Institute for Future


15 July 2016

Position: Associate Professor and part of IFE's Transforming Innovation Systems group

What are you working on at the moment?

My work with the IFE these days is looking at how technological innovation happens – that is, the process by which we create new technologies.  The world is facing lots of challenges for which some well-placed technologies could almost certainly make a huge difference. Take the energy sector, for example: we need to deliver an increasing amount of energy to a growing world population, but we need to do so with as little environmental impact as possible. Despite this glaring need for radical technological change in this domain, however, these changes have for the most part failed to materialise.  In a nutshell, my work looks at these kinds of situations and asks, "How does the innovation system in this sector work?  Why is it getting stuck? And how can we make it better?" I used the energy industry as an example, but my intention is to ask – and, if possible, answer – these questions for as many sectors and research disciplines as possible.

Why is your work important?

Technology isn't the answer to every problem in the world, but I believe that innovation is the key to solving a lot of the more complex problems in front of us today. Thus, our work in this area is important because we're helping industries and policymakers to arrive at these solutions more efficiently and quickly, and in a way that yields the maximum benefit for all of us.

What excites or inspires you about your field?

I get to work with some of the most intelligent people in various fields. Specifically, I get to help them figure out how to turn all of those great ideas into new technologies that have the potential to materially improve the lives of lots of people.  Seriously, does it get better than that?

What are your hopes for the future?

Success in this role would involve me helping QUT's best and brightest to tap into their inner innovative potential en route to making a big dent in a problem that improves the lives of a lot of people. I hope I can do precisely that.

Read more about Robert Perrons.

Associate Professor Robert Perrons


Institute for Future Environments

  • Phone: 3138 9500
  • Int. phone: +61 7 3138 9500
  • Fax: +61 7 3138 4438
  • Level 6, P Block
    Gardens Point
    2 George St
    Brisbane QLD 4000
  • Postal address:
    Institute for Future Environments
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001