Centre for Transformative Innovation

The Tom Spurling Oration

The Centre for Transformative Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology held its inaugural Tom Spurling Oration on Wednesday 15 November 2017. 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. Most notably acknowledged for his role in the development and commercialisation of plastic banknotes, Professor Spurling is widely regarded as an expert in the commercialisation of research and was recently awarded the prestigious 2017 ANZAAS (Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science) Medal in recognition of his contribution. 

The ANZAAS medal is awarded annually for services in the advancement of science or administration and organisation of scientific activities, or the teaching of science throughout Australia and New Zealand and in contributions to science which lie beyond normal professional activities. Sculptor Andor Meszaros designed the Medal, which was first awarded in 1965.

The 2017 Oration

As part of the inaugural oration, the Centre for Transformative Innovation held a colloquium about the challenges facing intellectual property systems in the 21st century. Professor Rochelle C. Dreyfuss  (New York University School of Law) gave the keynote presentation, followed by Adjunct Professor Terry Healy (Swinburne University) as a discussant.

The panel considered questions such as:

  • Where is science and technology heading and what regulatory environment would best bring their promise to the marketplace?
  • Will the current intellectual property law suit this new environment?
  • What do we need to know to design an innovation regime for the future?
  • What institutions must we create as we move to technologically sophisticated and global knowledge economy?

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The 2018 Oration

As part of the second annual oration, the Centre will hold a colloquium on innovating in a networked world, with a keynote presentation by Professor Stephen P Borgatti (Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky). Professor Borgatti’s presentation will consider questions such as:

  • Is there still room in today’s world for the solitary genius? 
  • What kinds of network structures enhance or hinder innovation? 
  • What kinds of personal network structures can contribute to individual creativity and innovation?

This address will be followed by Professor Garry Robins (University of Melbourne) as a discussant.

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