How Many Reviews Does it Take to Change a System?

Consultation closed yesterday on the Review of Australia’s Research Training System by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA). For those of you playing at home, yes, I *did* post recently about another public consultation process that also closed yesterday, and yes, I *did* suggest it had great potential to lift the innovation industries out of a long running problem – for a semi-controlled riff on the consultation blues, you can have a look at my post today on LinkedIn.

Back to the ACOLA review, and before I go any further I should be clear: any criticisms (and there will be some, trust me) in this post are in no way directed at ACOLA or the well-respected and very busy people on the Expert Working Group tasked with completing it. This review was not their idea, and I have no doubt they will do their best to make it a constructive investment of public monies. I had the pleasure of meeting Working Group Chair John McGagh several years ago when he was head of Global Innovation for Rio Tinto, and that’s just the kind of man he is.

That said, it’s not exactly news that workforce capability and development outside technical aptitude has been a recurring challenge for the innovation industries: Continue reading

Access to Funds from the Crowd a Step Closer for Innovators

Public consultation recently closed – yes, I know, my timing isn’t great, but I was off-line for three months with a gang of nasty viruses, so sue me – on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) in Australia. CSEF is an emerging form of funding that enables someone to raise funds online from a large number of small investors in return for an equally small equity stake in the project or company for which funds are being raised. Worldwide, crowd-sourced funding (without the equity) has been used to fund everything from scientific experiments to feature films and medical treatment, but it is its potential to fundamentally transform the ability of small and start-up businesses that has innovation junkies like me all a-quiver.  Continue reading

Rough Week?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a rough week – one of those weeks where you tell yourself to get over yourself cos it’s not like you’re in Syria, but then feel so bad for the Syrians that you feel worse, because now you’re the kind of person who compares themselves to the Syrians struggling to survive to make themselves feel better. Yeah, one of those weeks. Continue reading