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*Victoria Institute of
*Strategic Economic Studies
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Australia and the Knowledge Economy: An Assessment of Enhanced Economic Growth Through Science and Technology (1995)

‘In the past decade, Australia has made stunning progress towards becoming a clever country. Business spending on R&D has quadrupled...in real terms. And manufacturing exports have quadrupled...What is new in this thought provoking and challenging new study is its argument that these are linked; that manufacturing exports have been driven in part by the new knowledge gained through R&D.’
Tim Colebatch, The Age, 22 Dec 95

This book examines Australia's recent performance and future prospects in the emerging world of the knowledge economy - the processes, products and structures emerging around the world as a result of the impact of computing and communications technologies on every sphere of life. 

The study documents the striking progress made in Australia over the past decade in developing knowledge-based businesses, both in manufacturing and in services, but argues that much more is required if the changes are to have a major impact on the nation's economy. An analysis is provided of the globalisation of service activities - the next major stage of global integration - an area where Australia can be strongly competitive on world markets.

Australia and the Knowledge Economy also considers the impact of past science and technology policies in Australia. It outlines a set of future policies which could further enhance Australian R&D activity, to levels above the OECD average. Such a scenario would give a substantial boost to exports, growth and employment.

This is the second report of the New and Old Industries in Australia project, which was funded by the Australian Research Council through the Collaborative Research Grants Program, with the support of the Australian Manufacturing Council and associated companies, and contributions from Victoria University, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University. CSES acknowledges the support of ASTEC and CSIRO in the preparation of this study.

By Peter Sheehan, Nick Pappas, Galina Tikhomirova and Paul Sinclair
Published 1995 A$24.95 ISBN 1 87533 848 9 
To order this publication contact vises@vu.edu.au 

Table of contents

  1. The Changing Context of Australian Growth
  2. The Science and Technology Base: A Brief Review
  3. The Knowledge Intensity of Manufacturing Trade
  4. Business R&D, Production and Trade
  5. Service Activities and the Changing World Economy
  6. Opportunities for Australia - At Home and Abroad
  7. Policies for Science and Technology: Past and Future
  8. Science, Technology and Economic Growth