Designing a national innovation system to allow the creative industries to add value
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Acknowledging and celebrating new energy around critiques of Australia’s National Innovation System, this paper explores the design of an innovation system that would harness energy from the Creative Industries. The notion that the Creative Industries are an important element of Australia’s innovation system has not, it seems, been self-evident. Indeed, while the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) identifies four areas under ‘Specific industries and sectors for Innovation’, these areas are Biotechnology, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), Nanotechnology and Pharmaceuticals. The entries under the ‘Programs and services for Innovation’ are likewise Creative Industries-free (although comparatively heavy on Science, Technology and Pharmaceuticals), while the pointers to ‘Consultative forums for Innovation’ exclude, for example, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCII). A majority of the sites and resources referred to, however, reflect the priorities of the Howard Government and address initiatives from that era. Things are changing. It is clear that today’s Australian Government is prepared to accept that a revised National Innovation System may usefully draw upon the work carried out during the past decade concerning the nature and contribution of the Creative Industries. Work relating the Creative Industries to Innovation has been in two directions: firstly critiquing and exploring the development of the Creative Industries as a driver for innovation and, secondly, detailing the shortcomings of a National Innovation System that excludes Creative Industries as one of the major loci of activity. Assuming that a National Innovation System can be designed better – as the DIISR review appears to imply – how can it be designed to allow the Creative Industries to add value?