Thursday, April 29, 2010

Innovation week at ANU

Greeting from the last Innovation Week at ANU event for 2010 at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research), Australian National University, Canberra.

Dr. Thomas Barlow, research strategist, former political advisor and columnist for the Financial Times, and author of "The Australian Miracle". He talked about "Innovation in Australia". Thomas grove a humorous introduction describing the ANU as an oasis of civilisation in
the politics of Canberra. He then suggested Australian might be the only developed nation with an extended period of GDP growth in recent years.

He then explored the myth of the "lucky country" pointing out that Australian has high levels of working hours compared to other developed
nations and that even resources extraction requires technological skills and hard work. Australia's economic growth has been accompanied by an "explosion" in investment in R&D (1.7% of GDP?), greater than the UK.
Australian university have doubled their investment in R&D, joining the "category A" nations, with small populations.

Thomas claimed there have been a revolution in Australia's R&D capability, but few have noticed. However, his comparisons are with the USA and UK, which are now not leading technological countries. He argues that this is a perception problem and attributes this to the structure
of the Australian economy. Previously a major area for R&D was in telecommunications. This investment does not appears to have paid off,
in comparison with Finland: we do not have a Nokia. Australia has had a boom in the services sector. However, this is not visible to the general

Thomas pointed to Westfield has a highly innovative company developing shopping malls. Australian IT companies adapt existing technologies developed elsewhere which help other industries. The Australian coal industry invests heavily in mathematics.

Australian is at the bottom of the "category A" pack of countries. As a result very high levels of investment are needed to create outstanding
universities, Thomas suggests. Instead Australia spreads its investments across a large number of institutions across the country. Also Australia
invests in more researchers, rather than giving each researcher more.

There is a bifurcation happening between research and teaching at university. Those doing teaching are finding it harder to access reach
grants, even as those increase.

All this was good news: we are doing better than we thought, but Thomas argues that this is now a problem. The "Luck Country" adapted technology
from the world. The mood changed to say that Australia had to build its own unique technology. Australia is now providing resources and ingenuity to allow China and India to industrialise. Thomas argues that it is dangerous for Australia to try and emulate China or Finland.

This was a passionate presentation, but at the end I was not clear as to what it was we should be doing.

I asked what we, as a nation should do (on the assumption that minister's offices will be reading this blog posting). The response was that Australia should take the best ideas from round the world and build on them. Universities should aim for high visibility, high impact work.

He said that numerous specialised schemes to help individual industries should be scrapped.

Dr Alex Zelinsky Information Sciences at CSIRO then argued the problem was not government programs, but a cultural issue. Alex has a slide with a photo of a person holding a light bulb. Light bulbs seem to be a theme of innovation events. He injected a does of practicality by pointing out that innovations have to be desirable and viable in the marketplace (or for society generally).

Alex showed examples of unusual inventions which were very original, but did not really meet an unmet need. He argued that innovation is about people building teams, rather than technological gadgetry. Judgement is needed to asses how mature a technology is and when t is time to protect the intellectual property.

Alex pointed out that commercialising research requires 10 to 20 times as much money as the prototype development cost. "Smart money" investors provide relationships as well as early stage funding.

Alex then went through some examples, starting with "Seeing Machines", which listed n the London Stock Exchange, five years ago. It had a way to monitor the face of a driver of a car for safety reasons, funding by Volvo. Seeing machines started without a strategy or plan, simply with
the aim for a spin-off company. Instead of a mass market product costing $200 for the automotive market, the company instead produced technology for medical diagnosis of glaucoma. Alex pointed out that the profit margin for medical instruments was far larger than for automotive equipment. Medical researchers were encourages to publish papers about the product, to confirm its strong research underpinnings.

A higher profile success is CSIRO's patents for the wireless LAN. The CSIRO IP was turned into a chip set used by CISCO. So far CSIRO has
received $US200M with much more to come. The work has a strategy. Alex suggested that this was a good model for new developments, in areas of
optical communications, data storage and clean technology.

The last example Alex gave was the application of optical analysis for driver fatigue, but not for passenger cars, but in very large and expensive mining vehicles. Apart from higher margins, a benefit of this market is that trucks are much roomier than cars, and off the shelf equipment can be used, rather than miniaturised custom equipment. This provided an example of an adaptation for an existence Australian industry: mining.

This was the third and last of the innovation week events. While better than the first of the week, it was not as good as the usual weekly ACT
Innovation presentation. The lesson I have taken away from the week is that innovation is about doing things, not talking about them.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Understanding the Market for Innovation

Greetings from ACT Innovation program, at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research). John Hemphill, CEO of Axxos is talking about "Harnessing the cycle of innovation - Understanding your market". He describes the ACT Innovation program as "viral marketing". John is provided an entertaining presentation with useful graphics, which is being videoed and will be available on-line in the next few days.

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Leadership 2.0 Needed for Canberra Innovation

Jon Stanhope MLA, Chief Minister of the ACT, opened Innovation Week at ANU last night at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research), Australian National University, Canberra. The Chief Minister gave a disappointing speech on the role of innovation in the Canberra economy. This was followed by a lackluster debate on "Investing in innovation? This house believes that Australia spends too much money on university research". This contrasted with the previous excellent events in the ACT Innovation program, run by students of ANU and University of Canberra. The Chief Minister and the professors need to learn from the students how to communicate in the 21st century.

The debate was between Professor Lawrence Cram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor ANU; Professor Steve Dowrick, Professor of Economics, ANU and member of the 2008 National Innovation Review; Narelle Kennedy, CEO of The Australian Business Foundation and member of the 2008 National Innovation Review; and Dr Geoff Garrett, former Chief Executive of the CSIRO.

Narelle Kennedy was the evening's best performer, with an engaging and passionate argument in favour of university research. The rest of the evening was a very dull affair.

The Chief Minister set the tone for the evening by giving a generic opening speech which indicated he was not interested in the topic and then confirmed this by leaving immediately afterwards. The following speakers were not helped by using an old fashioned debating format. It was ironic that the hi-tech Finkel Lecture Theatre in the hi-tech John Curtin School of Medical Research was being used for a very low tech debate.Link

Some quotable quotes I picked out of the debate:

"Innovation is ideas successfully applied", "Innovation is a contact sport, like rugby".
"Knowledge is a cumulative process".
"ERA is inwardly focused"

Apart from that, I don't really know what the speakers were talking about. They got up, talked a lot, and then sat down again. This "Lecture 1.0" format was used at universities, before we realised it was not a useful way to communicate.

The ACT Chief Minister and our professors need to be re-skilled in 21st century communication, if they are to provide leadership on innovation (or any other topic). We now teach undergraduate and postgraduate students how to do this, so they can be leaders of the future. The leaders of the present need to sit in on some classes, if they wish to be part of Canberra's future.

The next Australian Innovation Festival Seminar is "Harnessing the cycle of innovation - Understanding your market"
by John Hemphill, CEO, Axxos
Wednesday 28 April, 6-8pm
Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photovoltaic energy from French Solar Cell Company

Dr Roland Einhaus from Apollon Solar (France) will speak on "Overview of Apollon Solaras R & D Activities" at the ANU in Canberra, 11:30am, 30 April 2010.

Overview of Apollon Solaras R & D Activities

Dr Roland Einhaus (Apollon Solar, France)


DATE: 2010-04-30
TIME: 11:30:00 - 12:30:00
LOCATION: Ian Ross Seminar Room ...

Presentation of Silicon activities and discussion of module work ...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Australian Innovation Festival at ANU

The Australian Innovation Festival is next week:
Australian Innovation ACT Festival Launch:
Speaker: Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the ACT
Tuesday 27 April, 5.30pm for 6pm
Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU

Australian Innovation Festival Debate:"Investing in innovation? This house believes that Australia spends too much money on university research"

Speakers include: Professor Lawrence Cram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor ANU; Professor Steve Dowrick, Professor of Economics, ANU and member of the 2008 National Innovation Review; Narelle Kennedy, CEO of The Australian Business Foundation and member of the 2008 National Innovation Review; and Dr Geoff Garrett, former Chief Executive of the CSIRO.
Tuesday 27 April, 6.15-7.30pm
Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU

Australian Innovation Festival Seminar
"Harnessing the cycle of innovation - Understanding your market"
John Hemphill, CEO of Axxos
Wednesday 28 April, 6-8pm
Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU

Australian Innovation Festival Seminar
Thursday 29 April, 5.30pm for 6pm
Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU
Seminar: Australia and innovation: Miracle country or basket case?
Dr Thomas Barlow, former science advisor to the Minister of Education and Science and author of the 2009 Barlow Report.

Seminar: Making Innovation Happen
Dr Alex Zelinsky, Group Executive Information Sciences, CSIRO

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Turning text into information

Alex Krumpholz is talking about how to apply insights from the way web search engines work to the analysis of scientific papers. Current web search engines were derived from previous work on text search systems. It is interesting to see the web search techniques now being applied to text. One example is that the anchor text is used by search engines; that is the text highlighted in a web link on a web page is assumed to describe the document linked. The equivalent for a research paper is the text near a citation. One interesting part of this is that in essence the algorithms are creating useful information from what is just text.

Structural aspects of medical literature retrieval

Alex Krumpholz (SoCS CECS)

CS HDR MONITORING Info & Human Centred Computing Research Group

DATE: 2010-04-15
TIME: 13:30:00 - 14:00:00
LOCATION: Ian Ross Seminar Room

This work discusses the retrieval of medical publications in a clinical setting. It aims to help busy doctors finding literature that are likely to be relevant in the current patient's case. IR related aspects of such a program are investigated.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Innovation in the Cafe

Greetings from table 24 at the Vanilla Bean Cafe for InnovationACT in 2010. at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research), Australian National University in Canberra. Tonight's Seminar is a Panel Discussion hosted by Lighthouse Innovation on "The Innovation Mindset" with: Glenn Dickins and others.

Normally the innovation sessions start with drinks in the foyer of the medical research building and then we move into the lecture theatre for the formal presentation. This evening I was surprised when everyone went the other direction and instead filed into the cafe, on the other side of the foyer. This is my second favourite cafe on the ANU campus, after the Purple Pickle. The panel session is being held cafe style, with the MC at the podium in front of the drinks cabinet and the panelists on a sofa. The audience is at tables.

It may seem unusual to hold a university innovation session in a cafe. However, for many years I have done some of my most productive work in cafe, the informal atmosphere combines with a concentration of creative people. As an example, to day at lunchtime I was called over to a table the the Purple Pickle and introduced to someone who has $1.4M in government money for a project in an area I am working on. In addition "cabaret" style is a recognised type of education room design.

The setup this evening could do with some improvements. There are microphones in place but these are only used for the video recording of the event, not for sound reinforcement in the room. The presenters are in front of the drinks cabinet which has a noisy refrigeration system. It would work better to place the speakers at the opposite end of the room, which is quieter.

The audience are as interesting mix of people as the panelists: there are students from a wide range of areas from both the ANU and University of Canberra, as well as staff. One of my students came up to me and I was worried they would ask about the mark for their last assignment. Instead they asked about how the might implement the web interface for the innovation project they are developing for Innovation ACT. Another ex-student is working on e-government with NICTA.

After typing all that I have tuned in to what the panel are actually saying: "Never overvalue the time you sent on an idea: if it is not a good idea it is worth nothing." Glenn Dickins has just commented on the difference between two technology development: the super-capacitor and the iPad. He argued that the super-capacitor is revolutionary but will not be visible to the end user, whereas the iPad is an evolutionary development of existing technology but will appear revolutionary to the user. An interesting question from the audience was "Where are the women in innovation? All the panel and most of the room are men.". The moderator is female and commented that most of the innovators they see are male. However, they commented that women tended to produce social innovations, rather than strictly technical ones. This is an insightful comment, with many real ideas being about how to do something together, not a gadget to do it with.

I asked the panel if the Californian silicon valley culture translates around the world. I have been to Google Sydney's office and found that it was set up very much the same at Microsoft Cambridge Research Labs (UK). The panel commented that different cultures will have different needs (Microsoft Zurich Labs will be different as it is in a Swiss culture). The moderator then asked about the "Innovation Room" and the panel all nodded, but no one explained what this was all about. But I did find the book "Secrets from the Innovation Room" (Kay Allison, 2004).

The moderator suggested that to test if you really understand your innovative idea, try to explain it to your grandmother.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Workshops on technology-enhanced learning

The last of the USQ/ANU workshops on on technology-enhanced learning is just ending. My blog postings about some of the these are:

The notes from my presentation yesterday is also avialable: "Mentored and collaborative techniques in e-teaching".

ps: I would welcome collaboration on e-learning. My ANU e-learning course details are at: COMP7310 "Green Technology Strategies".

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Moodle for electronic assignments

Ron Sharma from USQ is at ANU talking on "Using Moodle, electronic assignment and other tools to support Engineering students" (after a general workshop yesterday). USQ changed from Web CT to the Moodle Learning Management System several years ago. ANU is still making that transition. One difference is that USQ has a central set of standards, whereas this is devolved at ANU to the colleges (Oxbridge style). At USW assignments are electronically set, submitted, marked and returned to the students. This is necessary as the external student numbers are increasing rapidly. It is therefore infeasible to have students submit assignments on paper. Also USQ has to respond to the needs of industry, such as the energy sector, for engineering education.

At USQ the same Moodle template is used for all courses at the university, with the same standard information resources, such as contacts for the course and assessment. This is provided at the top of the main screen for each Moodle course. The specific course content then follows below. This looks to me a very good approach, so that students knew where to find the information for each course . Having standard conditions for assignment submission saves confusion.

Professor Sharma reported that using the LMS resulted in a reduction in lecture and tutorial attendance from 70% to 30%. This seems in line with my experience. He suggested that just putting lecture notes and audio recordings online was not sufficient: it was necessary to also provide online tutorial materials. This makes sense to me and I was assuming that about 25% of the students would still want to attend in person. The issue then is from a business point of view is if the university can afford to support those students. My suggestion for ANU was to replace the large lecture theaters (which typically easiest 100 or more), with small ones which seat about 24 students. This would be sufficient students to have a class and provide an audience for the lecturer to perform to for audio and video recording.

Professor Sharma teaching energy auditing to the engineering students. This is similar to he green ICT energy audit I teach in Green Technology Strategies.

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Providing a laboratory for students at home

Alfio Parisi from University of Southern Queensland is talk on "Remote laboratories and experiments, experimental kits supporting first year DE students" at ANU in Canberra. USQ provide Experiment kits, portable lecture demonstrations, remote viewing astronomical observatory.

Experiment Kits fit in a standard size box for posting and costs less than $40. First year students buy the kit through the bookstore and it is posted to anywhere in the world. There are now about ten experiments available. An example is to measure the spring constant of a spring. The kits have been checked for safety. See:Take-home physics experiment kit for on-campus and off-campus students (J Turner, 2008).

Instruments on to top of the university building measures solar UV in real time. This is then used by the students. Web based display show reading from the instruments for the students. One limitation is that the instruments are not effective after dark.

Portable Lecture Demonstrations consist of short video clips of physics demonstrations. These are similar to the demonstrations typically used in the classroom, but provided online for remote students and those who cannot attend classes.

The remote viewing astronomical observatory is located near Toowomba and has a remote controlled telescope, weather station and fast Internet connection. The project is with the University of Louisville, who can use the telescope during the day. In return USQ can use the Moore Observatory in the USA during the Australian day. A new telescope is planned to expand the facilities.

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Online laboratories for students

Alfio Parisi from University of Southern Queensland will talk on "Remote laboratories and experiments, experimental kits supporting first year DE students" at ANU in Canberra, 11am. This will be followed by Ron Sharma on "Using Moodle, electronic assignment and other tools to support Engineering students" at 11:30am. Staff from USQ are at ANU in Canberra to talk about technology assisted learning. Yesterday there was a general workshop and today there are some specific discipline talks.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Improving academics use of technology

The last presentation for the day at the workshop on technology-enhanced learning at ANU was by Romina Jamieson-Proctor (USQ) on "Learning to Design, Designing to Learn: improving academics' use of technology to enhance learning". She discussed how to motivate staff to use new techniques. This included providing examples of good practice and some competitions.

Romina's tips were good, but perhaps we need to treat e-learning as a core skill for educators. We then can prepare formal courses for educators to learn how to do online education. In response to a question along these lines Romina pointed out that new teachers in Queensland require an ICT Certificate.

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Online communities for post-graduate education

The speaker after my Green ICT presentation at the second workshop on technology-enhanced learning at ANU was Peter Evans (USQ) on "Using e-Learning technologies and online communities to support post-graduate education". He argued that educators have to be open to using the technology which their students already use, such as instant messaging and social networking.

USQ requires all courses to have an online component, with at least a description of the course, but Peter argued that so much more could be done. He questioned why courses were divided into 13 week blocks and suggested that e-portfolios could be used to pull the material together. I did not find this a convincing argument. If he course designers and educators have not built the courses into a coherent whole, it seems difficult to see why, or how, the students would do this.

What I found most useful was Peter's suggestion to use the students to influence the behaviour of other educators. He suggested that by showing the students how to use online techniques the students will then ask for these facilities in courses. Rather than confront staff, the learning techniques can be introduced as a technical option of the system tools.

Peter also mentioned is knowledgeGarden web site where he provides some materials for advanced learning technologies and learning communities.

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Second Life Courtroom

The third workshop on technology-enhanced learning at ANU was by Eola Barnett (USQ) and Shirley Reushle (Australian Digital Futures Institute) demonstrating "Using Second Life to support the teaching of Law". I have found Second Life very disappointing and of little value for education. However, the use of Second Life to provide a virtual courtroom to teach lawyers is an excellent use of the technology. In the Second Life courtroom, the teacher plays the role of the judge, with students presenting their case. As well as real time use of Second Life with the students, videos have been prepared using a script and professional actors providing voices and using Second Life for the images. This was done as a way to produce role playing video at a lower cost that with real video

Eola also pointed out that the Moodle LMS ha been integrated into Second Life. This is a use I find less compelling. The value of a LMS is that it is different to a physical classroom. If you simulate a classroom in the LMS too closely then the benefits of using an LMS will be lost.

Another aspect of teaching legal students would be to simulate some of the new technology based court processes. As an example video conferences are now used for court process. It would be relatively simple to simulate these. Courts also use document based systems for some decision making: the parties submit documents and the judge makes a decision without ever speaking to the parties. These document based systems could also be simulated.

While criminal law may involve a real time physical court room, civil law is mostly about communication via documents. As an expert witness I have only had to front up once in person, all the other cases were settled out of court after I sent in a written report. Some legal processes are now done entirely online, such as arbitration of the use of domain names. The Federal Court of Australia has introduced an electronic court system eCourt.It seems to me that lawyers will need to be familiar with such systems as it will be how most court cases are decided, not by people standing up talking in a court room.

At question time Shirley mentioned that they were working on a nursing simulation. This will provide a simulated patient in Second Life. Here again this would seem to miss out on the opportunity to use the system for the most urgent and import part of medical practice, which is to support patients in the community, rather than in hospitals or doctor's offices.

It would be interesting to see both the medical systems for this and the education developed together. New computer based systems, such as military aircraft, now incorporate training simulation. Rather than have a separate simulator, the real aircraft can be programmed for training.

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Personality and performance of students

Paul FrancisThe second workshop on technology-enhanced learning at ANU was by Paul Francis on "data mining information from student quizzes and assignments". He used a simple questionnaire for physics students and analysed the words in the responses and then correlated these with their results for the course. The results for this were interesting. One expected result was that introverted "geeks" do do better at physics. Some unexpected results were that those with full time jobs do better than those who don't have jobs. Overseas students do better than local Australian students. Students from outside the ACT do better than ACT students. Paul emphasised these were very preliminary results but they are interesting non the less, as is the technique. Paul was also able to look at the relationship between the answers to different questions to see if there was a lack of understanding around particular topics in the course.

He also said that ethical approval had been obtained for the study. Ian Barnes had previously done some work on "Personality Type and Software Development" at the Department of Computer Science.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Innovation Training

At the "Innovation ACT" launch Thursday night there was mention of a "certificate in commercialisation". This is the ANU Graduate Certificate in Commercialisation (CTS), run by the College of Business and Economics:
The objective of the Graduate Certificate in Commercialisation is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to bring research-based ideas, inventions and innovations to market, and to contribute to Australia’s economic and social and environmental wellbeing through commercial benefits generate from enhanced delivery of innovation research based products and services. ...
Being a certificate, it requires the equivalent of one semester full time study, made up of semester length (13 week) courses (13 weeks) and intensive (7-10 week) units.

The course consists of:

The most interesting part of this is "Entrepreneurship and New Venture Planning":

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Planning introduces students to the process of identifying new business opportunities, researching and writing a business plan around those opportunities. The students also make an oral presentation of their business plan to an examiners panel – representing hypothetical investors. The students also prepare a personal learning report which reviews how the course has added to their understanding of general management issues. The course gives students practice in managing a group project over an extended timeframe and requires them to draw on all of the core disciplines of management – new concept development, marketing, financing, organisational development and strategy. In this way, the course integrates the learning delivered in specialised courses on these and other management disciplines. The course commences with a series of classroom lectures on principals and processes in opportunity identification, entrepreneurship and business planning. The lectures are reinforced with progress workshops where the students review the work they are doing on their plans with a faculty mentor.

This fits well with the Innovation ACT program, where teams progress a real projects trough stages.

There is some government funding government funding for the program which students can apply for ( Commonwealth Supported Places CSP).

There are a few limitations with the certificate. It appears to be designed for, and only available to, PhD and Masters by Research students at ANU. So postgraduate students doing coursework, including those doing my Green IT Strategies course could not do the certificate. Also there is no distance education e-learning option offered, so students are limited to being at the ANU campus in Canberra.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

World's Coolest Cities for Innovation

The "Innovation ACT" program for 2010 was launched last night at "spacedock" (aka John Curtin School of Medical Research), Australian National University, Canberra. The keynote speaker was Glenn Dickins, Senior Staff Research Engineer at Dolby and entrepreneur, who has an ANU PHD in Engineering. Glenn talked about how to be an entrepreneur, including the pleasures of being able to innovate in the coolest cities in the world, nominating Helsinki at the top.

Innovation ACT allows ANU and University of Canberra students to learn to innovate, taking their ideas from research to the market. The program does not cover for-profit ideas but also those for the public good.

Professor Shannon from UoC talked at the launch. Innovation ACT has distributed more than $100,000 so far. Professor Mick Cardew-Hall spoke next, commenting that the program is run by students for students.

One problem I have with the Innovation ACT program is that it is not part of formal ANU or UoC courses. However, there was mention at the launch of a "certificate in commercialisation", where for ANU and UoC students can suspend studies for six months. Unfortunately no further details were given and it was not clear tio me why the students had to suspend their studies for this, rather than have it opart of their program.

The 2010 logo for Innovation ACT is an old fashioned light bulb with a wind turbine instead of a filament. I have no idea what this is intended to represent. You can follow Innovation ACT on Twitter.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Green Graduate Studies Information Evening

ANU is having a Graduate Studies Information Evening, 4 May 2010, in Canberra. One of the subjects offered is my Green Technologies Strategies course (COMP7310). Students can also ask about it at ANU Advisory Sessions in Sydney 22 May, Adelaide 10 June & Melbourne 19 June, New Zealand (Auckland 26th July, Wellington 27th, Dunedin 29th, Christchurch 30th). July 2010, Brisbane 12 August and at international events.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Mentored and collaborative e-teaching at ANU

The Australian National University is hosting a workshop on new teaching techniques with alliance partner the University of Southern Queensland in Canberra on 12 April 2010. I will be talking about "Mentored and collaborative techniques in e-teaching" and how I designed and ran a green ICT course. Comments, contributions and corrextions would be welcome.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Responsible Conduct of Research in Australia

Greetings from the Great Hall of the Austrlaian National University in Canberra, where a Research Data Workshop on the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). There has been recent controversy over the distribution of climate change data. ANDS has been set up to help Australian researchers collect even larger collections of data online, so it is timely to have a look at the ethics of this. There will be a second workshop tomorrow on the services which ANDS provides.

ANDS has produced a short guide "Research data policy and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research". This suggests institutions review policies on: Intellectual property (covering copyright, moral rights, patent), Data management (Storage, Retention, Disposal, Access), Conflict of interest, Collaboration and contractual agreements, Ethics and privacy and Compliance. Many of these issues are covered in my lecture notes on Metadata and Electronic Data Management.

At question time I asked if ANDS would require organisations contributing data to indicate if they comply with the code. The reason for this is that ANDS, by referring people to data sources take on an ethical and legal responsibility for what is done with that data. Even if there is no black letter law requiring the use of the code, the fact that it exists is likely to be taken into account by a court or other body assign the actions of researchers. Given that ANDS has endorsed the code, it would be difficult for ANDS to claim that the code does not apply to them. It would not be possible to say that the data ANDS refers people to is not ANDS data and they have no responsibility for it: by referring people to data ANDS takes on obligations. One way to discharge those obligations might be to record if the organisation providing the data complies to the code or another code. Data uses could then make an informed decision as to if they should use the data.

The code itself (Reference No: R39 508kbytes PDF, 41 pages) was published in 2007 by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with help from the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. There is also a Summary

Synopsis of publication:

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research guides institutions and researchers in responsible research practices and promotes integrity in research for researchers. The Code shows how to manage breaches of the Code and allegations of research misconduct, how to manage research data and materials, how to publish and disseminate research findings, including proper attribution of authorship, how to conduct effective peer review and how to manage conflicts of interest. It also explains the responsibilities and rights of researchers if they witness research misconduct.

Developed jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia, the Code has broad relevance across all research disciplines. It replaces the Joint NHMRC/AVCC Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice (1997).

Compliance with the Code is a prerequisite for receipt of National Health and Medical Research Council funding. ...

From: Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, NHMRC, 2007

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaching Cars to See

Christoph Stiller from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, will talk on "Seminar Details
Scene Perception for Cognitive Automobiles
", at the ANU in Canberra, 25 March 2010:

Seminar Details

Scene Perception for Cognitive Automobiles

Christoph Stiller (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)


DATE: 2010-03-25
TIME: 10:00:00 - 11:00:00
LOCATION: RSISE Seminar Room, ground floor, building 115, cnr. North and Daley Roads, ANU

Environment perception and scene understanding are crucial issues for autonomous or assisted navigation of mobiles. Just like human drivers plan, initiate, supervise, and control suitable behavior based on the perception and understanding of the scene, cognitive systems project those capabilities onto artificial systems. This contribution focuses on methods that provide perceptual capabilities to automobiles. It is embedded in the Karlsruhe-Munich Collaborative Transregional Research Centre A'Cognitive AutomobilesA addressing systematic and interdisciplinary research on machine cognition of mobile systems as the basis for a scientific theory of automated machine behavior. The potential of cooperative perception and behavior is examined. Experimental autonomous vehicles and closed-loop simulations accompany analytic research. Cognitive Automobiles require methods for acquisition of metric, symbolic, and conceptual knowledge. These exploit diversity in the analysis of data from complementary sensors including auto calibrating active vision as well as lidar sensors. Markov Logic Networks are introduced to infer relationships among objects. First results are presented including the teamAs finalistAs entry to the Darpa Urban Challenge.

Christoph Stiller received the Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering from Aachen University of Technology, Germany in 1988. In 1987/1988 he visited the Norwegian University of Technology in Trondheim, Norway for six months. In 1988 he became a Scientific Assistant at Aachen University of Technology. After completion of his Dr.-Ing. degree (Ph.D.) with distinction, he worked at INRS-Telecommunications in Montreal, Canada as a post-doctoral Member of the Scientific Staff in 1994/1995. In 1995 he joined the Corporate Research and Advanced Development of Robert Bosch GmbH, Hildesheim, Germany, where he was responsible for 'Computer Vision for Automotive Applications'. In 2001 he became chaired professor and director of the Institute for Metrology and Control Engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

His present interest covers sensor signal analysis, visual inspection, video sensing, information fusion and real-time applications thereof. He is author or co-author of more than 100 publications and patents in this field. He is speaker of the Transregional Collaborative Research Center 'Cognitive Automobiles'. Dr. Stiller is Vice President Publications of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society since 2010. He serves as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine (2009-ongoing) and as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (1999-2003) and IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (2004-ongoing). He has served as program chair for the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2004 and is appointed general chair of the IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2010 in Germany. He is member of the German Electrical Engineering Association (VDE).

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

From Research to the Real World

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where former student Kevin Moore from General Dynamics Mediaware is talking about Commercialising Research: Real-world Applications and Challenges of Digital Video. His company's applications include processing video from the US Predator UAV aircraft used by the US military in Afghanistan and sport video at the Beijing Olympics.

Dr. Moore is discussing how an idea from a research project becomes a commercial product. He pointed out that licensing the intellectual property from a research organisation may take years and require a share of the company or licensing fees . Mediaware obtained government and defence start-up grants, but even so the founders did not take salaries initially and the company started out in a very modest office. The company moved from selling consumer vdeo software to "prosumers". Customers were not just the usual home video market, but also lawyers and professionals. The company is modestly successful, with 90% of the revenue from outside of Australia. In 2008 the company was purchased by General Dynamics, but still operates out of Canberra.

Dr. Moore suggested not "chasing the market" but instead concentrate what real customers need. He used the example of the product InStream. The market was for regioanl TV broadcasters who needed to insert local advertisments into TV content for new HD TV. Existing prodycts ere designed for capital city stations and not affordable for small stations. The traditional was to implement this would be to decode the MPEG video, insert the ads and recode. Mediaware produced a software based system to insert the ads.

From prototype to product took 18 months. This was used by Prime for the Beijing Olympics and won an award. Despite this success, the product still does not have another customer. One problem is that potential customers do not believe that such a product is technically possible and therefore there is not a demand.One obvious use I can see for this technology is to insert information into the video stream from UAV surveillance aircraft.

Dr. Moore then showed examples of JPEG2000 for Wide Area Airborne Surveillance. Military manned and unmanned aircraft in Afghanistan are recording very large amounts of video data over wide areas. This is creating a large data management problem. Mediaware are working on systems to manage this. He commented on the difficulty of collecting requirements from users where the application is highly classified. Another issues is to adjust the quality of the video to suit the avialable military bandwidth.

Dr. Moore then invited the ANU students to apply for a job.

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Processing Predator UAV Video

Kevin Moore from Canberra company General Dynamics Mediaware will talk at the ANU in Canberra today about how they compress video, in: Commercialising Research: Real-world Applications and Challenges of Digital Video. Applications include processing video from the US Predator UAV aircraft used by the US military in Afghanistan and the Beijing Olympics. Mediaware hires ANU students to work on software.
Seminar Details
Commercialising Research: Real-world Applications and Challenges of Digital Video
Kevin Moore (General Dynamics Mediaware)

DATE: 2010-02-25
TIME: 16:00:00 - 17:00:00
LOCATION: RSISE Seminar Room, ground floor, building 115, cnr. North and Daley Roads, ANU

MPEG video compression and transmission standards are a major enabling technology driving the digital broadcast and distribution industries. Digital television, IPTV DVDs and Blu-ray Discs all use variants of MPEG to transmit and display content. General Dynamics Mediaware is a Canberra company that has been engaged in research and implementation of MPEG technologies for over ten years, and has emerged as a leading global developer and supplier of compressed digital video processing solutions to the Broadcast and Defence industries.

In this presentation, we will introduce Mediaware's unique compressed-domain frame-accurate MPEG repurposing technologies, whose commercial applications include

- Real-time splicing systems deployed by Prime TV across the Australia's East Coast, facilitating the HD TV broadcast of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games;

- Stream capturing, analysing, annotation, editing software integrated in General Dynamics Multi-Int Analysis and Archive System, and in General Atomics Predator ground station.

We will describe MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, the standard used in HD TV, Blu-ray DVD and by services such as YouTube and iTunes, and present some of the technical challenges of compressed-domain editing given its computational complexity.
Dr Kevin Moore is the Chief Technology Officer of General Dynamics Mediaware and is responsible for identifying and developing Mediaware's product and technology strategic vision.

Joining Mediaware in 1998 shortly after it was founded, Kevin was part of the engineering team responsible for the development of Mediaware's core capabilities in native MPEG and H.264/AVC editing, compressed domain scene change detection, video playback, stream capture, and helped build the first two generations of desktop editing products.

Prior to joining Mediaware, Kevin spent 7 years as a Research Scientist at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, working on a range of image processing and scientific data visualization projects. Kevin has BSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the Australian NationalUniversity, and a broad background in video and image processing, high performance computing and software engineering.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Climate Change and Development Panel

Greetings from the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University in Canberra. For a free panel on "Crises in human development: Climate Change: What does Copenhagen mean for the world’s poor?" The event did not start well, with a representative of ActionAid making an attack on western neo-liberalism. I didn't think would help with climate change or development.

Guest panellists:

  • Dr Lorraine Elliott, Senior Fellow in International Relations, The Australian National University: Dr Elliott asked what forum should be used for climate change negotiation. She said the G20 was not suitable as it is not a formal legal international forum, concentrates on financial issues. The UN FCCC process is flawed but is deliberative and inclusive, or superior.
  • Annemarie Watt, Negotiator, Department of Climate Change: Ms. Watt suggested we need to fundamentally change the way we are looking at the problem and come up with new solutions. She pointed out how complex and demanding the negotiation process is, with multiple streams and limited skilled negotiators. She noed that a the Copenhagen meeting the cohesiveness of the developing nations block broke down. She has an extensive background in environmental issues in government, but curiously I could find no mention of her on the Climate Change Department web site.
  • Mr Phan Van Ngoc, Country Director ActionAid Vietnam: Mr. Van Ngoc argues that the Copenhagen agreement was for and by the rich. This may be true, but is not a useful observation. Obviously rich and powerful nations will act in their own interests. The question is how the interests of others can also be promoted. A more useful observation was that most of the negotiations were closed and by a small group of countries. His view, which I share, is that the negotiations had no useful outcome and were a waste of resources and effort. He pointed out the effect climate change will have on Vietnam and that the country has strategies to address this. This was useful for pointed out that this is not just an abstract political problem and that nations are taking action.
At question time I proposed that ANU help the Australian Government provide an online forum to assist future climate change negotiations. The panel pointed out that some developing nations had only limited Internet access and that face to face meetings were needed, particularly where high level political leaders are involved. But there seemed to be some support for the idea. Ms. Watt pointed out that Department for Climate Change makes extensive use of video conference, but are concerned by the limitations of the technology particularly for large groups and with technical glitches.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Negotiate Post Copenhagen Climate Change Online

Greetings from the Australian National University, in Canberra where "Post Copenhagen: Where Do We Go Now?" was just held. The event is also streamed live online.

Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute hosted. More than 50 ANU staff and students attended the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. They provided insights on what happened.

Some insights:
  • One Russian spokesperson make commitments one day and a different one explained these were not going to be commitments the next day,
  • Developing nations argued for financial help to mitigate climate change. There were allegations that this was being used to gloss over the lack of progress. There were also issues as to if any funding would be new and would actually be paid.
The Australian Government's Climate Change Ambassador will be speaking
at ANU tomorrow
. My suggestion is that ANU should host online forums on behalf of the Australian Government to provide a low emission high efficiency place to negotiate the Copenhagen Climate Change global agreement. This could include training in how to negotiate efficiently as well as how to use online technology to do it.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Energy research in India

Professors S. Iniyan and L. Suganthi from Anna University (Chennai, India) will talk on energy and research modelling at the Australian National University in Canberra, 24 February 2010.

Seminar on energy and research modelling from two highly regarded researchers from Anna University (Chennai, India)

11:00–12:30 Wednesday 24 February
Seminar Room R214, Engineering Building 32
, ANU, North Road, Canberra

Professors Iniyan and Suganthi are visiting as part of a partnership with the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems. They are collaborating on the project Technical and economic assessment of improved Solar Photovoltaic Linear Concentrators and determination of market potential in India, funded by the Australia–India Strategic Research Fund.

Professor S. Iniyan is Professor and Director of the Institute for Energy Studies. He is a mechanical engineer, with a PhD on an optimal renewable energy mathematical model for India. Professor Iniyan has published over 130 papers, including over 25 in international journals.

Professor L. Suganthi is Professor & Head of the Department of Management Studies. She researches Energy Modelling and Energy Optimisation, as well as general management areas such as information systems, forecasting, and quality management. She has coauthorred the book “Total Quality Management” and published over 160 papers.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Post Copenhagen Climate Change Event Online

The ANU Climate Change Institute will host a free event on climate change strategies "Post Copenhagen: Where Do We Go Now?" at the Australian National University , in Canberra, 12.00 pm to 1.20 pm, 23 February 2010. The event will also be streamed live online.

Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute will host a post COP 15 Climate Change Conference public event.Get the inside story of what went on at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.

Take the opportunity to engage with ANU students and researchers who attended the Conference. Internet live streaming will be available for people unable to make it to ANU on the day. The event is free. Students and the general public are most welcome. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and internet participants can interact through a live web forum. ...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

World standard work for Australia

Greetings from the newly refurbished engineering lecture theatre at the ANU in Canberra (has clever technology to give every seat an inconspicuous power point). The Dean is briefing the faculty on where the university is heading. I have just been at consultations with Standards Australia on their future strategies and there are some common themes. These are to maintain world class standards by better managing resources, work with international partners. Both ANU and SA are directly funded by the Australian Government and do not have to compete for funds in the same way other organisations have to do. These organisations therefore need to have the discipline to use those resources wisely and be seen to achieving results for the community.

SA have issued consultation papers about future processes and invited input. I have been very critical of what as proposed, but at least there is a consultation process. In contrast ANU is consulting internally, as for example the briefing I am at, but is less good at consulting the wider community.

ANU aims to grow at the student postgraduate level, aiming for 50% postgraduate with 25% PHDs.ANU already engages with government , business and the community (you can't tune into SBS news without seeing an ANU Professor), but can't take this for granted. As part of this ANU has an Alumni (which includes the Prime Minister).

A challenge for ANU is to balance teaching with research. This involves performance management of people and recruitment. The business processes needed to run an organisation may be foreign to people selected for their teaching and research skills. So ANU is gradually introducing such processes and editing staff along the way.

There are some common challenges for both ANU and SA. An obvious one to me, because i is what I work on, is the Internet and the web. Like teaching and research, standards development and publishing are moving online. ANU are a leader at researching how to and applying the Internet to research and teaching. Significant resources have been put into reequipping teaching and research facilities and training staff in their use. An example of this is the Engineering ‘Hubs and Spokes’ Project in collaboration with the University of South Australia. But there has been less process at applying this to business processes.

Some of the problems with reaching out, and particularly online, can be subtle. As an example, ANU runs "Summer Schools". However, this is a location specific term. Someone from the northern hemisphere, with seasons at opposite times of the year, will not realise that "Summer" means a different time of year. This would be particularly confusing if the vent is run at a northern hemisphere campus.

SA are still struggling with how to apply the Internet to standards development and publishing, do not currently have a viable plan. Better application of the Internet will enhance ANU and faulre to address it threatens the existence of SA.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Publishing round table National Library of Australia

Greetings from the National Library of Australia. Colin Steele organised a round table with Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing, London. There were 26 people present, about one third from the library, a third from the ANU and the rest from federal government agencies and universities.

Richard, who I met in the library's cafe on the way in, is talking at forums in Melbourne and Sydney. Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research talked at the forum yesterday. In his speech "THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION: PUBLISHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY". He announced a book industry support group. The group has not been set up and its composition and role is unclear. Richard commented that the Minister seemed to be making it up as he was speaking.

Richard talked about Bloomsbury's role in publishing educational and scientific materials with "
Bloomsbury Academic". He talked about the tradition business model of publishing, with the separate roles of publishers and book stores. Publishers became more specialised an online delivery became available twenty years ago with Dialog and the like. There were also early CD-ROM books, such as the BBC Domesday Project. The point of this was that e-publishing is not new. One example was the spell check program based on a traditional paper dictionary. One large e-publishing effort was the Oxford English Dictionary.

Large digital scholarly publishing started around 1993 and was largely complete in five years. Scientific journals were traditionally published as a record: to be written, not read. Computer based systems allow the material to be easily searched. The science publisher's staff were scientifically trained and so comfortable with computers. Because the publisher had rights to re-purpose the material allowed for new databases, which Richard argued was a good thing (although in other ways publishers may have too much power). The last link in the chain were the university librarians, who were comfortable with digital materials.

Richard commented that scientific publishing has been very profitable for hundreds of years. The profit was an enabler for digitising publishing. Also university library budgets for subscriptions is a source of funds. He claimed that scientific publishing is now 99% digital. For leading journals, such as "Nature" all submissions are now digital. The print journal is now a sideline.

Book publishers are now being sucked into the maelstrom of electronic publishing. Book publishing is incredibly complicated (something I discovered recently with my new book "
Green Technology Strategies").

Unlike scientific papers, format matters for scholarly books and there are many different complex formats. The rights to books are very complex, with rights for different territories and in different languages. Some of the rights are unclear, as for example, is Hong Kong an "Open Market". A publisher might have the paper rights, but not digital rights, or may have the rights, but have agreed a royalty. This makes the metadata for the rights difficult to encode. Calculating royalties can be difficult when the book is available in different formats and modes, such as subscription.

Richard commented that the fear of book piracy may be more of an issue than piracy itself. There is also a fear of e-book sales cannibalising paper book sales. He also commented on the Macmillan verses pricing issue. With
Amazon Kindle e-books, he commented that the commercial arrangements were confidential (I see this as similar to software licences).

Richard said that many Kindle book sales are to regional areas and less developed nations. He speculated this was a new market of people who previously had difficulty getting access to books. There is a large market for English language books outside English speaking countries. I assume this is particularly the case for technical and scientific works, where English is the language of the discipline (such as Computer Science).

There are frustrations and delays with e-publishing still. This will require new systems and clarification of rights. Richard used the example of the Kindle edition of my book of what is possible, which took only 12 hours to be distributed.

There is needed a new emphasis on marketing of material. Also global agreements on copyright is needed. Richard argued copyright is workable and Creative Commons is an example of how it can be adapted to new needs.

He suggested that academic publishers need to de-specialise, so they find a new wider market.

Post Harry Potter, Richard decided to build Bloomsbury's academic publishing, with
Bloomsbury Academic. He commented that a fiction book goes through 25 intermediaries before publishing, making it difficult to make a profit. The academic publishing process has many fewer steps.

Net Neutrality by Christopher MarsdenBloomsbury set up " Bloomsbury Academic" which has adopted the Creative Commons licence, with "vanilla text" versions online for free, as well as selling e-book and print editions. I was surprised that a credible publisher had taken this innovative step and more surprised that I had not heard about it. I had a quick browse and found at least one book of interest ("Net Neutrality" by Christopher Marsden). But Bloomsbury need to improve their web site, as I could not find a web page about the book. He aims to publish a few hundred titles in five years, an at least break even. He accepts that this new initiative will not appeal to academic authors as much as prestige publishers, but will be attractive as the books will be much widely read and have the potential to become popular. The production process has traditional editors and quality controls.

The floor was then open for questions.

The first question was about Print On Demand (POD), such as the
Espresso Book Machine at University Bookshop and Melbourne University Library. Like me, Richard has doubts about the current machines, but they have potential for the near future (next year or so). Someone then commented that US publishers don't allow POD outside the US, because the US market is so large in itself and they do not have to try too hard. Richard also commented that due to the "thirty day rule" many books are now printed in Australia (unfortunately I could not find a web pages explaining the 30 day rule).

The next question was about markets and demographics. Ricahrd commented there was little science in trade publishing and it as more a matter of passion and reading the book. It occurred to me that the sort of data you get from web sites using tools like Google Analytics could be of use.

The next question was about the ability to produce large print books on demand. It was commented that this was very useful, but expensive from
Amazon POD (but an exclusive arrangement will not be used). I produced a large print edition of my latest book, simply by increasing the paper size. he Apple iPad also got a positive mention.

The next question was composite textbooks, made from chapters out of different works. Richard responded that US style textbooks are an outdated "Oldsmobile 1996" style of working, with a long production time and large costs. He doesn't think "chunking" (taking chapters from different works) is an interesting approach. The lecturer's notes are more interesting. Textbooks are bought by students in shops, whereas digital materials are bought by libraries. He suggested university libraries might buy a e-textbook site licence and then obtain reimbursement from students. Last year at ANU I selected an e-textbook available through the library for COMP2410 and this worked fine (we aren't charging the students extra for this).

The next question was why English and Dutch academic paper publishers think they can make money, but others can't. Richard's reply was that if you subsidise the publishing it will never make money. He argued that academic publishing can make money and university should not subsidise their presses.

One question was why aren't students demanding e-textbooks? One comment was that the text is no integrated into the course and students may never read the text, electronic or on paper. Richard replied that teaching English was producing the most sophisticated e-learning systems. Another comment was that the Australian Government's new publishing intuitive did not include educational institutions, who are a large source of the content, as well as consumers. It occurred to me that the e-learning initiatives funded by the federal education department for universities (
Education Network Australia: edna ) and TAFEs (Australian Flexible Learning Framework) could be usefully combined with the publishing initiative.

Richard commented that "printers" were not now seen as a significant part of the publishing business, but with POD this could become important again: "desperate industries tend to be ahead of the curve".

Another comment was about "Learn on Demand" rather than "Print on Demand". Students want to be able to select components of courses and texts in different formats as required. It seems a shame that the publishing people in this room did not know about all the excellent work being done on exactly this by people who probly a few doors down the corridor from them.

Richard expressed doubts that Google Books would earn significant advertising revenue and was likely done out of idealism. I am trying it out, by making my book avialable on Google Books.

One person commented that academic publishing online was still largely in the format of traditional books. Also better measures than citation index was needed. It occurs to me that some of the sophisticated measures available to web publishers could be applied.

Richard commented that the business model for Apple iPad was still not clear. He also amusingly commented that the market for e-books did not seem to be mobile younger business people as expected, but actually older people who wanted to read in bed without disturbing their partner. He also commented that the limiting factor in selling books was bookshelf space at home and there may be more shelf space in India (haing seen the book store at Bandglore airport and the public library in Panjim, Goa, I can agree). There were also comments about the iPad and Knidle being too big. In 1996 I predicted a
passport size (b7) PADD device, much like the Apple iPad.

There was then a discussion of the disposable nature of mass market paperbacks, particuarly romance novels.

Richard said how he saw no books in the canteen of the British Library, only laptops. He also said how good the canteen is. This I found surprising, as on my one and only visit as a reader at the BL, I found the food at the cafe very poor (along with the poor state of maintenace of the technology in the BL, poor customer relations and poor building design).

There was then a discussion of how quickly books go out of print and general agreement that e-publishing would eliminate this.

Richard asked if books could be e-published in 12 hours, why couldn't peer review be made faster. In fact with electronic support for publishing, this can be done. The systems automatically track how ling reviewers are taking, send them reminders and monitor their performance.

One comment was that books only count slightly more than journal articles for the Australian research ranking system. So a smart academic will chop their book into about five papers to maximise their ranking.

I commented that my e-learning course ended up being a printed book as well. Richard replied that several initiatives at Nature which started out purely electronic later produced print versions which were popular.

One audience member asked that if the academic author does all the production work, then what is the publisher for? Richard responded that authors always feel there publishers are not doing enough, but they do provide production, marketing and distribution services, as well as "love". One of the audience commented that the film industry has a different arrangement. It occurred to me that the modern publisher is more like a holywood studio, which actually does little of the film production.

Bloomsbury created for the
Qatar government. Also is creating Bloomsbury Qatar Publishing Foundation for publishing educational materials and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (couldn't find their web site) to do institutional repository with open access for Education City's research output. These are non profit actives established by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned (موزة بنت ناصر المسند‎), chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Climate Change and Development

Ms Louise Hand, Australian Ambassador for Climate ChangeMs Louise Hand, Australian Ambassador for Climate Change will be part of a free panel on "Crises in human development: Climate Change: What does Copenhagen mean for the world’s poor?" at the Australian National University in Canberra, 24 February 2010.

Guest panellists:

  • Dr Lorraine Elliott, Senior Fellow in International Relations, The Australian National University
  • Ms Louise Hand, Australia ’s Ambassador for Climate Change
  • Mr Phan Van Ngoc, Country Director ActionAid Vietnam

Speaker/Host: Actionaid and Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy
Venue: APCD Lecture Theatre, Hedley Bull Centre ANU
Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Enquiries: Frederique Blanc on 02 9565 9119, Andrea Haese on 02 6125 7983

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