Australian Innovation Research Centre

Business Sector Innovation


Innovation is the major source of improvements in business competitiveness and individual incomes and is consequently one of the most important factors in maintaining the quality of life of Australians. AIRC research on business innovation is primarily based on analyses of large data sets, particularly surveys of the innovative activities of businesses in Tasmania, Australia, Canada and Europe, but some research, such as on business models, uses case studies and interviews.

The business innovation theme is led by Helmut Fryges and Kieran O'Brien, with all AIRC researchers active in this area. Examples of current research include:

  • Spin-offs from businesses and universities
  • Knowledge transfer activities of universities to businesses and policies to improve knowledge transfer outcomes
  • Business models in the agri-food chain
  • Effect of innovation and R&D on productivity and exports
  • Informal and formal methods that firms use to acquire knowledge for their innovation activities, including open and 'closed' methods
  • Innovation capabilities and strategies, including their persistence (or not) over time within individual firms
  • Methodological research on innovation surveys, including question design and survey methods

Potential students interested in working in these areas should email: or