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Emphasis on innovation

INNOVATION is a strange concept in Australia.

I have written before that our innovation is often the bush mechanic style of being able to keep things together with wire and string. However this places too much emphasis on making technology last rather than creating something new.

Of course, there is more to innovation in Australia – at some times and in some areas we have punched well above our weight in the global arena.

This week we take a look at some of those stories in WA, the advances that come from scientific research into peculiar applications that, often, suit our climate or geography.

Go figure

THE innovation feature was also meant to celebrate the research and development funding driving creativity in WA.

However, our research stopped us short there.

Instead of finding our institutions and incubators awash with funds, we found academics and researchers crying foul.

It seems, no matter what the Government says, we are missing out.

This is money that is critical to establishing new technologies and all the potential for new industries and new employment with gleaming new head offices and laboratories springing up in new technology parks.

So where is it going? It seems Queensland has got its act together, promoted itself as the smart State (which is pretty smart) and gone about capturing those funds.

It’s embarrassing to find us so much behind the eight ball on this one.

WA has a lot going for it in the hunt for talent.

Lifestyle and the cost of living are attractive to largely underpaid academics.

Having so many universities in Perth also has its benefits.

But it’s no good if the money – which could go so much further in our State – ends up detouring to the Gold Coast.

The figures tell the story on this one.

Moore off

HE’S gone.

After a rollercoaster ride at the helm of WA’s best-known stockbroking outfit, Tim Moore is out.

Exactly what sort of legacy he has left will be unravelled over the coming months and years, as the new management determines whether the millions spent on R&D (no shortage of funding for these researchers) was worth all the effort.

It is perhaps only through new management that we will ever find out whether Mr Moore was a visionary derided for his foresight or just another of those out-of-favour charismatic CEOs.

Whatever the case, management schools ought to do case studies on his survival skills.

The drums have been beating outside Mr Moore’s compound for years, but he always seemed to find investors at just the right time

(and the right amount) to ensure his strategy was bought a little more time.

It’s a kind of reverse cooling off period.

But, in a public company, especially one with brokers who analyse the fortunes of others, time can run out if you can’t get the runs on the board quickly enough.

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