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Facebook knows what you’re doing. What you’re watching. How you’re feeling. Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock/Wired

Privacy is fast becoming the real disruptive force in digital technology

Did you recently buy a Samsung smart TV? If you are worried about privacy, you may be wondering how smart that decision was following the manufacturer’s warnings that its voice-activated televisions may…
Big ideas are more likely to follow when directors look beyond shareholders. Shutterstock

Innovation thrives if investors aren’t companies' only concern

For firms to survive and thrive, innovation is crucial. Innovative companies can respond to changes in today’s dynamic business environment. Countries and regions that are home to innovative companies…
Like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, Australia must change its way of thinking – or else we face the grim fate of being trapped in an economic rut. Columbia Pictures

Prosperity or decline? Liberating ideas can reboot our economy

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting wraps up off the piste in the Swiss ski resort this weekend. Two themes are growth and stability; and innovation and industry. Attendees must feel like Bill Murray…
It’s what comes after the great scientific discoveries that Russia has traditionally missed out on. Bin im Garten

Russia’s great at invention, but stinks at innovation

Russia’s economy is highly dependent on the price of oil, as are a few other countries, such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Russia differs from those other countries, however, in having a very strong scientific…
Investing in more roads might help boost economic growth, but getting knowledge infrastructure right could take it to a new level. Image sourced from Shutterstock

Australia’s road obsession is holding back productivity

Commentators continue to call for new infrastructure to lift Australia’s flagging economic growth, yet there is a significant lack of awareness over what constitutes infrastructure. Infrastructure is not…
To Tolkien, the machine represents a means to attain power over others. His orcs – deformed and ugly creatures, whose hands are sometimes replaced with weapons – embody this lust for power. LOTR Wikia

Tolkien and the machine

My grandfather was a carpenter, and I don’t think he ever developed much of a sense of trust in machines. I remember him laboring away at our home one summer, transforming our screened-in porch into a…
Many governments are realising high-growth tech companies have the keys to their country’s economic future. Peter Dasilva/EPA/AAP

We need to put high-growth tech companies on the G20 agenda

The world was a very different place in December 1999 when the first G20 met in Berlin. Steve Jobs had just taken back the reins at Apple, but Facebook, Google, Twitter and the dot-com bust were figments…
Wrinkles in the EU plan to drive innovation? Giampaolo Squarcina

Europe’s bid for investment could be bad news for big oil

The European Union might just have made a historically important statement of intent, aimed at laying the foundations to boost investment in the EU as a driver of full recovery and long-term growth. That’s…
“Mr Page? Mr Brin? Phone call for you.” “Not now, we’re busy innovating.” ZouZou/Shutterstock

Silicon Valley tech giants: real innovators or spoilt rich kids?

According to TechRepublic, Google produced two of the five worst tech products of 2009 – Android 1.0 and Google Wave. The fact that Google remains dominant suggests that, while not infallible, it’s rich…
A new culture is required for Australian manufacturing to be reinvented. Shutterstock

Entrepreneurs can help bring new thinking to manufacturing

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
Building an innovation ecosystem can take years of government nurturing. Shutterstock

Government can be the risk buffer in Australia’s strive to innovate

Our lives are surrounded by the ideas and creations of thousands of people. The magic of flight, or computers, or vaccines, inventions and innovations we take for granted, have advanced from one idea to…
With its competitiveness agenda, the Abbott government faces a politically fraught path to reform. Lukas Coch/AAP

New industry policy welcome, but reform process is just beginning

The Abbott government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda is an economic policy statement likely to define its term in government. The Agenda has four planks in the government’s efforts to…
There’s plenty of value between an idea and its commercialisation. Shutterstock

Australian industry must shift its narrow approach to innovation

One of the key planks of the government’s new Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda is a desire to boost collaboration between business and industry, the scientific and research communities and…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the selection of five sectors for “growth centres” is not picking winners but “playing to our strengths”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Competitiveness agenda lays path for industry-led innovation: experts react

The federal government has released its National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, committing around A$400 million towards “industry growth centres”, new tax incentives for employee share…
Cute but formidable. JD Hancock

Why Nintendo is still the games master at 125

In the world of video games few companies have as long or vivid a history as Nintendo, which turns 125 years old this week. Founded in 1889 as a producer of toys and playing-cards, the company is quite…
Almost anything can be labelled ‘innovation’ - invention is a little harder. Shutterstock

What if we had a ‘National Invention System’?

Australia’s Senate Economics Committee is currently undergoing a review of the National Innovation System in light of the “challenges to Australian industries and jobs posed by increasing global competition…

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