An Interdisciplinary Knowledge Transfer Approach to Facilitate Sustainable Development: Australia as an Example

By Alan R. Howgrave-Graham.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Historically, sustainability has seldom been a prime consideration during development. This is due to commercialization of intellectual property being considered in purely economic terms in most innovation models. The description of commercialization has generally been limited to a few outcomes with economic growth and profit as the only considerations. This paper motivates for the description to be extended to incorporate other benefits such as environmental impact of the products and processes developed. Ways in which sustainability can be practically built into commercialization is described here as a three-pronged approach namely: the development of new sustainability products; building sustainability into the development of other products; and promoting sustainable practices in industry through creative problem solving. A model is proposed which looks at how Australia's research and development environment of cooperative research centres and industrial clusters could include knowledge from professionals with a 'triple bottom line' focus. These scientists, engineers and marketers would drive the three prongs above by facilitating cleaner production and eco-efficiency while being alert for new sustainability product opportunities. This paper discusses a few examples of opportunities and projects a country can, by using universities or centres as mediators, use to become incrementally more environmentally sustainable while gaining economic and other benefits.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Cleaner Production, Innovation Models, Commercialization, Australia

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.11-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 549.932KB).

Dr. Alan R. Howgrave-Graham

Lecturer, School of Applied Sciences and Engineering, Monash University, Churchill, Victoria, Australia

Alan Howgrave-Graham, Monash University (School of Applied Sciences and Engineering), Australia. He spent four years working in hydrological research then pollution control in the Department of Water Affairs in South Africa, before spending twelve years teaching microbiology and doing environmental biotechnology research, mostly at the University of Natal where he completed his PhD. He migrated to Australia in 1999 and started a Doctorate in Business Administration specializing in commercialization of University intellectual property. In 2001 he worked at Curtin University at the Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production before taking up his current position as microbiology lecturer at Monash University. He has published 17 scientific journal articles on anaerobic and aerobic treatment of wastewaters and the detection of protozoan pathogens in water. More recently he published a book chapter on the implications on biotechnology strategies of the Australian system of cooperative research centres and industrial clusters, as well as a journal article on opportunities for cleaner production in West Australian SME’s. His research interests are in all the above topics as well as in methods for teaching to large classes and in multicultural settings.

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