Fostering enterprise: the innovation and skills nexus - research readings

By Penelope Curtin, John Stanwick, Francesca Beddie Research report 28 June 2011 ISBN 978 1 921809 84 2 print; 978 1 921809 83 5 web


The main impetus for the interest in innovation is that it is seen to improve productivity at the firm level and therefore improved economic prosperity and living standards. This edited volume was commissioned by the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations. The authors contribute a variety of views on innovation from different perspectives. Some of the main themes running throughout the book are reasons for firms innovating, the skills required for innovation and how innovation and skills development is supported by the training system, the firm and government. Innovation is seen as moving beyond research and development, to include new products, services and operational/organisational processes.


About the research

The main interest in 'innovation' is in terms of what it is seen to contribute to productivity at the enterprise level, and to economic prosperity at the national level. Innovation, as we think about it now, is much more than activities related to research and development. Indeed, much of innovation can be thought of as being incremental in nature, and includes improvements to processes.

This book of readings on innovation was commissioned by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and looks at the relationship between skills, innovation and industry. In November 2010, NCVER held a forum in Sydney on the relationship between innovation and skills which explored many of the concepts addressed in this book of readings. Other researchers in the area have also contributed to chapters in this book.

The authors offer a variety of views on innovation and its relevance. While the authors view innovation from differing perspectives, they all implicitly acknowledge the importance of innovation to productivity. We hope that the chapters will stimulate debate about the role of education and skills in innovation, particularly those emerging from vocational education and training (VET).

Tom Karmel
Managing Director, NCVER



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