Researchers on the hunt for print innovators
A research project at Griffith University has put out a call for printers to share their strategies for innovation.
The Innovation in a Disrupted Industry project is a collaboration between Osaka City University and Griffith University looking at how printers can capitalise on opportunities through innovation.
Researcher Gareth Thomas told Print21 that the research aims to find out how entrepreneurs innovate in an adverse environment, and to define innovation in terms of the strategies that result in growth.
Thomas is encouraging printers to take an online questionnaire, which will provide the researchers with data – and also provide companies that complete it with a useful benchmark.
He said, “A lot of the press coverage and politicians’ remarks on innovation tend to focus on invention in high-tech sectors. Innovation is more than that – it’s about applying new ideas and making them commercially viable.
“We’re looking at how print entrepreneurs can do this on an incremental basis. Innovation tends to be seen as a big leap, but in the print sector we’re seeing firms grow and innovate in small steps,” he said.
The project is examining printers in both Australia and Japan, to find out how businesses innovate in each of the two countries.
“We’ve interviewed around fifty different entrepreneurs in both countries. There are differences in responses between Australia and Japan – in Japan we see a greater emphasis on quality and building relationships with existing customers, whereas in Australia we see more focus on new technologies and new products.
“Certainly from our interviews, Australians seem more open to embracing the opportunities on the internet and how they can drive business, rather than seeing the internet as a threat,” said Thomas.
“We’ll crunch the numbers, then entrepreneurs can log back in hopefully around Christmas time, and see how they compare with companies of a similar size in Australia and Japan, as well as what strategies they can employ,” he said.
The research is sponsored by organisations including PVCA and JAGAT, the Japan Association of Graphic Arts Technology.