Professor presents radio series on innovation

31 Jan 2013
Mark Dodgson

Just as Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, calls for a national culture of innovation, a world-renowned innovation expert from UQ Business School is urging Australia to improve its track record for exploiting new ideas in a series of programs on Radio National.

Professor Mark Dodgson is presenting in three episodes of The Science Show, the first of which was broadcast on Saturday, 26 January. In it, Professor Dodgson argues that Australia needs to adopt a different approach to innovation: “We in Australia have a history of widespread ingenuity and inventiveness, but our capacity to be innovative—that is to successfully apply our ideas—is patchy and piecemeal.

“In these programs I discuss the highs and lows of innovation throughout our history and argue that we have to be much more rigorous and systematic in our approaches to innovation to deal with the massive social challenges that confront our economy, our environment, and the quality of our lives.”

Professor Dodgson, who is Director of the School’s Technology and Innovation Management Centre, is also a visiting professor at Imperial College London and Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice. He argues that the world has changed substantially for the better over the past 150 years thanks to innovation.

He adds: “If you want to see the personal value of innovation there's no better place than to look at the extraordinarily moving videos of children hearing for the first time after having a Cochlear implant. Innovation helps the deaf hear and is increasingly helping the blind see. We live longer and healthier lives as a result of innovation.

“Without innovation our companies and our economy shrink and die and we no longer have the ability to pay for the educational and health services we enjoy. The novelty and changes of innovation bring fun into our lives. In a world of numbing uniformity, routine and bureaucracy, innovation permits us to get excited.”

The challenge is on, says Professor Dodgson, for Australian businesses and governments to move beyond rhetoric and start building competitiveness based on innovation.

Listen to past programs or view the transcripts here.