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CSIRO launches 'How to' guide for innovation in industrial research


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), last week, released a ‘How to’ guide for for innovation in industrial research. Called Innovation in Industrial Research, the book was written for Australian scientists, managers and students.

The author of the book, CSIRO’s Dr Paulo de Souza, said that during his career he had seen many of his scientific colleagues, trained in the atmosphere of academia, taking a trial and error approach to learning the skills necessary for doing innovative industrial research.

“Those who fund science, whether from the private or public purse, are increasingly focusing on research for industry, where the emphasis is on prompt outcomes and real world impact,” de Souza said.

“And science is speeding up: a discovery made at the laboratory bench today might take months, not decades, to be realised in a practical application.

The intention of Innovation in Industrial Research is to give researchers insight into how they can improve the quality of their work and, by drawing on input from other disciplines, take a more innovative and ethical approach.

Its praises come from high places.

Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, who wrote the book’s foreword, said:

“Until this book came along, a comprehensive account of what it takes to build a substantial profile in industrial research had been conspicuously lacking from the long list of books discussing the principles and practices governing a career in academic science.”

“A book like Innovation in Industrial Research can play a part in educating even the most basic scientist to the underlying realities of that interface between the sometimes alien worlds of business and scientific research.”

Dr de Souza is a physicist with a PhD in Natural Sciences. He is Research Director of the CSIRO ICT Centre’s Tasmanian laboratory and worked with NASA as a collaborator on the Mars Rover missions. He has worked in industrial research centres in Brazil, the United States and Europe, written more than 100 scientific papers and received many international awards for his industrial research. The book is available at book stores and through CSIRO Publishing.