17/12/2002 - 21:00

Think tank takes future direction

17/12/2002 - 21:00

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PERTH-BASED think tank the Centre for International Strategic Analysis has adopted a new name to signify a broadening of its focus. Under its new name, Future Directions International (FDI), it will provide high-level strategic advice to government and

Think tank takes future direction

PERTH-BASED think tank the Centre for International Strategic Analysis has adopted a new name to signify a broadening of its focus.

Under its new name, Future Directions International (FDI), it will provide high-level strategic advice to government and private sector clients on a broad range of economic, political and commercial issues.

Managing director Lee Cordner said FDI’s aspiration was to be the Australian equivalent of the Brookings Institute or Rand Corporation, both of which are highly renowned US think tanks.

The driving force behind FDI is former WA Governor, Major General Michael Jeffery. He is the chairman of FDI’s Board, which also includes prominent business figure Harold Clough.

The think tank opened in May 2000 after obtaining seed capital from the Court Government.

The Gallop Government has also provided financial and other support, as has the Federal Government, WA’s four universities and the private sector, including BHP Billiton, which made a foundation grant.

Mr Cordner said the think tank’s original name implied that it focused only on security and geo-political issues.

“We provide research on large issues of national importance,” he said. “Our approach is holistic and big picture, drawing together the work of specialists in their respective fields.”

FDI has already produced reports on Australia’s energy and water industries and is currently conducting research on salinity, population and security issues.

Consultancy services to the corporate sector are provided on a fee-for-service basis, including on international political risk analysis.

Mr Cordner said there was substantial interest from Australian companies looking for strategic advice before investing offshore.

FDI has recently expanded its staff with the appointment of David Horn as research manager and Renee Ralph as marketing manager.

It has six full-time staff in its Perth and Canberra offices and has established a network of 120 associates in universities and other organisations.

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