Professor Ron Johnston BSc, PhD, FTSE

Professor Ron Johnston, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Innovation (ACIIC) has worked for more than thirty years in pioneering better understanding of the ways that science and technology contribute to economic and social development, the characteristics of the global knowledge economy and the processes and culture of innovation. His special skill is based on the breadth of his knowledge across technologies, and his ability to integrate them into a socio-economic and environmental context.

He is one of Australia’s leading thinkers about the future. He led the major national foresight study “Matching Science and Technology to Future Needs” by (ASTEC). Over the past eight years, he has led more than one hundred futures and foresight projects for private and public sector organizations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Pacific, applied to issues as diverse as water supply and management, technology-assisted learning, irrigation, university research, sea transport, global warming, nuclear fuel management, the IT industry, biotechnology, laws of the sea, opportunities for youth, sustainability and knowledge management.

He was educated as a scientist in Australia and the UK, and worked for many years in Europe and the US in the private sector, international organisations and universities. He has published more than 200 books, articles and reports, covering a broad range of issues related to science and technology policy and management, including technology foresight, technology strategy, innovation, priority-setting, research-evaluation, research management, technology assessment, science and technology indicators, intellectual property management, technology transfer, impacts of technological change on employment, technology and regional development, economics of innovation, the knowledge economy, and electronic commerce.

Professor Ron Johnston 2017

Through his career, he has been employed by, or carried out major contracts for UNESCO, UNIDO, UNDP, World Bank, OECD, the EC, ASEAN, and the Governments of US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand and a wide range of private sector and public organisations.

His role in Australia has been recognised by his election to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and by his appointment as Deputy Chair of the Australian Science and Technology Engineering Council, Director of the Australian Commission for the Future, Trustee of the Powerhouse Museum, member of the Australian Manufacturing Council, and a member of the NSW Innovation Council. He has recently been appointed a Life Fellow of the Powerhouse Museum.