Actually Existing Innovation

The project has made a central contribution to improving understanding and recognition of the nature and extent of the creative industries and ‘creative economy’, and International leadership in broadening and extending the innovation system and the place within it of digital content and creative industries.


Cunningham’s summative work for this project, Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector, was published in March 2013 in Australia and in September in the US/Europe. It received substantial media coverage, with a feature profile in The Australian and reviews, interviews and coverage in BRW, The Australian Higher Education, Radio National Counterpoint, Radio National Arts, Crikey, and state radio. It was launched in Brisbane by University of Queensland Vice Chancellor Peter Hoj, in Sydney by ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, in Melbourne by communications consultant and CCI Advisory Board Chair Terry Cutler, and in Canberra by Federal Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh.  Summative work also included a significant CCI publication: Key Concepts in Creative Industries, authored collaboratively by Hartley, Potts, Cunningham, Flew, Banks and Keane.

Cunningham (with Jon Silver) also continued research into creative destruction and the green shoots of innovation in screen industries. The major output from this in 2013 was Screen Distribution and the New King Kongs of the Online World. This research informed Cunningham’s successful Fulbright Senior Scholarship, which is noted below.

Cunningham and Goldsmith (with Michael Dezuanni) collaborated to secure an ARC Linkage Project on the uses and potential of Australian Screen Content in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education markets, engaging the ABC, SBS, Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Screen Australia as partners.

Potts led work on Creative Industries and Labour Markets. This project used the HILDA panel to explore several issues associated with creative industries labour markets. We looked at the overeducation hypothesis, which is an issue in the matching between creative industries education and creative industries labour markets. Standard economic theory predicts over-education (due to uncertainty and signalling effects) but our study found the opposite result. This project has not yet been published, but will aim to before mid-2014. Second project examined creative industries labour markets through the lens of ‘compensating differentials’, which asks the question about how non-wage factors impact creative industries labour market outcomes. Again, using the HILDA panel which has extensive data on qualitative aspects of CI employment we were able to elucidate the various trade-offs in creative industries employment. This will be published in the Hearn et al (2014) book on Creative Occupations outside the Creative Industries. Both of these projects add to the depth of our understanding of creative industries education and how this connects to the performance of creative industries labour markets.

Goldsmith’s ongoing field research on the Australian apps industry is a key contribution to examining ‘actually existing innovation’ in Australia’s creative industries today. It included attending monthly AIMIA Mobile Industry Group meetings, and Mobile Monday Sydney. Working closely with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), he presented his research to the AIMIA at the Mobile Industry Group in April, and presented “Creative Services, Apps and Banks in Australia” Third Australasian Symposium on Service Research and Innovation, UNSW, 29 November. The first publications, two book chapters, have been prepared for Cunningham and Turnbull (eds) Media and Communications in Australia and for Goggin and Hjorth (eds) Routledge Companion to Mobile Media.

Ryan, Goldsmith, Cunningham and Verhoeven had a long chapter on ‘The Australian Screen Producer in Transition’ and Verhoeven completed the online interactive version of the Australian Screen Producer Survey data and findings ( This substantially completes this sub project.

A highlight of 2013’s interactions with international agencies was Cunningham being awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship for 2014-5.  This is very significant support for post block-funded research focusing on ‘Emerging global TV networks and opportunities for innovation in screen production and distribution’. Also, there will be ongoing links through work on Linkage grants.

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