Innovation, Employment and Education
Edited by Greg Hearn, Ruth Bridgstock, Ben Goldsmith and Jess Rodgers
Chapter 4: Creative digital services in education, mining and manufacturing: pursuing innovation through interoperability
Dan Swan and Greg Hearn
Increasingly, creative workers are deploying their capacities in other sectors outside their core industry, either through the provision of Creative Services, or as employees embedded in other sectors (Hearn et al., Chapter 1 in this volume). Furthermore, in most cases, the highest numbers of people in these embedded creative occupations work in digital content and software (Goldsmith, Chapter 8 in this volume). Mirroring this need for digital creative workers across all industries, growth in the provision of creative digital services to other industries is part of a longer-term, sharp growth of knowledge-intensive business services (see, for example, Miles 2005, 2008). The provision of creative digital services (including the creation and utilization of middleware) is now recognized by Screen Australia as an important diversification strategy for the games industry (Screen Australia 2011). Similarly, Australia’s broadband strategy notes that ‘the use of networked, digital technology spreads across all industry sectors’ (Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2009, 3). The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association’s 2009 Digital Services Index also noted the continuing rise of digital services to all industry sectors in Australia. This chapter examines a program where creative digital services were paired with other businesses for mutual benefit. Situating our discussion in the context of the Creative Economy, we describe the case studies and how the partnerships were beneficial. We argue that this mutual interaction and integration of knowledge exchanges that foster innovation suggest a notion of ‘interoperability’.
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