CHASS Newsletter #31


Federal Budget focus

Somewhat neglected in a flurry of media releases and budget announcements this week was the release of the Australian Government’s Innovation White Paper Powering Ideas: An innovation Agenda for the 21st Century.

Powering Ideas is an important milestone for the Council for the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences. CHASS has focussed on innovation and research issues for its member organisations over more than four years of advocacy for recognition of the contribution the humanities, arts and social sciences can and should make to Australia. The paper richly rewards that effort and commitment with its understanding that innovation is more than technology.

Over the past year there have been breakthroughs. The Prime Minister called for a creative imaginative Australia for the 21st Century at the 2020 Summit and then the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator The Hon Kim Carr, opened up research fellowships and the cooperative research centres program for HASS.

Now the White Paper sets an innovation agenda for the next 10 years, and does on the basis of seven National Innovation Priorities. In achieving these goals – ranging from encouraging a culture of collaboration within research and between researchers and industry through to improving public policy development and service delivery – the humanities, arts and social sciences will be a key contributor. An understanding of Australian culture and its ability to absorb change and meet challenges will need creative and rigorous work by HASS people from demographers to creative writers, and social policy researchers to advertising executives. We must build our international cultural understanding to help our smaller enterprises take their services and products to international markets.

At the heart of the priorities is the link we need between knowledge creation and awareness with daily business whether in the private sector, non-profits or in homes. Education resources for both teaching and research need clever investment. Access to knowledge must be a primary task for organisations like CHASS that aim at creating a bridge between tertiary education and HASS sector industries from creative arts to management.

This bulletin comes as the Government begins consultations on how to make the new funding for research and innovation as productive as possible. There will be much work over the next year to turn the national innovation principles into real activity in private industry, public sector and creative industries.

The Council will discuss with you how to best use its advocacy and networking resources to help its 105 member organisations count during this consultation process. We will speak directly with members about their policy priorities and also work to link experts in several important areas so their knowledge translates to good practise in policy making.

CHASS President Professor Linda Rosenman in her budget response , said the 25 per cent boost in spending on innovation including research, together with the major investment in higher education and student support, would provide the foundation on which to build the creative imaginative Australia needed for the 21st century economy. Much of the first round of the spending will go to physical infrastructure – a good job creator at a time of financial stress – while we continue work on the second stage of making the national innovation system a driver for a prosperous, inclusive and creative society.

Helen O’Neil
Executive Director
Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
14 May 2009

Federal Budget 2009
2009 Federal Budget roundup for HASS. Media releases

International research collaboration

Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences will host a new discussion on international collaboration in research. CHASS President Linda Rosenman will attend at a time HASS international linkage receives increased support.
Australian Design Coalition

CHASS will host a roundtable for the Australian Design Coalition with researchers from leading university based design insitutions in Canberra later this month. The dialogue will facilitate translation of knowledge between industry and design research.

A new era for Creative Arts research

The Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) project initiated by the Federal Government has brought to the fore, once again, some key issues relating to the nature of research in the creative and performing arts within our universities.

Submissions for the Humanities and Creative Arts cluster trial will open in August 2009.

CHASS at CRC conference

CHASS Board Member Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM will speak at the Pathfinders: the Innovators’ conference: the Innovators’ conference. With Cooperative Research Centres program now open to HASS, the Council will be encouraging debate about linking research discovery and innovation in both the commercial and non-profit industry.

AAH survey

The Australian Academy of the Humanities is conducting a survey to find out more about past, current and potential collaborative research between Australian humanities and arts scholars and colleagues abroad. The survey is open to all humanities and arts scholars. Response due 1 June, 2009

ALTC supports Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

The Council of the Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities is one of three national bodies of Deans to receive Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) funding as part of a national strategy to improve learning in arts, social sciences and humanities in highter education.
Productivity Commission Inquiry

The Productivity Commission is currently undertaking a commissioned study on the contributions of the not-for-profit sector on Australian society. Submissions due 29 May
ASSA website launch

The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) have a great new website.