Research for a Creative Australia

CCI conducts fundamental and applied research that improves our understanding of the creative sector’s role in a modern economy and helps to create a more dynamic and inclusive innovation system and society.

Our Aims

To give substance to the link between creative industries and innovation by:

  • undertaking high quality research which addresses key problems and opportunities arising for Australia, the Asian region, and more broadly in the world, from innovation in and through the creative economy;
  • exploring in depth the challenges of the creative industries and innovation for our core academic disciplines and multiple policy domains; and
  • working directly with industry and community to apply new knowledge in these areas for the benefit of the Australian culture, society and economy.

Research Themes

Conceptual Modelling

The Centre has instigated a program of fundamental cross-disciplinary research which seeks to rethink the relations between culture and economy. This is based on a sustained dialogue between cultural and media studies and evolutionary economics , but also requires broad engagement with the ‘evolutionary turn’ in anthropology, linguistics, psychology and the natural sciences, as well as economic and cultural sociology. Such conceptual modelling has implications for policy domains such as innovation and cultural policy and for methodologies of cultural research such as mapping the exponentially-expanding blogosphere.

Policy and Macro-Trends

The Centre works across a number of policy domains where large-scale technological, economic and social change impacts upon Australia and internationally. These domains include innovation policy, intellectual property policy, cultural policy, and communications and media policy. The large-scale trends addressed by CCI research include the increasing importance of the creative economy in economic development calculations, and the need for law reform to unlock capability in innovation systems, and in societies in our region which are undergoing rapid economic and cultural transformation. Our policy focus also necessitates and provides opportunity for practical knowledge transfer such as advocacy and the building of software and systems to underpin specific government programs that support the creative economy.

Digital Innovations

Digital transformations in modes of social exchange, public communication, and economic and cultural opportunity constitute a major phenomenon of our times. The Centre focuses resolutely on mapping, analysing, assessing and, where appropriate, facilitating the uptake of digital affordances. It engages with major debates on the impact of digital communication in society and public life, builds and applies new methodologies for analysing such digital communication, participates in large-scale international mapping of Internet use and non-use, and has dedicated key resources to exploring these issues in major countries of our immediate south-east, south and east Asian region.

Skills and Creative Capital

Skills and Creative Capital is a theme that focuses on human capital development in the creative economy, particularly the development of creative capacities across the workforce and in society more broadly. This theme is approached from a variety of methodological, disciplinary and domain perspectives: educational psychology and education policy (attributes and dispositions that assist in crafting sustainable creative careers), action research and enterprise development (Youthworx 2.0), large-scale, internationally-benchmarked surveys (Risk and Representation), analytical work on statistical categories (Creative Employment Mapping) and engagement with major debates in the critical humanities (precarious labour in the new economy).


We encourage you to consult our working document, the CCI ‘narrative’, which sets out the difference we have made over the past seven years, and the road ahead.