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2019 Tom Spurling Oration: Defence Related Innovation - Emeritus Professor David C. Mowery

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 18:00 to 21:00
Swinburne University of Technology, AMDC Building Lecture Theatre 301, Burwood Road, Hawthorn
Melbourne VIC

The Centre for Transformative Innovation invites you to be a guest at the 2019 Tom Spurling Oration on the 27th of November with a keynote presentation by Emeritus Professor David C. Mowery (Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley). Professor Mowery will speak on Defence Innovation. Advances in electronics technology in the postwar U.S. economy have created three new industries—electronic computers, computer software, and semiconductor components. These three industries also combined to give birth to the Internet, a “general purpose technology” that spans these and other industrial sectors. Electronics-based innovations supported the growth of new firms in these industries and revolutionized the operations of more mature industries, such as telecommunications, banking, and airline and railway transportation. Defense-related R&D investment played a central role in the development of all of these industries. But much more than defense-related R&D programs were essential to the development of these technologies. Military procurement, as well as federal policies in intellectual property rights and antitrust also influenced their development, commercialization, and widespread commercial adoption of products based on them.  

The presentation will consider questions such as: 

  1. Why & how was defence-related R&D successful in catalysing civilian innovation in IT?
  2. Do we observe similar effects of defence-related R&D investment in other technologies?
  3. How if at all has the future outlook for defence R&D and civilian innovation changed?
  4. What if any “lessons” does the history of defence R&D raise for other areas of technology policy, e.g., climate-change innovation?

This address will be followed by Professor Linda Weiss (University of Sydney) as a discussant. 

The Oration is named in honour of Swinburne’s Professor of Innovation Studies, Tom Spurling AM, whose contribution to the advancement of science spans over 55 years. Professor Spurling is widely regarded as an expert in the commercialisation of research and was recently awarded the prestigious 2017 Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS) Medal in recognition of his contribution.



About the Speaker

David Mowery is William A. and Betty H. Hasler Professor of New Enterprise Development, Emeritus, at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.  He received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Business School.  Dr. Mowery taught at Carnegie-Mellon University, served as the Study Director for the Panel on Technology and Employment of the National Academy of Sciences, and served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.  He has been a member of a number of National Research Council panels, including those on the Competitive Status of the U.S. Civil Aviation Industry, on the Causes and Consequences of the Internationalization of U.S. Manufacturing, on the Federal Role in Civilian Technology Development, on U.S. Strategies for the Children's Vaccine Initiative, and on Applications of Biotechnology to Contraceptive Research and Development.  During 2003-2004, he was the Marvin Bower Research Fellow at the Harvard Business School.  His research deals with the economics of technological innovation and with the effects of public policies on innovation; he has testified before Congressional committees and served as an adviser for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, various federal agencies and industrial firms.  His academic awards include the Richard D. Irwin Outstanding Educator Award from the Academy of Management, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Academy of Management, the Raymond Vernon Prize from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Economic History Association's Fritz Redlich Prize, the Business History Review's Newcomen Prize, the Strategic Management Society’s Outstanding Paper Award, and the Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award.


Join us for the presentation followed by networking drinks and canapés at the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre, Swinburne University of Technology.

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