Journal Name: Prometheus, Volume 6, Number 1, June 1988
Economic Considerations in the Selection of Generic Technologies
by Brian L. Johns
A vast array of new processes and product innovations can arise from a single broad-based generic technology such as biotechnology. A small country like Australia faces some difficult choices in determining which science-based generic technologies should be supported and to what extent. This paper explores the economic factors that should be taken into account by firms and by Government in determining the choice of generic technology. It considers the problem of identifying ex ante the particular technologies in which Australia may have a comparative advantage. It also shows why certain facets of the existing industrial structure are relevant to the selection of generic technologies.
Generic technology, government assistance, comparative advantage, industrial development, Australian manufacturing
Communications: An Antipodean Perspective
by Michael Kirby
Events in Italy and the rest of the world were confirming Pareto's predictions…[T]he national government was incapacitated by indecision…It was in this milieu that Italian fascism took root… On aggregate, people had come to feel that they should grow prosperous without having to work hard. As a consequence more energy was invested in connivance and in devising ways of transferring existing wealth than in constructive activity and the production of new wealth. With workers engaged in prolonged strikes and capitalists busy with parasitic or speculative activities yielding quick and easy money, no class was contributing to sustained growth or real property…corporate giants and organised labour were granted whatever concessions they asked for, at the expense of the general public. (C. H. Powers (ed.) in V. Pareto, The Transformation of Democracy, Transl., R. Girola, pp17-18)
Communications, technology, law reform, defamation law, media law, world government, TBDF, media diversity
Selectivity in Funding: Evaluation of Research in Australia
by J. Jeffrey Franklin
Selectivity and concentration in research funding has become unavoidable in Australia today. Some of the reasons for this are reviewed relative to international economic, scientific/technical and conceptual developments. The resulting need to develop an evaluative culture in and for Australia is discussed. The reasons for undertaking evaluations are outlined, and a working definition of 'research evaluation; that may be suitable within the Australian context is developed. The parameters that may deserve consideration in designing an evaluation are detailed, and a series of conceptual and practical guidelines are forwarded. Several barriers to implementing evaluations that may apply to Australia are addressed. Finally, the implications of the concept 'accountability' for both the recipients of government support and government itself are briefly raised.
Research evaluation, S&T policy-decision-making, Australian research funding policy, R&D management
The Information Society: Computopia, Dystopia, Myopia
by Antony Bryant
As the twenty-first century approaches…the possibilities of a universally opulent society being realised have appeared in the sense that [Adam] Smith envisioned it, and the information society that will emerge from the computer communications revolution will be a society that actually moves towards a universal society of plenty… this is what I mean by "Computopia" (Masuda) Our culture…is already committed to the proposition that the only legitimate knowledge we can gain of our world is that yielded by science. All thinking, dreaming, feeling, indeed all other sources of insight have already be delegitimated. The indoctrination of our children's minds with simplistic and uninformed computer idolatory…is pandemic phenomenon (Weizenbaum)
Information technology, computer systems, ideology, communication, control
R&D Project Assessment as an Information and Communication Process
by Larry Dwyer
The paper has three main objectives, viz, to emphasize the need for informed project assessment as central to the effective management of R&D by Australian business; to argue that different stages of a project's development; to emphasize the importance of R&D project assessment as an information and communication process which helps to promote a firm's goals. In addressing these issues the paper highlights some of the ways in which managers of Australian companies can learn from overseas experience and outlines some of the challenges facing Australian management at this time.
Research and development, project assessment, information, organization, communication
A 'Multi-function Polis' for Australia
by T. D. Mandeville
MITI has proposed a $5-10 billion 'Multi-Function-Polis' in Australia. The functions would include high technology, recurrent adult education, resort and leisure, and culture change. It would become a forum for international technological and cultural exchange in the Pacific Rim region.
Japanese technopolis concept, MITI, high technology, Pacific Rim, regional development policy, information intensity
New Materials Technology: Another Australian Lost Opportunity
by Tom Forester
Three megatechnologies will dominate the last decade of the 20th Century: Information Technology, Biotechnology and New Materials Technology. New Materials have been the least well publicized, yet they play a crucial precursor role in most other technological innovation. Developments in materials science now give us the ability to design so-called 'advanced materials' from scratch for specific purposes. They have a wide variety of applications. In addition, new materials technology extends the notion of choice in the production process and as such it has major implications for engineers, designers and managers. Australia is in theory well-placed to take advantage of the materials revolution in terms of natural resources, environment and existing research strengths. But although some impressive and useful work has been done by the Department of Science in targeting fruitful areas for future research, and international comparison of materials R&D and a review of what the Australian government and private sector has done so far suggests that Australia once again is doing too little too late.
advanced materials, new materials technology, technology policy, research priorities
The Effective Patent Life of Pharmaceuticals in New Zealand - A Simulation
by John Parker
This paper estimates effective patent life of pharmaceuticals in New Zealand (NZ EPL). A simulation technique is used based on the linking effect of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The simulation procedure suggests that NZ EPL is declining and will yield no protection in the fairly near future, for drugs from the USA, UK and Switzerland. Two consequences for pharmaceuticals are suggested. One, the focus of the NA patent term is likely to shift from the normal period of 16 years to the maximum available when extensions are included. Two, applications for extensions are likely to become routine. In these terms the recommendations by the Industrial Property Advisory Committee (IPAC), at least as they apply to pharmaceuticals, that the current patent life remain unchanged at 16 years and extension have a maximum of 4 and not 10 years, are somewhat puzzling.
Pharmaceuticals, patents, effective patent life, New Zealand, patent reform
Science Policy Management
by Anne B. Pedersen
Development of the Pacific region depends upon communication and education of scientific and technological manpower as one aspect of human resource development. Statistic data to guide policy are lacking. Coordinated efforts within the Pacific community are needed to collect data and develop appropriate policies.
communication, regional educational exchange, human resource development, scientific and technological manpower, brain drain, lack of data
(This journal is available online: http://www.tandf.co.uk/online.html)
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