Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reduce Funding to Increase Innovation

Greetings from University House at the Australian National University where "Inside the Researchers Lab" is being held. Professor John HOSKING is interviewing Professors Hugh Durrant-Whyte and Bob Williamson from NICTA National ICT Centre, on what makes a good researcher. They are discussing some counter-intuitive approaches to research, including that funding is an impediment to good research. Both professors argue that limited funding improves innovation. That could be good news for the Australian Government which wishes to reduce research funding. NICTA received $65M last year, so there would appear to be scope for savings.

There is some evidence for to support the idea that less secure funding helps innovation in "The Cambridge Phenomenon"

At question time I asked the panel how to increase the inclusiveness of research programs and and diversity of  the candidates (this is the topic for the Research Supervision course I am studying at the moment). The response was essentially to concentrate on interesting research problems and not have set programs.

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