Professor Ron Johnston, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Innovation (ACIIC) has worked for more than twenty five years in pioneering better understanding and application of the ways that science and technology contribute to economic...
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Ron Johnston's BiographyProfessor Ron Johnston, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Innovation (ACIIC) has worked for more than twenty five years in pioneering better understanding and application of the ways that science and technology contribute to economic and social development, of the possibilities for managing research and technology more effectively, and of insights into the processes and culture of innovation. He is one of Australia’s leading thinkers about the future. He led the major national foresight study “Matching Science and Technology to Future Needs” by (ASTEC). Over the past eight years, he has led more than one hundred futures and foresight projects for private and public sector organizations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.
The focus of these projects have ranged across:
• Long term planning
• Strategic defence and development planning
• established of research and technology development priorities
• identification of preferred socio-economic and cultural futures
• Service daily needs and possibilities
• business and industry strategies
They have been applied to issues as diverse as water supply and management, technology-assisted learning, irrigation, university research, sea transport, global warming, nuclear fuel management, the IT industry, biotechnology, laws of the sea, opportunities for youth, sustainability and knowledge management.
His special skill is based on the breadth of his knowledge across technologies, and his ability to integrate them into a socio-economic and environmental context. Through this work Australian Centre for Innovation has developed a strong competence, and resource base, in environmental scanning and screening for new technology developments. He is a regular presenter on issues of the future and leader of training workshops. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the APEC Technology Foresight Centre in Bangkok.
He was educated as a scientist in Australia and the UK, and worked for many years in Europe and the US in the private sector, international organisations and universities. He returned to Australia in 1979 to a position in the Commonwealth Government, and has since pioneered new approaches to organisation and management in universities, industry and government.
He has published more than 200 books, articles and reports, covering a broad range of issues related to science and technology policy and management, including technology foresight, technology strategy, innovation, priority-setting, research-evaluation, research management, technology assessment, science and technology indicators, intellectual property management, technology transfer, impacts of technological change on employment, technology and regional development, economics of innovation, the knowledge economy, and electronic commerce.
Through his career, he has been employed by, or carried out major contracts for UNESCO, UNIDO, UNDP, World Bank, OECD, the EC, ASEAN, and the Governments of US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand and a wide range of private sector and public organisations.
His role in Australia has been recognised by his election to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and by his appointment as Deputy Chair of the Australian Science and Technology Engineering Council, Director of the Australian Commission for the Future, Trustee of the Powerhouse Museum, member of the Australian Manufacturing Council, and a member of the NSW Innovation Council. He is a Visiting Fellow at the National Graduate School of Management at the ANU and ‘Innovator in Residence’ at the University of Queensland.