Picking up steam

​The inquiry tasked with looking at ways to ensure that Australia’s tertiary system can meet the needs of a future labour force focused on innovation and creativity released its report this month.


Picking up steam

Although much of the Inquiry into innovation and creativity: workforce for the new economyfocused on the building of STEM skills, evidence was also submitted on the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering,Arts and Maths) in promoting a true culture of innovation.

Recommendation 10 (of 38 recommendations) is of particular interest to the arts community:

‘The Committee recommends that the National Innovation and Science Agenda explicitly recognise the importance of STEAM, creative digital skills, the creative industries and the arts more generally.’

AMPAG sees this as an encouraging development. ‘We hope that Government will act on this recommendation and develop structural mechanisms for expertise, research and cross sector corroboration and collaboration, recognising the significant impact the arts and creative industries can make on the development and engagement in creative thinking and practices and innovation’ - Bethwyn Serow, AMPAG Executive Director.

AMPAG, along with others, prepared a submission for the inquiry, and AMPAG representatives contributed to a round table session with the Committee and a representative from NAVA, Theatre Network Australia, Interactive Games and Entertainment Association and ADOBE.

A number of evidence-based submissions, including AMPAG’s, highlighted the importance of arts and humanities, and warned of the danger inherent in siloing the creatives out of a creative innovation agenda.

The report notes that there has been a binary view of the arts and STEM, and that academics recommend breaking down this siloing, and promoting the ‘co-mingling of cross-disciplinary skills’ as being the way to ensure success.

Data image: based on THE FUSION EFFECT: The economic returns to combining arts and science skills. A report for NESTA Dr Josh Siepel, (SPRU, University of Sussex), Dr Roberto Camerani (SPRU, University of Sussex), Dr Gabriele Pellegrino(SPRU, University of Sussex), Dr Monica Masucci (Dept of Business and Management, University of Sussex)