|Commencement Date||01 January 2007|
The Tasmanian Innovation Census (TIC) is a detailed company level survey of innovation activity in Tasmania. The census looks at various aspects of innovation activity, including the development and implementation of new products, production processes, organisational methods and markets. Tasmanian businesses have been very supportive of the AIRC’s two TIC projects, and the census databases provide a rich resource for future research and analysis.
The Tasmanian Innovation Census (TIC) is a detailed company-level survey of innovation activity in Tasmania. The first TIC was conducted by the AIRC in 2007, and the second in 2010. The 2007 TIC surveyed innovation activities in key industry sectors for the period January 2004 to December 2006. The 2010 TIC surveyed key industry sectors for the financial years 2007-2008 to 2009-2010.
The 2010 census substantially improved and expanded on the data of the 2007 census. In some cases, a number of 2007 survey questions were replaced by more policy- and business-relevant questions. For example, the 2010 TIC included new questions on vocational skills, energy innovation and internet use, with the latter providing a baseline for evaluating the future effects of high speed broadband access.
The TIC is distinct from other innovation surveys in that it aims to survey the entire target population, rather than a sample of the target population, covering all firms with five or more employees across all sectors of the Tasmanian economy. The total number of firms targeted for the 2007 census was 2807, of which 1591 responded, giving a response rate of 56.7%. The response rate for the 2010 census exceeded 60%.
The TIC is the only detailed source of innovation and other data for all business sectors in Tasmania. This gives the AIRC the unique capacity to provide detailed information at a local, regional and state level.
The 2007 census provided AIRC researchers with a wealth of data from which in-depth analyses of regional and state innovation activity could be derived. The first major report from the 2007 TIC project, Innovation in Tasmania: An Innovation Census in an Australian State, was launched by (then) Premier David Bartlett on 8 August 2008 at Houston's Farm.
Ongoing work from the 2007 census included progressive data analysis and exploration, designing and generating research projects and consultancies, designing next generation census work, and individual studies investigating the most intensive innovators, innovation and logistics, geographical distribution of innovation activities, and collaboration and research and development activities.
The 2010 census repeats the three phases of work involved with the 2007 TIC:
Phase 1 – preparation. The TIC firm population database was updated, and the TIC questionnaire reviewed and updated. Enterprise Marketing and Research Services (EMRS) were contracted to conduct the TIC Survey.
Phase 2 – fieldwork. Project fieldwork for the 2010 TIC began in September 2010. The first tranche of contact letters were sent to respondents, and interviews began. Data collection for the TIC was finalised in December 2010. The AIRC implemented ongoing follow-up strategies to maximise the Census response rate and data quality. The response rate exceeded 60%.
Phase 3 – data processing and output. TIC data processing, ‘cleaning’ and analysis began in January 2011. New data analysis software has increased the AIRC’s research capability, and allowed geographical-based analyses of the data in conjunction with other data sources.
Research Fellow Kieran O’Brien notes that, “the 2010 survey allows us to examine the effects of innovative strategies undertaken in 2007 on economic and performance outcomes in 2010. We are also geo-coding the results of both censuses so that we can use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software to map the results. This will provide a global mapping platform. Once all data are inputted, we can review the geographic spread of innovation overlayed with socio-economic demographics. This will provide visual representations of complex relationships, on maps, that were previously difficult to see.”
AIRC research fellow Ann Torugsa is conducting descriptive and multivariate statistical analysis and assisting with the implementation of the 2010 census. She is studying the patterns of collaboration among innovating firms in Tasmania. This involves a complicated system of collaboration, networks between companies, and knowledge pathways. This new area of research is tackling such questions as: What factors are associated with the propensity of Tasmanian firms to collaborate for innovation?, Is collaboration a good thing in terms of leading to more innovation or better economic performance?, How well does Tasmania perform in collaboration?, What types of firms are well-served by collaboration with public partners such as universities or public research institutes?
“The TIC provides us with rich data that we are using to detect patterns, explore relationships, as well as to explore more in-depth issues” says Ann.
The AIRC, using its TIC data resources, is currently working with the Tasmanian Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts, and the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on a number of projects related to innovation in Tasmania.
The main findings of the 2010 TIC are now available, in the report titled Innovation in Difficult Times.
The main finings of the 2007 TIC were released on 8 August 2008 in a report titled:
Authorised by the Director, Professor of Innovation, Australian Innovation Research Centre
19 December, 2012