Views

Our views on all aspects of Innovation

Government grants and innovation

Government grants and innovation

In February, 2023 the Productivity Commission (PC) released a 7-volume Report titled 5-year Productivity Inquiry: Innovation for the 98%.  As the title implies and which is total consistent with observed reality, only 3% of product or service innovation activity in...

Do we need another R&D review?

Do we need another R&D review?

Here we go again.  The Albanese Government will initiate another review into Australia's R&D system as a 'deal' it seems with Universities concerned that reduce revenues from full-paying foreign students will undermine funding allocated to research. Putting aside...

Where to manufacture Australia’s future?

Where to manufacture Australia’s future?

In 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Promoting competition in the American economy. The Order is designed to combat the adverse impacts of rising market power on competition manifested according to studies cited in the Executive Order through higher...

Why incremental innovation matters

Why incremental innovation matters

What is the value of breakthrough innovation? One can argue that these innovations are proof that persistence, single-minded devotion, and insane work habits might bring outsized success.  The media and politicians loves the announcement of early stage so-called...

Government funded moon shots

Government funded moon shots

Last week economist and iconoclast Mariana Mazzucato completed a series of talks and panel discussions in Sydney and Melbourne following on from her visit in 2018.  Best known for her book the Entrepreneurial State and mission-oriented Government industry support, she...

Supermarket concentration and innovation

Supermarket concentration and innovation

The ABC's Four Corners story on supermarket concentration highlighted a range of trade practices used in relation to suppliers and customers.  Aside from the knee-jerk reactions from politicians, why should we be concerned about supermarket concentration?  In...

Why is never a dumb question

Why is never a dumb question

Innovation and strategy are generally inseparable.  Adam and Eve, black and white.  The Socratic tradition of objective disciplined inquiry - the application of evidence-based rigour - is the common foundation of both disciplines.  This is hard not easy.  Neither...

Three pernicious strategy myths

Three pernicious strategy myths

There are plenty of myths or half-truths about what strategy is and is not - in many ways overuse has stripped this term of core meaning.  HBR published a short article on this topic by Stephen Bungay from the Hult International Business School (Ashridge) in London. I...

Is competitive advantage sustainable?

Is competitive advantage sustainable?

In 2013 Rita McGrath published 'The End of Competitive Advantage' arguing that competitive advantage is temporary.  She coined the replacement phrase 'Transient Advantage' signalling that any advantage is undone at an increasing pace through competition.   As it...

What is a good Industry Policy Report?

What is a good Industry Policy Report?

In November 2023, a the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture chaired by Meryl Swanson MP and supported by staff of the Department of the House of Representatives and a slew of industry submissions, published  a report 'Australian Food Story:...

Why does competitive advantage matter?

Why does competitive advantage matter?

Why do your customers buy from you rather than from someone else? What makes your business better than your competitors? What are you delivering that customers really value above everything else? What is your value proposition and how does it change depending on who...

Business R&D spending – are we failing?

Business R&D spending – are we failing?

Staunch advocates of a revitalised manufacturing sector often quote Australia's low ranking in Harvard's Economic Complexity Index, and weak business R&D expenditure (BRDE) as a percentage of GDP as reasons for more Government investment to build manufacturing...

The value of R&D ecosystems

The value of R&D ecosystems

Calix Limited is a good example of how Australian-owned technology has been commercialised to the world.  Calix’s technology involves grinding minerals to between one hundredth and one thousandth of a millimetre in size, and then “flash” heating them in an externally...

Supporting the maker economy

Supporting the maker economy

Some say being in Opposition is tougher than being in Government. Those in Government say the opposite.  The power to implement confers the heavy burden to implement sound policy that makes intuitive sense and shifts not nudges the dial.  Making an impact means almost...

How to innovate profitably

How to innovate profitably

Peter Drucker once said that business has only 2 functions: innovation and marketing.  The logic makes sense: R&D teams create the products and Marketing defines the value proposition to distribute them at a profit. BUT as everyone knows most products either flop...