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First step in establishing a national technology transfer network



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MEDIA RELEASE

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^ 2-7

FOR RELEASE 8 .0 0 pm

TUESDAY, 16 MAY 1978

FIRST STEP IN ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER NETWORK

S ta te m e n t by t h e M i n i s t e r f o r P r o d u c t i v i t y , Mr I a n Macphee

In c o - o p e r a t i o n w ith t h e D epartm ent o f P r o d u c t i v i t y , 27 s i g n i f i c a n t n a t i o n a l

o r g a n i s a t i o n s have i n i t i a t e d t h e f i r s t s t e p to w a rd s t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a

n a t i o n a l te c h n o lo g y t r a n s f e r n e tw o rk .

The M i n i s t e r f o r P r o d u c t i v i t y , Mr Ian Macphee, s a i d to d a y t h e b a s i c c o n c e p t o f

t h e n etw o rk was t o e s t a b l i s h a sy ste m o f t e c h n i c a l r e f e r r a l a g e n c ie s a c r o s s

A u s t r a l i a t o b u i l d t e c h n i c a l in f o r m a t io n " b r i d g e s " b e tw e en l a r g e and sm all

b u s in e s s on one s i d e and t h e e x i s t i n g c e n t r e s o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l e x p e r t i s e

w i t h i n i n d u s t r y i t s e l f , academ ic i n s t i t u t i o n s and Government r e s e a r c h

b o d ie s on t h e o t h e r .

Mr Macphee s a i d a m e e tin g convened by h i s D epartm ent i n M elbourne on 21 A p r il

had been a tt e n d e d by more th a n 60 r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f 27 p r o f e s s i o n a l ,

i n d u s t r y and Government b o d ie s t o d i s c u s s t h e p ro m o tio n o f te c h n o lo g y t r a n s f e r t o

m a n u f a c tu r in g i n d u s t r y .

A r e p r e s e n t a t i v e w o rk in g p a r t y was e s t a b l i s h e d t o d e v e lo p a p l a n f o r a p i l o t

im p le m e n ta tio n o f t h e te c h n o lo g y t r a n s f e r n e tw o rk and r e p o r t b a c k by th e

b e g in n in g o f A u g u st. I t i s a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t t h e f i r s t p a r t o f t h e n a t i o n a l

n e tw o rk would b e e s t a b l i s h e d i n t h e m e ta ls i n d u s t r i e s s e c t o r .

Mr Macphee announced d e t a i l s o f th e te c h n o lo g y t r a n s f e r i n i t i a t i v e when

d e l i v e r i n g t h e 1978 A u s t r a l a s i a n I n s t i t u t e o f M e ta ls L e c tu r e i n M elbourne

on " P r o d u c t i v i t y i n A u s t r a l i a ' s M etal M a n u fa c tu rin g I n d u s t r i e s " .

He s a i d t h e p i l o t te c h n o lo g y t r a n s f e r program w i t h i n t h e m e ta ls m a n u f a c tu r in g

s e c t o r was s e e n as a f o r e r u n n e r o f a n a t i o n a l n etw o rk aim ed a t l i n k i n g

A u s t r a l i a ' s s u b s t a n t i a l e x i s t i n g te c h n o lo g y and t e c h n o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h

r e s o u r c e s d i r e c t l y w ith t h e i n d i v i d u a l f ir m .

Mr Macphee e m p h a sise d t h e e x t e n t o f t h e r e s o u r c e s o f manpower and e x p e n d it u r e

now d e v o te d t o r e s e a r c h and developm ent w i t h i n A u s t r a l i a w h ic h , p o t e n t i a l l y ,

was w a i t i n g t o be ta p p e d by i n d u s t r y .

For ex am p le, i t was e s t i m a t e d t h a t i n A u s t r a l i a ' s c e n t r e s o f h i g h e r e d u c a tio n

a lo n e d u r in g 1 9 7 3 /7 4 , no l e s s th a n 17,000 man y e a r s were d e v o te d t o r e s e a r c h

and d e v e lo p m e n t, o f w hich 12,000 man y e a r s r e p r e s e n t e d em ployees w ith

p r o f e s s i o n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s .

T h is i n d i c a t e d t h e e x t e n t o f t h e manpower e f f o r t o u t s i d e i n d u s t r y w hich

A u s t r a l i a d e v o te d t o r e s e a r c h and d e v e lo p m en t. In 1973/74 f o r ex am p le, '

o n ly a b o u t one t h i r d o f g r o s s s p e n d in g on r e s e a r c h and d evelopm ent i n A u s t r a l i a

o f $651m was s p e n t by t h e b u s i n e s s s e c t o r . The g r e a t b u lk o f t h e r e m a in d e r -

some $423m - was s p e n t w i t h i n t h e F e d e ra l Government and i n c e n t r e s o f h i g h e r

e d u c a t io n su ch as u n i v e r s i t i e s , C o lle g e s o f Advanced E d u c a tio n and o t h e r

t e c h n i c a l and e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . S t a t e Government r e s e a r c h b o d ie s

and p r i v a t e n o n - p r o f i t i n s t i t u t i o n s made a s m a l l e r c o n t r i b u t i o n .

- \-V.

. .2 /

-2 -

X

Mr Macphee s a i d : " I n a l l t h e d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e p r o b le m s o f m ak in g p r a c t i c a l

u s e o f t h i s k n o w le d g e i n t h e work sh o p o r on t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n s i t e , t h e k ey

e l e m e n t i s a lw a y s t h e n e e d f o r d i r e c t p e r s o n - t o - p e r s o n c o n t a c t . On t h e o t h e r

h a n d , t h e p e r s o n who can i d e n t i f y t h e a p p r o p r i a t e i n f o r m a t i o n , i n t e r p r e t i t

an d co m m u n icate i t and on t h e o t h e r h a n d t h e p e r s o n on t h e sh o p f l o o r

t o p u t t h e t e c h n o l o g y i n t o p r a c t i c e . "

Mr Macphee s a i d t h e r e w e re f o u r a s p e c t s t o t h e c h a l l e n g e o f e n s u r i n g t h a t a

n e tw o r k o f t e c h n o l o g y t r a n s f e r was r e a l r a t h e r t h a n t h e o r e t i c a l - t h e y w e r e :

(1) t h e n e e d t o c r e a t e p o s i t i v e a w a r e n e s s i n i n d i v i d u a l f i r m s o f

t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r p r o d u c t i v i t y im p ro v e m e n t w h ic h i s p r a c t i c a l l y

p o s s i b l e t h r o u g h e x p l o i t a t i o n o f e x i s t i n g an d new m eth o d s and

p r o c e s s e s ;

(2 ) w i d e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e l i m i t e d d e g r e e t o w h ic h i t i s d e s i r a b l e ,

o r e v e n p o s s i b l e , t o p r o t e c t A u s t r a l i a n e n t e r p r i s e s from t h e

i n t e n s i v e l y c o m p e t i t i v e i n t e r n a t i o n a l e n v i r o n m e n t - and t h a t

t h e v i a b i l i t y o f A u s t r a l i a n f i r m s i s l i k e l y t o b e c r i t i c a l l y

d e p e n d e n t on s u c h p r o d u c t i v i t y im p ro v e m e n t;

(3 ) t h e n e e d t o i d e n t i f y e x i s t i n g and d e v e l o p i n g c e n t r e s i n i n d u s t r y ,

G overnm ent an d e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t e s who now p o s s e s s t h e

p a r t i c u l a r f a c i l i t i e s a n d know-how w h ic h c o u l d b e o f c o n s i d e r a b l e

b e n e f i t t o s i g n i f i c a n t s e g m e n ts o f i n d u s t r y ; and

(4 ) t h e n e e d t o e v o l v e a p r a c t i c a l m ech an ism o f c o - o r d i n a t e d and

r e a d y a c c e s s t o t h i s t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n a n d e x p e r t i s e ,

w h ic h i s c r i t i c a l t o an i n d i v i d u a l e n t e r p r i s e , an d t o

p r o v i d e a s s i s t a n c e i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n .

******

F o r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n c o n t a c t :

M i n i s t e r ' s O f f i c e : Rob P a l f r e y m a n 0 3 /6 6 3 1 8 1 2 (W)

D e p t a r t m e n t : F r e d W its e n h u y s e n 0 6 2 /4 8 2 1 1 1 (W)

NOTE: A f u r t h e r b a c k g r o u n d p a p e r on t h e D e p a r tm e n t o f P r o d u c t i v i t y ' s

T e c h n o lo g y T r a n s f e r I n i t i a t i v e i s a v a i l a b l e fro m t h e M i n i s t e r ' s

O f f i c e , P a r l i a m e n t House o r t h e D e p a r t m e n t 's P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s

S e c t i o n , C a n b e r r a

C a n b e r r a , T u e s d a y 16 May 1978

MAY 1978

DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY

NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER NETWORK INITIATIVE

O r g a n i s a t i o n s w h ic h a t t e n d e d t h e i n i t i a l T e c h n o lo g y T r a n s f e r i n i t i a t i v e

m e e t i n g a r r a n g e d by t h e D e p a rtm e n t o f P r o d u c t i v i t y i n M e lb o u r n e , 21 A p r i l 1978

P r o f e s s i o n a l B o d ie s

A s s o c i a t i o n f o r Com puter A id e d D e sig n

A u s t r a l i a n I n s t i t u t e f o r M e ta l F i n i s h i n g

I n s t i t u t i o n o f E n g i n e e r s A u s t r a l i a

I n s t i t u t i o n o f P r o d u c t i o n E n g i n e e r s

S o c i e t y o f M a n u f a c t u r i n g E n g i n e e r s

A u s t r a l i a n Academy o f T e c h n o l o g i c a l S c i e n c e s

I n d u s t r y O r g a n i s a t i o n s

C o n f e d e r a t i o n o f A u s t r a l i a n I n d u s t r y

M e ta l T r a d e s I n d u s t r y A s s o c i a t i o n

A u s t r a l i a n I n d u s t r i a l R e s e a r c h Group

A u s t r a l i a n W e ld in g R e s e a r c h O r g a n i s a t i o n

A u s t r a l i a n O r g a n i s a t i o n f o r Q u a l i t y C o n t r o l

A u s t r a l a s i a n I n s t i t u t e o f M e ta ls

A u s t r a l i a n Chamber o f Commerce V i c t o r i a n Chamber o f M a n u f a c tu r e s

Governm ent B o d ie s

A u s t r a l i a n S c i e n c e an d T e c h n o lo g y C o u n c i l

D e p a rtm e n t o f I n d u s t r y an d Commerce .

D e p a rtm e n t o f P r o d u c t i v i t y

D e p a r tm e n t o f D e fe n ce D e p a rtm e n t o f S c i e n c e D e p a rtm e n t o f C o n s t r u c t i o n ·

N a t i o n a l L i b r a r y o f A u s t r a l i a

CSIRO P a t e n t s O f f i c e

T e r t i a r y E d u c a t i o n Commission P r o d u c t i v i t y P r o m o tio n C o u n c i l o f A u s t r a l i a

D e p a rtm e n t o f S t a t e D evelopm ent a n d D e c e n t r a l i s a t i o n o f V i c t o r i a

NSW D e p a rtm e n t o f D e c e n t r a l i s a t i o n and D evelopm ent