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La Trobe Business School

Month: July 2017

Innovate or Perish! – Australia’s Innovation System


For more information on the forthcoming LBS Northlink National Innovation Forum, see the conference website. Early Bird tickets available until 31 August 2017.

Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice, Economics

Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice, Economics

LBS Professor of Practice in Economics, Dr Mark Cloney, questions popular reports that Australia performs badly in industry-university collaboration and innovation when compared to other OECD countries.

Australia, like the rest of the global economy, is facing significant structural change in the coming decades which offers both challenges and opportunities. Some suggest 40 per cent of today jobs will no longer exist in 10 years and that changing technology (robotics and artificial intelligence etc.) and new business models will continue to disrupt ‘old’ business processes and structures. Others say that this same disruption will also create new growth markets. So is Australia’s innovation glass half full or half empty?

One strategy in meeting challenges and opportunities is adopting continuous innovation and the uptake of innovative skills and technologies. Continual innovation results in new markets, mindsets, skills and organisational re-design which are critical drivers of productivity and growth. According to Universities Australia (2017), universities are central to skilling and upskilling the next generation of Australian entrepreneurs and startups and thereby improving Australia’s innovation system and sustainable growth. Its research finds that more than four in five Australian startup founders are university graduates (Universities Australia, 2017, p.3) and that startups were the largest contributor to job creation in Australia in the last decade (Universities Australia, 2017 p.8).

However,  the health of Australia’s innovation system remains subject to conjecture and contrasting opinions with, for example, Australia sitting at the bottom of OECD (2015) rankings in terms of university-industry collaboration. Moreover, according to Global Innovation Index (2017), Australia slid further down the world rankings in terms of innovation inputs and outputs from 19 to 23 in the latest world rankings among 127 countries (Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO, 2017). Is this really the case?

A report by IP Australia challenges the notion that Australia is at the bottom of the OECD university-industry collaboration index arguing that this finding is based on poor data selection. For example, when you focus on patent applications filed by an Australian university with a collaborator (business partner) Australia moves to the middle of comparable international tables (IP Australia, 2017). Moreover, the city of Melbourne, home to nine universities, was recently named as the ‘most intelligent community’ in the world at the Intelligent Community Forum in New York in June 2017. Based on six intelligent community indicators the New York think tank pointed to Melbourne’s broadband speed, research institutions, new innovation precincts and its focus on sustainability as its major strengths.

Concerns over the performance of Australia’s innovation system caused the Federal Government to undertake a Senate Inquiry (2014) and then flag innovation as a major policy focus when it announced its $1.1 billion National Science and Innovation Agenda (Commonwealth of Australia, 2015). A central element of that policy statement was to substantially increase university-industry collaboration on the basis that such alliances internationally have become a prominent feature of the knowledge-based economy, dealing with the speed of transformation and economic disruption.

The challenge seems to be that Australian universities specialise in innovative research to answer fundamental questions, while businesses have specialist skills in commercialising and implementing products, services and ideas. However, university research can be often disconnected from the innovative needs of business (e.g. startups and SMEs) and not-for-profits.

So is there a disconnect? If so, why the disconnect? Or, are we doing better than we think?

LBS in partnership with NORTH Link is exploring these questions at its National Innovation Forum to be held over September 28 – 29, 2017 at its Bundoora Campus. The Forum offers a unique opportunity not only to hear from recognised national and international thinkers and business leaders on the topic of innovation and university-business collaboration but to also engage with them in Q&A. Two of the speakers, Dr Benjamin Mitra-Kahn, chief economist at IP Australia, and Dr Charles Day, CEO of Office of Innovation and Science Australia, will explore the current health of Australia’s innovation system in some detail. The Forum also presents industry and academic perspectives on how we can continue to improve innovation through university-industry interactions and engagement, particularly for startups and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) through the use of business accelerators and incubators.

The Forum will no doubt provide new insights on whether Australia’s innovation glass is indeed half full or half empty.

References:

Commonwealth of Australia (2015), National Innovation & Science Agenda: Welcome to the Ideas Boom, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO (2017), The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World, Ithaca, Fontainebleau, and Geneva.

IP Australia (2017), Australian Intellectual Property Report 2017, Commonwealth of Australia (https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/ip-report-2017).

OECD (2015), OECD Innovation Strategy 2015: An Agenda for Policy Action, October 2015.

Universities Australia (2017), Startup Smarts: Universities and the Startups Economy, University Australia, March, universitiesaustralia.edu.au

Panel Event: Better Out Than In Panel Event

La Trobe University, the AFLPA and Beyondblue present research and individual stories of courage at an exclusive panel event aimed at reducing the stigma around discussing men’s mental health.

Moderated by: Nick Dal Santo, 300 game ex-AFL player

Panel: Andrew Thorpe (Beyondblue), Dr Paul O’Halloran (La Trobe University), Jake Edwards (Outside The Locker Room).

Tea and coffee provided at the conclusion of the panel discussion.

Panel Event

Date: Thu. 27 July 2017

Time: 10am – 11:30am

Venue: Odeon Room, La Trobe University, Melbourne Campus, Plenty Road, Melbourne.

Register: Please register via Eventbrite.

Innovative Teaching is Rewarded

At La Trobe Business School, Teaching Awards and Teaching Support Staff Awards in our College reflect the extent to which our academics are able to make a real difference to student satisfaction and experience.  This year, there were five College Teaching Awards: LBS staff picked up three of the five awards in total.  In addition to the College Academic Staff Teaching Awards, the College also recognises the important role tutors and casual teaching support staff play in supporting academics to deliver a quality student experience. This year LBS staff picked up two of the four awards made.

Winners of the teaching awards were:

Peter Matheis (Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Marketing) for developing effective, engaging and innovative approaches to student learning and collaborative teaching initiatives in Marketing through blended flip-class room designs and resource curricula development

Esin Ozdil (Accounting and Data Analytics) for implementing diverse and timely formal and informal evaluation techniques that improve teaching and enhance students learning experience and engagement in different subject delivery modes

Seema Miglani and Biserka Siladi (Accounting and Data Analytics) for the development and delivery of a multi-campus, third year core subject using blended-learning technologies and resulting in improved levels of students’ satisfaction and understanding of real-word issues of auditing and assurance.

Winners for the Teacher Support Staff  category were:

Muhammad Saqib Manzoor (Economics & Finance) for the effective development of learning materials and co-developing assignments that engage and stimulate students as reflected by the high students satisfaction scores

Saedi Khosroshahi (Economics & Finance) for stimulating the students’ curiosity, encouraging critical thinking and promoting effective communication.

 

Professor Muhammad Yunus’s visit to the LBS Yunus Centre to be broadcast on Channel 31 on July 24th!

On 7 April 2017, Professor Muhammad Yunus visited La Trobe University. In a ceremony held at La Trobe’s Hoogenraad Lecture Theatre, Professor Yunus received an Honorary Doctorate from Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar and officially opened the Yunus Social Business Centre at La Trobe Business School.

On 24 July 2017 at 8.30pm, a recording of this significant honorary doctorate ceremony and address will be broadcast on Channel 31. The ceremony, recorded in two parts, will also be available for streaming on the channel’s online platform, C31 online (available via the Channel 31 website).

The three zeroes         

Professor Muhammad Yunus is widely known for his progressive theories surrounding microcredit and for founding Grameen Bank, an innovative institution which has enabled impoverished entrepreneurs to access an affordable loan scheme and start a business.

Through social business, Professor Dr Yunus has set out to create a world with three zeroes: zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emissions through social business. “All humans are entrepreneurs,” Dr Yunus said during his presentation. “If you can think of a problem to solve through a business you can set up that can get five people out of welfare, your effort is already worth it.”

Attendees to the invite-only event included of key stakeholders included the La Trobe Business School staff, members of the business community, stakeholders and collaborators of the LBS Yunus Social Business Centre, and the La Trobe Asia community.

Programme details

Date: 24 July 2017

Programme time: 8.30pm

Platform: Channel 31, on television and online.

La Trobe’s tourism studies garner international recognition

By Warwick Frost

La Trobe University has made the inaugural QS World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management this year, while a key faculty member recently received an international award for her tourism research.

For the first time, this year’s QS World University Rankings include Hospitality and Leisure Management as a category. From Victoria, Monash University (22) and La Trobe University (50) were included in the top 50. The other four Australian universities recognised were: Griffith University (9), The University of Queensland (12), University of South Australia (27) and Southern Cross University (38).

This comes as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of La Trobe University and the 21st birthday for our Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality. It is also significant that Tourism and Hospitality was the only area at La Trobe to be placed in the global top 50.

The rankings are based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Sixteen of the top 50 institutions are located in Europe, 15 are from North America, 10 from Asia and six from Australia. The University of Nevada – Las Vegas came in at first place.

Many of the universities in the top 10 are specialist institutions, including Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (2) and Swiss Hotel Management School (8).

LBS Associate Professor Jennifer Laing awarded Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017

Associate Professor Jennifer Laing of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at La Trobe University was recently awarded the Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017 by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. She received the award at a conference in Guangzhou, China in May.

Laing says that most of her research has been conducted in Victoria. “My research on festivals and events has primarily examined their social benefits and meanings, such as their role in changing environmental behaviour,” she says. “I have also looked at practical problems such as governance issues affecting the viability of rural festivals, like succession planning and volunteer burnout.” Her  work has covered four main research areas: the social dimension of events, the role of tourism in rural and regional development, media and travel narratives, and health and wellness tourism.

The Academy (which is headquartered at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) was created to further scholarly research in tourism, and its Fellows are comprised of highly accomplished tourism researchers from around the world. Up to three scholars receive this award every two years and applicants must be within 10 years of having completed their PhD.

The award acknowledges Dr Laing’s contribution to tourism research and her substantial publication track record of innovative and ground-breaking research in top-tier journals and co-authorship of five research books. It is the first time a Victorian scholar has won this award.

LBS’s Angela McCabe’s research project features on Clarivate Analytics State of Innovation website!

LBS lecturer Dr Angela McCabe

Recently, La Trobe Business School Lecturer in Management, Dr Angela McCabe’s research project has been featured as a case study on the Clarivate Analytics (formally Thomson Reuters)– State of Innovation Website. The article also features Angela’s colleagues from University of Melbourne and INSEAD.

Clarivate Analytics is a leading provider of intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services that drive Innovation for governments, academia, publishers, corporations and law firms as they discover, protect and commercialize new ideas and brands. The State of Innovation website highlights research projects featuring Clarivate data.

Dr Angela McCabe summarized her research project as follows:

Our research examines climate change research from the perspective of management studies, to clarify the communicative and evaluative dynamics by which research spreads and diffuses across disciplines. We seek to examine how the metrification of the sciences facilitates ‘evaluative tournaments’ that act as de facto ‘arbiters of truth’ in the realm of climate change. We examine how evaluative tournaments — represented by practices such as rankings, impact factors and citation scores — accord greater value to one understanding of climate change over another. In our analysis we are drawing on a custom dataset provided by Clarivate Analytics comprising over 3500 climate change articles published in Nature and Science from 1980 to today.

Access the full case study on the Clarivate Analytics website.

Dalrymple bowls his way to Vicsport Award

Neil Darymple and LBS Associate Professor Emma Sherry

Neil Dalrymple, the latest recipient of the La Trobe Business School sponsored Vicsport Victorian Sport Administrator of the Year Award, has done exactly that.

Dalrymple’s passion for sport can be traced back to a childhood where his sporting endeavours as an up an avid cricketer, footballer and golfer took him abroad.

After years of playing, Dalrymple decided to jump ship and begin a career in sports administration in 1987.

“I’d been playing cricket overseas, mainly in England, for two winters and then I came back to Australia and got a job with the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia),” Dalrymple says.

From his first job at Cricket Australia, Dalrymple’s work over the next twelve years would see his hard-work and dedication spread over a number of organisations.

He worked as the CEO and National Development Officer at Softball Australia for eight years, was appointed CEO of Northern Territory Cricket in 2004 and worked in the role until 2006 before returning to Cricket Australia for a two-year period as the Community Cricket Manager.

It was in May of 2007 that Dalrymple moved into his current role as Bowls Australia CEO and after ten years at the helm, his commitment was rewarded with the La Trobe University sponsored VicSport accolade.

During his time in the top job, Dalrymple says the constant need to evolve has expanded his horizons.

“It’s definitely changed over my time. Certainly trying to create shorter versions of the game have been a real focus.”

“That need for change is based on a lot of evidence, similar to twenty-twenty cricket, because if you don’t adapt and shorten your sport and game format to something that can fit within the space of an hour or two then you are going to struggle to get new participants,” Dalrymple says.

This creative change, Dalrymple explains, is brought upon by the misconception around the age of people that play bowls.

“I think it’s (bowls) positioned as a sport for older people and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s obviously a large number of older people that do play bowls but I think from a media perspective we can try and change that by making it a more attractive game to a younger audience.”

“Now that could be for 40-year-olds, 50-year-olds or 20-year-olds. The fact is that the average age of our Australian team now is about 30 so that alone is helping to change that outside perception.”

One shorter version of the game is the Australian Premier League and was introduced around four years ago with the competition broadcast to a live audience on Fox Sports. Dalrymple believes this media coverage is helping shift outsiders thinking of bowls.

Along with creating shorter versions of the game, a number of structural changes have taken place over Dalrymple’s time at the top with the replacement of state association development officers to regional bowls managers employed by the national body. This centralisation has in-turn allowed Bowls Australia to receive more funding from the Australia Sports Commission.

After years of hard work at the helm of Bowls Australia, Darlymple’s acknowledgement at the VicSport Awards was “thoroughly pleasing”.

Neil is currently exploring study and professional development opportunities with the La Trobe Business School for himself and his staff using the scholarship money offered with the award.

“Given I was a finalist I thought I was a reasonable chance and I felt that I’d had a good year and it was also great recognition for not just the last 12 months but for the contribution I’d made over a number of years.”

With over 20 years of experience within the sports industry, Dalrymple’s advice to anyone wanting to follow a similar path is to come in with the right attitude.

“A strong work ethic is important. A lot of people want to get somewhere quickly but I think sometimes you have to put in the hard yards so you’ve really got to enjoy what you do.”

“For students, I think the most important thing is to get voluntary experience. Get into organisations and offer your services because building your resume is very important as that experience shows you’ve done the hard yards and in turn good opportunities will come to you.”

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