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Divining directions for development: a cooperative industry–government–public sector research approach to establishing R&D priorities

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This paper discusses the limitations of many fiscal and related methods of encouraging increases in R&D as a tool for establishing research priorities. It suggests that any ‘national’ rather than industry–specific approach is likely to be ineffective in stimulating the R&D needed for the development of all industries. This is particularly the case in countries such as Australia and New Zealand where many decisions about R&D investments are made overseas, in the headquarters of the multinational firms that dominate most sectors of the economy. Instead, the paper suggests that an industry development approach currently being used in Australia, the Action Agenda approach, be modified to include a broader range of players, notably the public sector R&D community and an industry’s ‘users’, to think about and establish R&D priorities which will underpin progress in the industry as a whole rather than being restricted to individual firms. The proposal rests on the results of AEGIS empirical research (surveys and interviews) into the dynamics of innovation in different ‘product systems’ (broader than sectors) in Australia which indicates the broad range of players that need to be included both in the analysis of innovation and in policies for stimulating the research which can assist innovation.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Australian Expert Group in Industry Studies (AEGIS), University of Western Sydney, Australia [email protected]

Publication date: 2002-06-01

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