Australian Innovation Research Centre

Media 2009

"Excellent Achievements for UTAS Vice-Chancellor"

UTAS Alumni News, December 2009

Professor Daryl Le Grew discusses his decision to leave the University of Tasmania at the end of 2010. He lists the significant achievements during his time as Vice-Chancellor, among them "the launch of the Australian Innovation Research Centre".

"New plan to combat homelessness"

ABC News (Tasmania), 18 December 2009

The Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania, the AIRC's Professor David Adams, comments on the Tasmanian Government's plan to decrease the number of homeless by improving communication between housing and welfare services. The "plan is good but the test will be whether more resources are invested for extra housing and training for frontline staff."

"Commercialisation Undergraduate Degree: Interview with Dr Colin Jones"

Outcomes, Issue 2, Research Office Commercialisation Unit, December 2009, page 5

Dr Colin Jones discusses the Commercialisation undergraduate degree offered by the University of Tasmania.

“Vision of Oxbridge on the Derwent”

Brand Tasmania Newsletter, page 5, December 2009

"The University of Tasmania should be moved from Sandy Bay to a new sandstone campus on the Hobart waterfront to create a precinct to rival Oxford or Cambridge, according to Professor Jonathan West”. This article gives an overview of Professor West's An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania and Premier David Bartlett's subsequent response to the report.

"Need a cool change? Tasmania gets some 2020 vision"

Tim Harcourt

The Age, 1 December 2009

According to Jonathan West, "...we are entering our third wave of economic development and innovation, which will be built around our strengths in agriculture and food production, forestry products, environmentally sustainable energy and creative industries".

"Vision splendid... and less so"

Bruce Felmingham, ‘Opinion’

The Sunday Tasmanian, 22 November 2009, page 55

Dr Bruce Felmingham adds his thoughts to the debate on the "Food Basket" vision for Tasmania's economic future, arguing as to why he believes the idea is unlikely to be successful.

"Innovation at the centre of business"


The Mercury, 10 November 2009, page 34

This article is part of a feature about the Small Business Expo 2009, held at Wrest Point on November 12 and 13, where Associate Professor Jack English facilitated two workshops. "Business academic Jack English knows building a small business is no simple task...Mr English wears many hats as a bestselling author, business consultant and university lecturer."

West Innovation"

Stateline Tasmania, ABC Television, 30 October 2009

Fresh water, Tasmania's swimming in it. It's provided our power for decades and now there's plans to use it to grow the State's half a billion dollar agriculture industry into a five billion dollar power house. The Premier David Bartlett thinks Tasmania can grow enough food to feed the nation. The architect of the plan, Jonathan West, has ruled out the midlands as too dry, even though the Premier touted the area as the food bowl of the nation. Philippa Duncan reports.

Read Transcript: Stateline Tasmania

"Capital idea in hot water"

The Mercury, Saturday 24 October 2009, page 5

Simon Currant, chairman of the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania expresses his concerns over the proposal by Professor Daryl Le Grew and Professor Jonathan West to move the University of Tasmania to the Hobart waterfront. Such a move would "tie up prime sites, squeezing out tourism development and stifling the growth of the cruise ship trade and tourism focused on water transport experiences".

"An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania: A New Vision for Economic Development"

The presentation of Professor West's report to Premier David Bartlett has spawned a great deal of public, government and media interest. Different aspects of the report have been discussed and debated in a number of forums, including:

  • 22 October 2009, Premier David Bartlett's address to the National Press Club, reported in both The Examiner, page 4, and The Mercury, page 11;
  • 23 October 2009, "Cheap power deals strangling the state", Luke Crowley, Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Tasmania, and Nicole Wells, Communications Electrical Plumbing Union Tasmania, Letters to the Editor, The Mercury, page 22;
  • 29 October 2009, "University life more than just sandstone", Duncan How, Letters to the Editor, The Mercury, page 16;
  • Numerous public comments to The Mercury's article on its website:
  • The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) mention the Tasmanian Innovation Strategy in their "Fastnews" online newsletter to members, announcing that they will be developing a formal response to the strategy in due course;
  • Mentions on other news services such as,, Yahoo!7 finance news, and

"Strategy to keep our economy in the lead"

The Examiner, 21 October 2009, page 16

According to Professor Jonathan West's Innovation Strategy for Tasmania "the North-East and North-West of Tasmania hold the biggest potential for agricultural growth" and "the value of the industry could increase by 40 per cent...with investment in irrigation." Other key growth sectors include food production, sustainable energy, forestry and tourism industries.

"Tassie power vision"

by Sue Neales, Chief Reporter

The Mercury, 21 October 2009, page 7

The key points of Professor Jonathan West's An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania: A New Vision for Economic Development are detailed in this report. Of the many recommendations of the report, Sue Neales highlighted the claim that the government is selling Tasmania's power too cheaply to the states' three major industrial users, thus "robbing government coffers of up to $220 million extra revenue every year". Other "bold ideas outlined in the report include shifting the University of Tasmania to the Hobart waterfront and building its new campus entirely of stone, ending the ban on growing genetically modified crops and holding a competition with a $10 million prize for the best future business model for the state."

"Premier unveils poverty action plan"

ABC News Online, 20 October 2009

The state government has announced funding for a variety of community developments and projects, in response to Professor David Adams' Social Inclusion Strategy for Tasmania. Professor Adams, Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania, presented the report, containing 50 recommendations to tackle problems faced by socially disadvantaged members of the community, in September of this year. The report, and the government's initial response, has been welcomed by Tasmania's welfare sector.

"Report's in on Food Bowl Plan"

Country Hour, ABC Rural Radio, 20 October 2009

"The Tasmanian Government has a 150 page report to ponder in relation to its Food Bowl for Tasmania idea. Jonathan West of the Australian Innovation Research Centre officially delivered his report, titled An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania: A New Vision for Economic Development, to the Premier David Bartlett this morning."

"Innovation Strategy Welcomed"

Nick McKim, MP

Media Release, 20 October 2009

"The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the release of the Innovation Strategy for Tasmania, prepared by Professor Jonathan West from the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC), saying that it will stimulate much needed debate about Tasmania's long term economic direction."

"Premier receives West Report"

Premier David Bartlett
Media Release, 20 October 2009

"An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania: A New Vision for Economic Development, prepared by Professor Jonathan West from the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC), was officially delivered to Premier David Bartlett today...'While we may not agree with everything it says or proposes, the ideas put forward are invigorating and are certain to generate a level of discussion that can only be of benefit to Tasmania's long-term economic future. As I have said many times it is ideas and innovative thinking that will drive Tasmania forward and this report is part of that."


"Economic report paints rosy picture"

ABC News Online, 20 October 2009

"A report on Tasmania's economic future argues that the state's current strengths form a solid base for a prosperous and united future. Professor Jonathan West's 150-page report for the State Government, An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania, has been more than a year in the making. It paints an optimistic picture."

"Waterfront shift on Uni's wish list"

by Sue Neales, Chief Reporter

The Mercury, Saturday 17 October 2009, pages 4-5

Professor Jonathan West's proposal to move the University of Tasmania from its current location to the Hobart Waterfront is discussed. Sue Neales describes Professor West as Premier David Bartlett's "visions guru", in reference to the forthcoming report An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania: A New Vision for Economic Development.


"Professor flags uni move near Launceston"

by Angus Livingston, Education Reporter

The Sunday Examiner, 16 October 2009, page 7

Professor Jonathan West's proposal to move the Sandy Bay Campus of the University of Tasmania closer to the city, as well as a similar move from the Newnham campus into Launceston is discussed. The article continues: "Professor West, part of the Premier's innovation think-tank, will release his sweeping statewide innovation plan on Tuesday. It is understood it contains a significant Northern component."

"Road to a More Caring Society"

by Patsy Crawford

The Sunday Tasmanian, 27 September 2009, page 56

Tasmanian Social Inclusion Commissioner, Professor David Adams' recommendations for a more inclusive Tasmania are being applauded, and are described by Ms Crawford as "a breath of fresh air blowing through the cobwebbed mindset that has gradually bogged down the state in social exclusivity".

"Vow For a Fairer Tassie - Bartlett to act on inclusion strategy"

The Mercury, 22 September 2009, page 7

Premier David Bartlett says he will adopt a happiness index in Tasmania, among other key recommendations from the first Social Inclusion Strategy for Tasmania, released by Social Inclusion Commissioner and AIRC Associate Professor David Adams. Professor Adams' has suggested a number of other possible strategies for tackling the problems of social isolation and exclusion by certain community groups, including the redistribution of Government Portfolios, based on each minister caring for all governmental aspects of one region rather than individual services and departments on a state-wide level.

"Strive or die in e-biz message"

by Michael Stedman

The Mercury, 13 August 2009, page 11

Professor Jonathan West was mentioned in an article about visiting internet guru Larry Smarr. Professor West noted that "traditional industries face massive challenges" in terms of business competition, under the new National Broadband Network plan.


"Do spadework now, advises business guru"

by Kathy Grube

Unitas, Issue 332, August 2009, page 3

Associate Professor Jack English advised those with new business ideas not to be deterred by the current economic conditions, but to do the early groundwork and prepare for the eventual economic upswing.

"Bountiful Opportunity"

by Professor Jonathan West

The Mercury Magazine, 25 July 2009, pages 6-7

Professor Jonathan West explains why investment in irrigation infrastructure is vital to attaining his vision for Tasmania as the "Food Bowl" of Australia. Tasmania has water in abundance, having the highest water-to-land mass ratio of any Australian state, and the key to tapping this resource is in designing and implementing a widespread irrigation system. Professor West also remarks that major investment in Tasmania's food production industry is of benefit to the state's tourism industry, enticing more "gourmet travellers" to Tasmania and experience the increased offering of premium food and wine products.

"Our future is in food"

by Professor Jonathan West

The Mercury, 24 July 2009, page 18

Professor Jonathan West notes that Tasmania has a substantially disproportionate share of Australian production in a number of key food categories (such as aquaculture, fruit and vegetable growing and processing, dairy farming and production, and other food manufacturing). Further, Tasmania has accumulated substantial expertise in the food and agriculture industries, and support for innovation in these areas can benefit Tasmania's long-term sustainable economic development.

"Let's show some creativity"

by Professor Jonathan West

The Mercury, 16 July 2009, page 18

Professor Jonathan West explains why innovation is important for Tasmania's productivity and economic future.

"Time to say no to big business"

by Greg Barnes

The Mercury, 13 July 2009, page 16

Greg Barnes discusses the role of government in relation to business and innovation.

"Discovering New Business Opportunities"

Book Review, Unitas Issue 331, July 2009, page 7

The new book by Associate Professor Jack English and Babette Moate was reviewed, and described as "the boot camp for new business ideas".

"Social Inclusion"

Stateline Tasmania, ABC Television, 19 June 2009

Professor David Adams was interviewed for Stateline regarding his role as Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania. The interview outlined Professor Adams' objectives as Social Inclusion Commissioner, discussed what he believes are the underlying issues behind social isolation in Tasmanian communities, and the challenges involved in achieving better outcomes for disengaged individuals and groups.

"Squeezing out business opportunities from recession"

By Derek Parker

The Australian, "Entrepreneur" supplement, 29 May 2009

"Even in strained economic times there is a wealth of possibilities for starting a new enterprise, according to a new book Discovering New Business Opportunities" co-authored by Associate Professor Jack English. For existing organisations, a sluggish economy heightened the need to be particularly aware of cash flow and customer service, but it could also lead to new niche opportunities, such as environment-related services.

"New book turns the spotlight on innovation"

Tasmanian Business Reporter, May 2009, page 19

"Premier David Bartlett launched a book aimed at helping people turn innovative ideas into viable business opportunities. Discovering New Business Opportunities is the latest book by John English, deputy director of the Australian Innovation Research Centre... It is co-written by government policy analyst Babette Moate."

"Region's jobs 'safer'"

The Advocate, 15 May 2009, page 3

"University expert says recession may even give North-West some benefits...Professor David Adams has compiled an Employment Vulnerability Index which ranks Tasmania's local government areas in terms of the risk to jobs during a recession. The study shows the Cradle Coast does not have anything to fear."


"Premier reveals more detail on Innovation Strategy"

Premier David Bartlett

Media Release, 14 May 2009

Premier David Bartlett today used the launch of the '5 Days of Innovation' festival in Launceston to further outline the Government's Innovation Strategy. As well as his vision of Tasmania becoming the food bowl of the nation, the Premier outlined further components of the Strategy, such as clean energy and high-speed broadband infrastructure.

"Search for Solutions"

Editorial, The Mercury, 1 May 2009

The Tasmanian Council of Social Service has just released its report into poverty in Tasmania, "Just Scraping By", and the findings of the report are discussed in the editorial. Tasmania's first Social Inclusion Commissioner, the AIRC's Professor David Adams, has suggested that better access to no-interest or low-interest loans is one way to help people establish their own enterprises, and reduce their dependence on welfare. The editorial notes that "possibilities like this are just what Tasmania needs to explore."

"Irrigation Projects On Track"

David Llewellyn, MP

Media Release, 30 April 2009

"Tasmania's hard-working farmers and the great people in our regional communities should not be alarmed by a grossly inaccurate story that appeared on the front page of today's Mercury. The minister for Primary Industries and Water, David Llewellyn, said today that the paper to which the story referred ("An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania, Conceptual Background and Initiatives Outline, Food as Model Sector") was prepared by Professor Jonathan West to assist in the development of the Government's Innovation Strategy."

"Discovering New Business Opportunities"

Premier David Bartlett

Media Release, 21 April 2009

Premier David Bartlett today launched a book aimed at helping people turn innovative ideas into viable business opportunities. Discovering New Business Opportunities is the latest book by John English, Deputy Director of the Australian Innovation Research Centre and author of best-selling book 'How to Organise and Operate a Small Business in Australia'. It is co-written by Government policy analyst Babette Moate. "I believe the way forward for our state is in focusing on and encouraging innovative industries that are most likely to deliver the biggest benefits for the Tasmanian economy..." Mr Bartlett said.


Fran Kelly "Breakfast"

ABC Radio National, 15 April 2009

Professor Jonathan West was interviewed by Fran Kelly (Fran Kelly "Breakfast") on ABC Radio National on 15 April 2009, regarding the Tasmanian Innovation Strategy and agriculture. This continues a discussion between Fran Kelly and Premier David Bartlett, on the same subject, last month.

"Call to assist existing food producers first"

by Helen Kempton

The Mercury, 5 March 2009

Professor Jonathan West's suggestion that high-end agriculture could greatly benefit the Tasmanian economy is discussed in relation to Premier David Bartlett's plan to irrigate the Midlands and turn it into "the foodbowl of Australia over the next decade." The Premier's proposal was outlined in his State of the State Address.

"State of the State Address"

Premier David Bartlett

3 March 2009

Premier David Bartlett made extensive reference to Professor Jonathan West's Tasmanian Innovation Strategy in his State of the State address. The Premier noted that "We have commissioned the Australian Innovation Research Centre to help us identify those areas [i.e. new strategies] through the creation of the Tasmanian Innovation Strategy. This work, being led by Professor Jonathon West, has identified some potential areas in which Tasmania could make use of its natural advantages to lead the world."

The Premier noted several elements of the Tasmanian Innovation Strategy, including the development of a farm management course (in conjunction with the University of Tasmania), the creation of a leading hospitality training institute ("The Tasmanian Culinary School of Excellence"), the Wireless Waterfront Project, the appointment of a Social Inclusion Commissioner (the AIRC's David Adams), and the Tasmanian Festival of Ideas.

"The China Syndrome"

Stateline NSW, 27 February 2009

Professor Jonathan West appeared on Stateline NSW on 27 February 2009, along with NSW Premier Nathan Rees, Bob Gregory of the Australian National University, David Gonski from the University of New South Wales, and Roger Corbett, Reserve Bank board member. The discussion revolved around the NSW Jobs Summit and the Global Financial Crisis. Professor West commented on the Federal Government's second stimulus package, and the need for the Federal Government to invest in productive capacities as a source of long-term income streams, rather than relying on consumption (which ultimately benefited Chinese, rather than Australian, manufacturers).

Professor West's comments from the NSW Jobs Summit were also reported at length, by Quentin Dempster, on ABC Local NSW.

"Social Inclusion Commissioner"


Premier David Bartlett

Media Release, 23 December 2008

Professor David Adams has been appointed as the Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania. The appointment was announced by Premier David Bartlett, who observed that "Prof. Adams has a very strong vision for a socially inclusive Tasmania based on his awareness of the issues facing disadvantaged Tasmanians and extensive practical experience in leading responses to complex social issues especially for rural and regional communities experiencing rapid demographic and industrial change."