, facilitating relationships
with universities and innovation
precincts, and working with other
councils in their vicinities.
I doubt that enough people realise
the work that is underway in local
government to drive smart-city
strategies that bring people together. The
potential is there to build flourishing
innovation precincts that attract higher-
growth industries, companies, jobs and
Forge’s cover story on innovation illustrates
the need for greater collaboration
and a multidisciplinary approach
that combines insights from different
fields. Entrepreneurship writer Tony
Featherstone nominates collaboration as
one of seven key innovation rules.
Management writer David James
examines how some of Australia’s largest
companies are creating innovative
cultures through encouraging internal and
external stakeholders to work together,
share knowledge and solve problems.
The university sector is also driving
collaboration. Several universities have
launched innovation precincts or new
research centres to boost engagement
between academia and industry. More
universities are helping their researchers
to develop entrepreneurship skills, better
understand the product commercialisation
process, and engage more effectively
with industry. Forge’s research translation
feature examines the latest thinking on
how researchers can ensure that their
work has greater community impact.
Bringing academia, industry and
government together around innovation
offers great potential, as do the many
efforts that are underway to build
larger entrepreneurship ecosystems to
Over time, Australia will see a ‘shared
language’ develop around innovation and
entrepreneurship. This will ensure that
researchers understand and respect what
industry and government require, and
vice versa. Stakeholders will be able to see
opportunities from different perspectives.
Much more can be done. Academic–
industry engagement is coming off a low
base, and interdisciplinary collaboration
within universities has a long way to go.
There are still many obstacles between
innovators and start-up entrepreneurs.
A lack of information is part of the
problem. But too much university
research is still hidden from
industry and the public. Corporate
‘storytelling’ around innovation and
commercialisation strategies is lacking,
and too few councils effectively
communicate their smart-city strategies.
I’m proud to say that Forge magazine
is playing an increasingly important
role in Australia’s innovation and
entrepreneurship ecosystem. By profiling
councils, universities, and large and small
enterprise – and by shining a spotlight on
entrepreneurship in all its forms – Forge is
providing information that can contribute
to a new era of collaboration.
Forge continues to attract advertisers and
readers in a challenged media market,
becoming a larger forum for Australia’s
higher education, industry and
government sectors to showcase their
strategies to drive innovation.
I hope you enjoy this edition of Forge,
which is one of our largest so far. Email me
your comments – we encourage readers to
help shape Forge’s journey.
David Haratsis, publisher, Forge.
The new structure for innovation: a culture of collaboration will
make Australia flourish.
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