Prominent South Australian economist John Spoehr is joining Flinders University’s Business School as a Strategic Professor.
Further strengthening Flinders’ engagement with industry innovation and transformation, Professor Spoehr has accepted the opportunity to establish a new entity at Flinders at Tonsley – the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI).
The Institute will facilitate collaboration with the New Venture Institute, the Medical Device Research Institute and the Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology to enhance the University’s engagement with industry.
Announcing the appointment, Acting Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Saint said Professor Spoehr would be a major contributor to the University’s strategic support for South Australia’s transformation to a high-tech economy.
“In addition to his impressive personal record in research and public engagement, Professor Spoehr has strong research leadership credentials and a track record of industry and government funding and engagement,” Professor Saint said.
“After months of negotiation, we are delighted to secure this important initiative and welcome Professor Spoehr to South Australia’s most progressive innovation precinct.”
Professor Spoehr says he is impressed by Flinders’ deep commitment to industrial transformation, particularly through its major presence at Tonsley.
“Its collaborative research with industry and end users in the areas of medical devices, assistive technologies and ageing is world class,” Professor Spoehr said.
“I am excited to be joining Flinders to help fill a major gap in the Australian research landscape through the establishment of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI).
“Building the industries and jobs of the future in collaboration with industry and communities requires new ways of doing things in our universities. International experience tell us that we must bring social scientists, scientists and engineers closer together to solve the challenges that face us in the 21st century. AITI is the right vehicle at the right time.”
Professor Spoehr has a PhD in Business and Management, and his research interests in workforce and workplace innovation will complement and strengthen the policy analysis and the industry transformation and innovation research already undertaken at Flinders.
Professor Spoehr has been highly successful in gaining government, public sector and industry funding, including leading the SA node of the successful $40 million Innovative Manufacturing CRC in 2015.
He is currently Executive Director of the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre (WISeR) and the Research Director of the Stretton Centre, a regional innovation and industrial transformation facility funded by the Australian and State Governments.