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Senior Research Fellow, Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania

Kieran O'Brien is a Senior Research Fellow at the AIRC. Kieran's role involves management of the AIRC's flagship Tasmanian Innovation Census (TIC) project and related research, which has led to an interest in innovation measurement, and representing Tasmania in the Commonwealth State and Territory Advisory Council (CSTACI) innovation indicators working group. Kieran's research interests focus on innovation in the business sector, particularly in low-tech industries where innovation often occurs through a diffusion-adoption process. Related interests include the different modes of innovation, innovation capability and innovation policy as they relate to economic development.

Kieran was initially seconded from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to the AIRC to run the 2007 TIC. Just prior to moving the AIRC, Kieran worked as a Change Manager for the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training, working in areas of strategic management and policy analysis. At the ABS he was Manager of an Economic, Employment and Regional Statistics work unit in the ABS Tasmanian Office, working on projects with State Government agencies including the Department of Economic Development, Treasury and Finance and Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. He also worked as a statistical consultant at the State Department of Health and Human Services Drug and Alcohol Service, having previously worked with ABS economic and population surveys in research and project management roles.

Kieran completed a Masters of Commerce by Research in 2013. His thesis was titled 'The Evolution of New Subject Approaches to Innovation Measurement, and Implications for New Innovation Indicators'. He also has a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Arts, and a Bachelor of Information Systems with Honours. He is currently working on his PhD by publication, focusing on innovation modes and capability transition in a low technology economy.


  • –present
    Research Fellow, Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania