Groundbreaking research is the result of allowing researchers flexibility, a concept which the bean counters in science management ignore at their peril.
That's the message from a book launched today (Monday April 28) by CSIRO Chairman, Mr Charles Allen.
Called Research, Development and Innovation, the authors describe it as a virtual 'how to' for encouraging innovative research for Australian industry.
Bob Brown, Alfred Carter (deceased), Robert Davie and Graeme Ogilvie collaborated on the book to be used as a text for undergraduate and post- graduate students to gain some insight into the working world of researchers for industry.
The other major aim of the book is to help administrators and managers to understand the mentalities of researchers and innovators.
Bob Brown, who's head of a worldwide consortium called Globeman 21, believes there is a gap between the thinking of science and industry numbers crunchers and the researchers they depend upon.
"Our book highlights the excitement of research and how it can be used to achieve results for industry in both innovation and profit," he says.
"Very often science breakthroughs come from the disorganised backroom people, so managers should be prepared to allow flexibility in their research team."
For example one case study in the book describes how a technician who would not normally be allowed the freedom to develop ideas was able to bring the concept of a battery tester to commercial reality with the support of his CSIRO program leader. The Smart Test battery tester is now in use in servicing vehicles in several countries, including the United States and Britain.
In another case study from the book, the Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus
(VESDA) developed by IEI Pty Ltd, last year achieved $20 million in export
sales, including installation in the Royal Palace in Sweden and the House
of Lords in London.
More information from:
Chester Bendall) 03 9662 7717, (fax)03 9 662 7852, email: email@example.com
or Bob Brown on 035 796 2522, email firstname.lastname@example.org.