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Boffins to blitz business blues

A RAPID-response team of the world’s best brains to solve business and government problems is being launched in the Government House Ballroom this week by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Alexander Downer.

The Perth-based think-tank is called the Centre for International Strategic Analysis (CISA).

“Within 48 hours of a problem developing, we will have assembled a tailor-made team of the world’s leading experts to provide advice and answers on complex issues requiring international economic, political, social, security and other expertise,” said CISA director Dr Ross Babbage.

“This is the first time such a unique and specialised service has been established in Australia and it has wide government support.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Defence have seconded senior staff to CISA while the Western Australian Government, Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia are providing substantial financial support. BHP has made a foundation grant.

The brainchild of its chairman, former WA Governor Major General Michael Jeffery, CISA is based at the Edith Cowan University campus in Claremont and has an office in Canberra.

The not-for-profit centre has built a network of more than 60 of the world’s leading government, academic and private sector analytical experts, called CISANET, to advise Australian business and government on difficult international issues.

CISA (www.cisastrategic.net.au) will also research higher-level health, education, broader social policy, planning and other issues it thinks require greater public debate.

CISA’s short monthly report, What’s Next? Key Issues for Corporate Decision Makers, highlights key issues relevant to corporate planning.

Dr Babbage said CISA recently brought together a small, very experienced team to advise a major Sydney-based corporation on its expansion into Asia.

The team selected two countries offering the best business prospects and chose the company’s best business units to lead its push into them.

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