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

Filling the Skills Gap for Innovators – A Rant

There appears to be a growing perception in the innovation industry base, particularly but by no means exclusively in those in their first 10 years of experience, that commerce equates to bringing an invention to market and as such, is irrelevant to them as “someone else does that”. And, at a time when headlines are full of gloomy stats regarding employment rates for graduates of tertiary and higher programs, one wonders if that misperception is a big part of the problem.  Continue reading

Maths and Science Education Symposium

Interesting discussion at “The Conversation” on Maths and Science Education live streamed on the web today, interesting on many levels not least of which is the number of different perspectives on approaching the topic (and yes, some of them tended towards “my way”, but most were academics with grants to support). I’m sure The Conversation will have coverage of it for those who want to follow through, but for me the quote of the day belongs to Professor Ian Chubb AM, Chief Scientist of Australia (pictured below, photo courtesy of The Conversation’s twitter posting):Image“We’ve been talking about this for a while but as I get older, I’m getting less patient with inaction”