The Role of Intermediaries in Support of Innovation

The April 2007 report, The Role of Intermediaries in Support of Innovation, assesses the role of, and benefits created by, intermediaries in the Australian innovation system. The main focus of the study was to understand the way in which intermediaries assisted companies in accessing knowledge and technologies available in universities, research organisations and other businesses.

Innovation intermediaries are seen as independent third parties that play an integral part in collaborative activities supporting any aspect of the innovation process. They can play a key role in the ‘market for knowledge’ in relation to the transfer and translation of knowledge and technologies from creators to users in a business (commercial) context. In this sense creators include universities, other research organisations and other businesses.

The study draws on an analysis of the activities and performance results of two pilot programs. In addition, the study undertook a review of the literature on intermediaries, both in Australia and overseas, and took into account international experience with intermediaries.

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