And there’s much more to come if the system sorts itself out

plus: Pat’s back: Former UniMelb marketer Pat Freeland-Small joins UniTas

EU envy: why Australia out innovates the Europeans


and: Heads Up! Winners of the working week

Fade to black

TV can make you sick and not just with boredom.

University of Queensland PhD researcher Natasha Reid has found people who watched the box for less than five hours a week 12 years ago have better knees now than those who watched for more than thirty. Perhaps this is because people in front of the tube for that long were already in a coma.

UTas hires new creatives

The University of Tasmania  takes a marketing trifecta

A learned reader tells CMM UTas has appointed Cummins Partners as its new agency and word is their brief is to present the benefits of both university and Tasmanian life, which it already does to internationals (“see what it’s like living and studying in the most beautiful state in Aus” UTas tweets). The university has also appointed Pat Freeland-Small as marketing chief. Mr Freeland-Small was marketing director at the University of Melbourne from 2006 to 2012.

In broken news

Worth more than people will pay for

“50% of those who had not paid for online news said they would not be prepared to pay for any type of news in the next 12 months. The wide availability of free news is the key reason for not paying for online news,” the University of Canberra’s  Digital News Report: Australia 2017 states.

There is a big bunch of data in this report and for journalists not on the public payroll pretty much of all it is depressing.

Trials of strength

There was $33m in the budget to encourage clinical trials, a major new report explains why

Over $1bn was spent on clinical trials in Australia in 2015, most of it by offshore drug companies, according to MTPConnect, working with L.E.K. Consulting.

But while Australia is asessed as the equivalent of Europe and North America for trials it is being “rivalled” by lower cost, larger patient providers in Eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific. To maintain, let alone build market share, authorities need to streamline trial governance, develop capabilities for high risk and specialist programmes. But if they do, change can build the industry to $2bn in a decade creating “more than 6000 new highly skilled jobs in a sustainable sector, driving broader health and economic benefits for Australia.” (MTP is a part of the federal government’s Industry Growth Centres initiative.)

Surveying not drowning

Every summer people who think they can swim drown trying to save individuals who discover they can’t. Rob “Dr Rip” Brander wants to know why

The UNSW scientist, famous for his research on surf and how not to die in it, is working with colleagues at his university, James Cook U and Surf Lifesaving Australia on citizen rescues. It’s important work – just 4 per cent of beaches are patrolled and people drown because they think they can, or know they must, rescue somebody already in surf strife. The more the researchers discover the more they can adjust messages and information to help people save lives, including their own. The project survey is  here.

Compared to the EU, Australia innovates

The idea that Australia adopts instead of innovates is not what the Europeans think

The European Commission’s innovation scoreboard shows EU members are well behind world leaders, including Australia. “The EU is less innovative than Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United States,” the Commission comments.

Australia’s strengths are in international co-publications, product and process innovation, and trademark applications. Performance increase has been highest in enterprises with innovative activities.”

This report follows this week’s analysis from IP Australia showing research-industry links are much stronger than generally assumed (CMM Monday).



UTS gets a tick from major bized accreditor

The university has its business education accreditation renewed for a further five years by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB is one of the top three international accreditors and UTS is one of just 15 Australian universities AASCB approved to teach business.

The AASCB accountancy accreditation is even more exclusive, with just one Australian university holding it, UTS’s neighbour the University of Sydney.

CSU roars some more

Two Charles Sturt U graduates have won Young Lion awards at Cannes – so what’s their secret?

Charlotte Berry and Grace Espinoza were runners up in the marketing comms competition in Cannes, where they had 24 hours to create a campaign targeting millennials for Amnesty International. They join another CSU-graduated (2010) Cannes creative, Chris Colter who won the gold Young Lion prize in 2015 (CMM July 26 2015).

A big deal indeed, but not that big for CSU, which has had teams in the International Advertising Federation’s Big Idea competition for seven straight years. A win last year made it ten wins (including Berry and Espinoza) out of 13. So, what’s the secret? CMM suspects lecturer and long-time team coach Anne Llewellynn might have something to do with it.

Tackles and lots of them

Missing tackles is a winning strategy to lose in Rugby League football

Researchers from James Cook U (where the locals play the game) and Victoria U (where they don’t) have analysed game play to identify what works – defence, and lots of it, with successful teams reforming their line after tackling, to stop the next attack. The study also analyses a bunch of other performance indicators and JCU’s Carl Woods says its analytical techniques can apply to other sports.  The researchers sorted 13 performance indicators from each NRL competition team across the 2016 season, including “try assists”, “all run metres“, “offloads“, “line breaks” and “dummy half runs” were used in a classification tree.

Printing money no more

The Brits are all exercised about the future of the academic monograph which scholars want to survive, basically because it has up to now (CMM).

Now another report, by Michael Jubbfinds that while scholars love traditional books the affection does not extend to buying them. University press print sales dropped by 25 per cent between 2008 and 2015 and print runs are down to 200 copies. Nor will digital in place of offset printing maintain the monograph, the money goes on editorial and marketing. Mr Jubb reports a US university press monograph costs between $30 000 and $49 000, which “suggests that many humanities monographs cannot be covering their costs.


Big winners this week at work


UWA has announced its innovators at its first annual IQ awardsJo McDonald is Innovation Champion for her work on heritage management and preserving rock art in the Pilbara. The Research Innovation and Enterprise Award goes to Tim Inglis and colleagues for a screening test for antibiotic resistance which is 20 hours faster than the international standard. Tom Maclaurin’s student startup of the year is his “affordable” unmanned aerial vehicle.

Graham Farquhar from ANU has won one a 2017 Kyoto Prize: The prizes are awarded to researchers in fields where there is no NobelDr Farquhar works in plant biophysics and photosynthesis and is the first Australian to win a Kyoto Prize, which are awarded by Japan’s Inamori Foundation.

Paul Ramadge is the foundation director of the PLuS Alliance, an initiative of Arizona State U, Kings College London and UNSW. PLuS is created, “to solve global challenges around health, social justice, sustainability, technology and innovation.” Mr Ramadge was editor of Melbourne’s The Age newspaper from 2008 to 2012.

Tony Bacic will be the inaugural director of the La Trobe University Institute of Agriculture and Food when it launches next year. The plant biologist joins from the University of Melbourne.

The bloke who kept the US navy underway is joining QUT to work biofuels technology. As director of operational energy Chris Tindall was also part of the Great Green Fleet initiative which uses biofuels to power warships. He has joined QUT as an adjunct professor working on biofuel research.

Griffith University has appointed two of its own as business school deans  Political scientist Anne Tiernan becomes dean (engagement) and accounting department head Fabrizio Carmignani becomes dean (academic). They both report to PVC Business David GrantCarmignani replaces Linda Trenberth who is moving to become Vice Provost Academic and Equity at Victoria University of Wellington.

The immediate past chief justice of the High Court will become UWA chancellor in DecemberRobert French will replace Michael Chaney who will stand down after 12 years. Justice French is a UWA graduate with degrees in physics and law. He received a UWA honorary doctorate in 2011.

Elizabeth Eastland is UNSW’s new director of entrepreneurshipDr Eastland joins from CSIRO where she had charge of innovation strategy.

Jamie Kirkpatrick from the University of Tasmania has won the Australian Heritage Council’s Sharon Sullivan Award:Professor Kirkpatrick is honoured for 40 years of research and “involvement” with forest and heritage conservation, notably in Tasmania, the Blue Mountains of NSW, the Australian Alps and Sub Antarctic.

Monash U has a new HR chief: Bridgid Connors joins from Melbourne Health.

Paul Hardisty is the new head of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He was previously head of CSIRO Land and Water and the organisation’s Climate Adaption Flagship.

Murdoch University has honoured staff “for outstanding contributions” The late Susan Moore is remembered with the Senate Medal, for outstanding service. Librarian Helen Bronleigh has received the VC’s Award for Excellence. Research awards go to Jatin Kala (atmospheric science), Aleks Nikolosku (chemicals process in hydrometallurgy), John Howieson (sustainable agriculture), Sofie de Meyer (commercialising legume research),  Sandra Wilson (Japanese history) Richard Bell (land management) and Chengdao Li (barley genomics). The university also recognises teaching achievements by Martin Hopkins and Caroline Nilson for skills development in nursing courses,  as well Hopkins (again) and Pru Andrus for student learning. Barbara BowenPeter Le Breton and their colleagues in the indigenous enabling programme are also honoured. Among long-service citations Malcolm Tull stands out for his 40 years at Murdoch.