Practice-based Innovation and Applied Research and TAFE

Innovation is more than the linear journey starting with science, research, and hopefully ending with transformation to the commercial world.  Commercial transformation can also have its origins in practice-based innovation and applied research.  A practice-based and applied research approach to innovation operates at the interaction between the two sub-systems of innovation – acquisition and assimilation of knowledge and transformation and exploitation of knowledge.

Practice-based innovation and applied research, innovation driven by doing, using, and interacting, is as valid as science and technology-based innovation. The four components of innovation within firms and industries may cover: product (goods/services); processes of production (place based or distributive); distribution or logistic chains; organisational (why organise and how); and marketing (producer and consumer).  All these innovation types are the natural domain of TAFE, both vocational education and training and higher education, with these components responding best in a TAFE/firm/industry/student eco-system of practice-based innovation and applied research.

The Melbourne based Mackenzie Research Institute advocates, from a technical and further education perspective on an evidence-based rationale, for the reform of tertiary education in Australia.  It seeks to create and advocate ideas that can improve tertiary education in Australia for industry and the wider community, providing greater student opportunities for access and success.

TAFEs know how to work with businesses of all sizes and at all stages of their development.  Applying that sound understanding to collaborative applied research problem solving and idea development is an essential TAFE pathway for successful applied research for industries, firms, SMEs and family businesses, and for TAFE students.  Victorian TAFE Institutes provide better practice Case Studies in practice-based innovation and applied research with:

  • Winemaking at Melbourne Polytechnic
  • GOTAFE Boatbuilding
  • BlendED, The Gordon TAFE Experience
  • Holmesglen Institute’s Applied Research Capability
  • Kangan Institute’s Textile and Fashion Hub
  • Chisholm Institute’s Berwick Technical Education Centre

Read more here.          

Many TAFE educators and trainers already demonstrate practice-based innovation and applied research in their own teaching practice for and with industry and community partners. A Guide for Victorian TAFE Institutes supports and guides TAFE educators and trainers for industry and community engagement, enriching the student learning and training educational journey, and developing teacher capability in practice-based innovation and applied research. Read more about this better practice here.