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8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Apr 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2001   
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5 KNOWLEDGE BASED ECONOMY INDICATORS

In November 2000, the ABS hosted a workshop in Canberra to discuss ways in which the Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) can be described and measured. The workshop was held over one and a half days and was attended by a broad range of people, including representatives of federal and state governments and academic institutions.


The papers presented and discussed at the workshop are listed below, along with the respective authors.

  • "Progress in S&T indicators: from R&D to the Knowledge Based Economy" Kevin Bryant, Department of Industry, Science and Resources (ISR).
  • "APEC work on indicators of a KBE" Tony Weir, ISR.
  • "OECD work in the measurement of KBE/S, including the measurement of knowledge-based industries" Kevin Bryant, ISR.
  • "ABS draft framework" Elizabeth Finlay, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In addition, Sheridan Roberts of the ABS presented an introductory session on "Directions in S&T statistics". Derek Byars (ABS) led a discussion on directions in R&D statistics and Heather Olley (ABS outposted officer to ISR) facilitated a discussion on different ways in which innovation can be measured. If you are interested in a copy of any of the workshop papers or presentations, please contact Liz Finlay on elizabeth.finlay@abs.gov.au.

One of the main things we hoped to achieve at the workshop was consideration and discussion of an ABS draft framework of KBE indicators. The discussions of the framework arising at, and subsequent to, the Workshop were indeed thought provoking and have served to change the direction in which the ABS was heading. Consequently, the framework that the ABS eventually adopts for measurement of the KBE will probably look quite different to the one presented at the Workshop.

We expect to release an Information Paper in May on the framework of KBE indicators that the ABS proposes to adopt. This Information Paper should act as a mechanism to provoke further discussion and comments, indicating to the ABS whether the framework is considered by the expert community to be conceptually and methodologically sound, as well as whether the proposed data would be useful. Given the extensive consultation and discussion of KBE indicators to date, the window of opportunity for further comment subsequent to the release of the Information Paper is expected to be quite short.

One element of the Information Paper about which we will be particularly seeking feedback is the proposed strategy for publishing against the framework. In line with the ABS' mission to "assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community", it is essential that the presentation and frequency of KBE publications are useful for the needs of those who are interested in this area of statistics. At this stage we expect to start releasing publications relating to the measurement of the KBE in the second half of 2001.

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