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University Associate, John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University

John Barker has a PhD in Physics and an information science diploma. His career has been dedicated to innovation- which he defines generally as “the process of transforming ideas into things that work”. John has innovated many things- including solar products, WA's Technology Park, Scitech- WA's hands-on science museum, UWA’s first science library and a range of education programs. He has facilitated other people’s innovations by developing the WA Centres of Excellence program and innovation support program. He has lectured Masters level courses in innovation and is presently writing a book on the theoretical foundations of innovation.

John believes that all activities should be looked at through the prism of innovation and there are important roles for both private and public sectors. He has a particular interest in innovation processes that maximize the benefits of the resources industry.


  • 2002–2004
    Associate Professor and Research Manager, Murdoch University
  • 1983–2002
    Senior Manager, Innovation Programs, Government of Western Australia


  • 1977 
    University of Western Australia, PhD (Physics)

Research Areas

  • Innovation And Technology Management (150307)
  • Renewable Power And Energy Systems Engineering (Excl. Solar Cells) (090608)