Media Releases

Associate Professor Beth Webster to lead the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA) at the University of Melbourne

Media Release, Tuesday 9 September 2008

The Deans of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, Law and the Melbourne Business School have appointed Associate Professor Beth Webster to head a key cross faculty research institute.

Announcing the appointment, Professor Margaret Abernethy, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce has stated that “We are very pleased to have attracted such an eminent academic to build on the work and brand reputation of the increasingly important Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia. Beth has been associated with IPRIA since its inception and has published extensively in this area. She brings commitment, intellectual rigor and energy at a critical time in the development of IPRIA.”

Associate Professor Beth Webster will continue the advance the profile and impact of the Institute which was hitherto headed by Professor Andrew Christie who has chosen to focus on new academic challenges. During Professor Christie’s term as Director, the Institute established itself as a world class research organisation engaging in a range of leading edge research projects involving key research teams from across the University, nationally and internationally.

IPRIA was established in 2002 with significant funding from IP Australia. Its broad aim is to increase the understanding, creation, use and exploitation of intellectual property by Australian organisations and individuals. Intellectual property in this context is broader than formal intellectual property rights and includes the management of knowledge, personnel and intangible assets.

Associate Professor Beth Webster is also Principal Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research where she successfully manages the Industrial Economics program. She received her PhD from Cambridge University in the UK and her Master of Economics at Monash. She has previously worked at the Bureau of Immigration Research, the Victorian Government and the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University. Her interests include the economics of innovation and intellectual property intangible investment and labour economics. She has at various times been an advisor to IP Australia, Victorian Departments of Treasury and Finance; Premier and Cabinet; Auditor-General, Sustainability and Environment; the Commonwealth Departments of Industry, Tourism and Resources; and Education, Science and Training, Employment; Employment and Workplace Relations; Family and Community Services; Immigration and Multicultural Affairs; The Australian Fair Pay Commission, OECD and the New Zealand Treasury. In 2008, she was part of Minister Kim Carr’s Automotive Industry Review panel. Recent collaborative work has been undertaken with IBM, CTG, the Productivity Commission, Austrade, IBISWorld, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Asialink and PricewaterhouseCoopers inter alia.

Associate Professor Webster has published over 60 articles in top tier journals in areas such as patent systems, trade mark and branding, measuring intangible assets, firm performance, environment, training and education labour markets and wage determination.

Associate Professor Webster is delighted that she has retained the services of leading business, government and intellectual property specialists for the institute’s high powered Advisory Board as it moves to implement an ambitious and cutting edge research agenda. The Advisory Board is headed by Mr. Owen Malone and its members include Mr. Leon Allen of IPTA; Professor Vijolata Braach-Maksvytis DVC (Innovation and Development) at the University of Melbourne; Mr. David Byers from CEDA;

Mr. Philip Noonan from IP Australia; Professor Joshua Gans from the Melbourne Business School; Professor Sam Ricketson from the Melbourne Law School; Mr. Roy Rose from the Australian Industry Research Group; Dr. Andy Sierakowski from Knowledge Commercialisation Australia; Mrs. Rhonda Smith from the University of Melbourne; and Mr. John Walker from AMPTICA.