Director's letter - CCI highlights 2010

It's been another year of creativity and innovation at CCI writes Centre Director Stuart Cunningham

The centre’s 9th biannual symposium, hosted by the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University in November was, in the opinion of many there, the best of all. A few of our guests remarked on the degree to which our cross- and multi-disciplinary dialogue was now a mature part of our modus operandi. Others talked about the extent to which work showcased at the symposium displayed the strong relationships and trust built up across our participating institutions: QUT, Swinburne, Wollongong, Edith Cowan, UNSW and the AFTRS.

Our research publications were led by two leading women: Lelia Green and her The Internet: an introduction to new media, and Lucy Montgomery’s China's Creative
Industries: Copyright, Social Network Markets and the Business of Culture in a Digital
Age
. These headlined output that included 9 edited books, 38 chapters, 52 refereed
journal articles, more than 100 conference papers, and a wide range of reports, submissions to inquiries and media coverage – over 80 separate media stories, commentary or expert opinion. A highlight was Jean Burgess being interviewed in prime time (Channel 7’s Today Tonight) based on her research on YouTube.

Our early career researchers are a quality lot! Two of them, Jean Burgess and Ramon Labato, hold the gold standard – the ARC’s Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (APD). Mark Ryan won the QUT Creative Industries Faculty Dean’s Award for Excellence in
Research and Innovation in recognition of the impact of his research in the media and industry. He also won a Copyright Agency Limited Creative Industries Career Fund grant to attend the 2010 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Los Angeles.

Julie Robson and Luke Jaaniste co-authored a major report Growing Future Innovators, which has led to a pilot program, funded by generous contributions of $470,000 from Rio Tinto and $68,000 from the Fogarty Foundation, which will allow primary and secondary school students to directly engage with professional artists and the latest in contemporary arts practices, and will be monitored by Edith Cowan University.

Ten of our PhD students completed in 2010. Among them, QUT Law’s Sampsung Shi is now teaching at the Intellectual Property School of East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai and advising in the legal department of Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination. Jaz Choi has won an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship with
Industry (APDI) and is in the Urban informatics Lab at QUT. Sean Maher is a Lecturer and Study Area Coordinator in Film, TV and New media at QUT.

The Youthworx project continues to go from strength to strength, securing $500,000 in funding under the federal governments 'Get Communities Working’ scheme, providing the opportunity to seed fund the development of the project’s spin-off social enterprise company Youthworx Productions, resulting in paid traineeships for a number of students
who go through an initial 12months of training inside the studio. Project leader Denise
Meredyth
was interviewed in depth in The Age as the work attracts ever wider buy-in and attention.

Peter Higgs and Stuart Cunningham secured second stage funding for the creative business intelligence service 'Benchmarker' project with the Queensland department of economic development. In July, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said this about our work:
"...the creative industries that we are keen to support, in partnership with institutions like QUT in particular — and I want to acknowledge the role that they have played — has seen an industry created now that is worth about $3½ billion in terms of our economy. It provides jobs now to around 74,000 Queenslanders in total. These are jobs which are economically resilient, which have great transferability and are export jobs of the future."

A feature of the centre’s international standing is the number of young scholars who travel long distances to work for extended periods (while enrolled elsewhere) because of the globally competitive research culture we can offer. This year, just taking CCI's hub at QUT Creative Industries Faculty as an example, we hosted extended visits by Marina Guo from Shanghai JiaoTong University, Huan Wu from Chinese University of Hong Kong, Bercu Simsek from Hacettepe University, Ankara, and Ann-Marie Cook from Kings College University of London.

Finally, it is indeed 'satisfying' that a CCI Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey conducted in
2010 returned an overall satisfaction of 4.00 on a 5 point scale, registering a 'great extent overall' of satisfaction with the centre's management. This is an increase on the rating we received in 2008.

If you would like to follow the Centre of Excellence or participate in its activities and
online dialogue, I encourage to explore the CCI website and subscribe to Creative Economy our weekly email newsletter with the latest research publications (from CCI and many other research centres and organisations), news and events in the Creative Industries in Australia and around the world.

And I wish you warm Season’s Greetings from CCI!
Stuart Cunningham, CCI Director

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Those of a mathematical mind might notice that for a centre that has been running for 5 and a half
years now, there seems to be 2 ‘biannual’ events missing. That is because we ran an international conference instead of our usual 2 symposia in 2008.