Australia-Japan Forum on the Innovation-hub Ecosystem

November 29-30 (Monday & Tuesday), 2021

Adelaide, Australia & Tokyo, Japan


Call for Submissions (Deadline: July 30, 2021)


Organizer: UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Australia

Partner:      Waseda Business School, Waseda University, Japan

Sponsor:     AustraliaJapan Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia


As a regional innovation hub, a science park plays an essential role in networking resources such as physical infrastructure and R&D policies for technology output (Löfsten & Lindelöf, 2003; Westhead, 1997). Effective government policies and supports can provide clear guidance on the use of resources to stimulate interactions among tenant companies in the science park and external stakeholders including research institutions and industrial experts (Etzkowitz & Zhou, 2018; Xie et al., 2018). In a science park, the relationship between knowledge creation and research output is determined by the regional government (Faria et al., 2019). Thus, governments of many countries, including Australia and Japan, have set the commendable objective to stimulate and commercialise technologies via innovation hubs (Beer, 2015). However, stand-alone facilities do not in themselves ensure innovation and economic benefits. An ecosystem is therefore developed to allow interdependent yet hierarchically independent and heterogeneous participants to generate values collectively (Thomas & Autio, 2020).

A well-developed ecosystem for innovation has been an ongoing concern shared by Australian and Japanese policymakers, practitioners, and academics. While governments of both countries have made generous efforts in stimulating and commercialising new technologies via innovation hubs, outcomes of such efforts vary across hubs in different regions, because physically stand-alone facilities may not be efficient and productive. An innovation-hub ecosystem integrating resources of all stakeholders is critical and may be built in two ways. One is the Australian model, in which policymakers limit their intervention in innovation hubs and rely on the market and practitioners to develop innovations (Hodges & Woolcock, 1993; O'Sullivan, 2000). An alternative is the Japanese model, in which policymakers prioritise local systems with regulatory protection and promote collaboration between economic actors including government agencies, practitioners, and research institutes, among others (Schmidt, 2016; Vitols, 2001). Extant literature research shows innovation hubs in Australia and Japan represent two different systems that can complement each other (Chan & Lau, 2005; Edgington, 2008).

This conference aims to open a dialogue among policymakers, industries, and researchers for exploring possibilities around complementarity through a two-day dual-venue remote forum. This conference will facilitate a mutual understanding of innovation-hub ecosystems in Australia and Japan and seek collaborative engagement between the two countries for tangible outcomes of innovation.


Themes of this conference:

Theme 1: Science parks in Australia and Japan

Illustrative research questions (not exclusive):

·      How does an Australian science park stimulate innovation?

·      How does a Japanese science park facilitate innovation?

·      How can science parks in Australia and Japan develop collaboration? What will either country gain?

·      What may science parks in Australia and Japan learn from each other? What is missed in their science parks?

·      How do the two policymaking models address deficiencies and develop opportunities?


Theme 2: The ecosystem of science parks

Illustrative research questions (not exclusive):

·      What is included and what is not in an innovation-hub ecosystem?

·      How can we account for social levels, functions, and structural interactions simultaneously in an innovation ecosystem?

·      How do histories and cultures account for current interactions of stakeholders in an innovation ecosystem?

·      How do future objectives and plans by different and sometimes competing stakeholders account for performances of an innovation ecosystem?

·      How do key actors (e.g., businesses, governments and intermediaries) account for competitive advantage in an innovation ecosystem?


Theme 3: Innovation and science parks

Illustrative research questions (not exclusive):

·      How do science parks stimulate innovation?

·      How do science parks maximize the effectiveness of internal resources for innovation?

·      How does a science park integrate external resources into its own innovation system?

·      How does a science park develop collaboration with other science parks and external stakeholders including universities and government agencies?


Outcomes from the two streams of discussions:

For academics:

- Opportunities to develop research papers with peer colleagues including editors and potential co-authors.

- Opportunities to build industry connections for possible collaboration.

- All the long abstracts accepted for conference presentation will be published in the conference proceedings.

- Full papers based on the accepted abstracts may be published in an edited book tentatively titled “A Science Park: The Regional Innovation-hub Ecosystem.” All submissions are subject to a double-blinded peer-review process before being accepted for publication. 

For practitioners:

- A platform for showcasing the good practice of science parks.

- Opportunities to promote and learn good approaches to innovation.

- Networks to foster exchanges across fields and sectors and facilitate potentials for science-park tenants and technologies.

Submission instructions:

Academic stream

- A long-abstract (5 double-spaced A4 pages) prior to the submission deadline, and

- A full-length paper (15~20 double-spaced A4 pages) at the conference.

- The corresponding author should either agree to be or delegate a co-author to be a peer reviewer of the conference.

Practice stream

- An A0-sized (841 x 1189 mm) poster, or

- Showcase with up to 15 PowerPoint slides.

Submission approach:

To submit the long abstract or poster, please visit:

Selection procedure:

- Academic submissions will be selected through a peer-review process.

- Practice submissions will be screened by the conference committee based on the merit of each submission.

Important dates:

Submission deadline:                                            July 30, 2021

Author notification of accepted presentations:        September 10, 2021

Conference registration deadline for speakers:        October 10, 2021

Conference:                                                          November 29-30, 2021

Adelaide: 11:00am~16:00pm (local time)

Tokyo: 9:30am~14:30pm (local time)

Conference committee:

Scholarly advisory board (in alphabetical order):

Associate Professor Kanetaka Maki, Waseda Business School, Waseda University, Japan.

Associate Professor Allan O’Connor, UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Australia.

Professor Koichi Sumikura, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan.

Dr Ryan Tang, UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Australia.

Professor Masaru Tomita, Keio University, Japan.

Dr Ke Xing, UniSA STEM, University of South Australia, Australia.

Professor Ying Zhu, UniSA Business School, University of South Australia, Australia.

Industry advisory board (in alphabetical order):

Ms Gillian Hewlett, Department for Innovation and Skills, South Australia, Australia

Mr Julian Modra, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, South Australia, Australia

Mr Greg Ratsch, City of Salisbury, Australia

Dr Yoko Yuzawa, Tsuruoka Science Park, Japan



Beer, A. (2015), Delivering Better Government for the Regions, The Regional Australia Institute, Australia.

Chan, K. F., & Lau, T.(2005). Assessing technology incubator programs in the science park: the good, the bad and the ugly. Technovation, 25(10),  1215-1228.

Edgington, D. W.(2008). The Kyoto Research Park and Innovation in Japanese Cities. Urban Geography, 29(5),  411-450.

Etzkowitz, H., & Zhou, C.(2018). Innovation incommensurability and the science park. R&D Management, 48(1),  73-87.

Faria, J., Mixon, F., & Upadhyaya, K.(2019). Public policy and the university-industry R&D nexus. Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 17(4),  499-506.

Hodges, M., & Woolcock, S.(1993). Atlantic capitalism versus Rhine capitalism in the European community. West European Politics, 16(3),  329-344.

Löfsten, H., & Lindelöf, P.(2003). Determinants for an entrepreneurial milieu: Science Parks and business policy in growing firms. Technovation, 23(1),  51-64.

O'Sullivan, M. (2000). Contests for Corporate Control : Corporate Governance and Economic Performance in the United States and Germany. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Schmidt, V. A.(2016). Varieties of capitalism: A distinct French model?In R. Elgie, A. Mazur, E. Grossman, & A. Appleton, (Eds.), Oxford handbook of French Politics. 606-635: Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thomas, L. D. W., & Autio, E.(2020). Innovation ecosystems in management: An organizing typology, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management: Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Vitols, S.(2001). Varieties of corporate governance: Comparing Germany and the UK. In P.A. Hall, & D. Soskice, (Eds.), Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. 337-360: Oxford: UK: Oxford University Press.

Westhead, P.(1997). R&D ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ of technology-based firms located on and off Science Parks. R&D Management, 27(1),  45-62.

Xie, K., Song, Y., Zhang, W., Hao, J., Liu, Z., & Chen, Y.(2018). Technological entrepreneurship in science parks: A case study of Wuhan Donghu High-Tech Zone. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135,  156-168.





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