Taking up the Innovation Challenge in Suzhou

Suzhou Suzhou3 Suzhou2 Suzhou4

Chinese students of South East University-Monash in Suzhou and visiting postgraduate students from Australia met in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in April to take part in an Australian Government supported entrepreneurs’ boot camp.  The Suzhou event followed a two-day program of site visits in Shanghai to entrepreneurship incubators in Fudan University’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Science and Technology Incubator (Shanghai),  and Tongji University’s FabLab O, and the Zizhu Entrepreneurship Incubator, Zizhu National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. The site visits showcased the impressive innovation effort and entrepreneurial drive that exists within China today.

The Australian delegation was facilitated by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and was led by Dr Paul Wood ATSE. The boot camp was hosted by South East University-Monash in Suzhou and focused on introducing research students to the principles required to succeed in a competitive innovation‐led world, with a particular focus on Chinese-Australian relationships. Chinese and Australian post-graduate students worked together on real world projects aimed at empowering them to become business leaders of the future.

The boot camp was opened by Australian Consul General to Shanghai, Mr Graeme Meehan, and facilitated by Dr Buzz Palmer, CEO of STC Australia and Director of Entrepreneurship at Monash University.  Participating institutions included Monash University, South East University, Queensland University of Technology, the University of Melbourne and the University of Technology Sydney. The four day event was truly a great experience for all.

Thanks go to the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, Fudan University’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Science and Technology Incubator, Tongji University’s FabLab O, the Zizhu Entrepreneurship Incubator, South East University-Monash Graduate School and Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District Admin Committee for making this visit such a success.

QUT engages with the Taiwanese Business Community

QUT Business Team proudly sponsored the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, Queensland chapter, 2014 Business Award Gala Dinner. 

Associate Professor Artemis Chang coordinated the judge panel, composed of Associate Professor Paul Steffens, Associate Professor Roxanne Zolin and other judges from the government, banking and law. 

QUT Business School was showcased on the night through a commercial video featuring Professor Robina Xavier speaking about our triple crowned undergraduate degrees, our corporate and business education. ACE shared our major research projects with the audience and invited the audience to visit the ACE website for industry relevant vignettes

Members from Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship and QUT International colleagues as well as representatives from QUT Taiwanese Student Association attended the award night and it was a great success. 

Event pictures were published in local Chinese News Papers and online media.

Associate Professor Chang with Winner of Taiwanese Culture Brand, Jeni Wang, and Katharine Chang, Representative from Taipeip Economic and Culture Office in Australia.

Associate Professor Chang with Winner of Taiwanese Culture Brand, Jeni Wang, and Katharine Chang, Representative from Taipeip Economic and Culture Office in Australia.


Does firm location make a difference to the export performance of SME’s?

Does firm location make a difference to the export performance

This series of research vignette is aimed at sharing current and interesting research findings from our team of international Entrepreneurship researchers.  This vignette – ‘Does firm location make a difference to the export performance of SME’s?‘, based on a research article from 2011 by Styles and Lawley, deals with export capacity of Australian SMEs. This collected data from an expert panel of government trade advisors, as well as managers of SME exporters in regional and metropolitan areas in Queensland.

Small players mean big business … globally

Do you have a business with overseas customers and are willing to share some of your online tactics for international success? 

One of our own QUT researchers, and member of ACE, has launched a national survey into small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and is keen to hear from businesses with up to 200 employees who have delved into the international market.

Charmaine Glavas’s PhD study with the QUT Business School is examining how Australian firms have acclimatised to a changing global marketplace, particularly via their web presence.

“Small and medium sized firms play a significant role in the Australian business economy, accounting for 98% of enterprises and 84% of jobs,” Ms Glavas said.

“Despite this, most research in this area tends to focus on large multinational corporations.

“It used to be very difficult for smaller businesses to export their goods or services internationally but the internet has changed all that.

“Now there is a lot of academic research that suggests you really aren’t competing as a firm if you don’t exist in an online environment.

“It has also been suggested that Australia will rank in the top five OECD countries for the number of businesses using online internet capabilities with access to high speed broadband by 2020.

“I’m investigating how small and medium-sized firms have used technology and the internet to get into the global marketplace, and how these firms are sustaining successful international business.”

SMEs already involved in the study range from manufacturing and retail businesses to finance and professional business consultants.

Ms Glavas said her national online survey was open to Australian business owners with 1 to 200 employees who export their goods or services to international markets.

To obtain a link for the 10-minute survey, email charmaine.glavas@qut.edu.au or click here. Surveys should be completed by the end of February.

International Research Collaboration

ACE may be located in Australia, but the nature of scholarly research ensures that international collaboration is very active. We are fortunate to be able to collaborate and work with some of the leading international entrepreneurship scholars.

The following colleagues are currently involved in joint research with ACE researchers:

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Project

Background of GEM

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research program is an annual assessment of the national level of entrepreneurial activity. Started as a partnership between London Business School and Babson College, it was initiated in 1999 with 10 countries, expanded to 21 in the year 2000, with 29 countries in 2001 and 37 countries in 2002. GEM 2009 is set to conduct research in 56 countries. From 2010 The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research has been appointed the Australian GEM partner.

The research program, based on a harmonized assessment of the level of national entrepreneurial activity for all participating countries, involves exploration of the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth. Systematic differences continue, with few highly entrepreneurial countries reflecting low economic growth. There is a wealth of national features and characteristics associated with entrepreneurial activity.

Those new to the research program will find global comparisons, national reports, and special topic reports based on the annual data collection cycle. This material can be downloaded after a few simple items of personal background are provided. Over 120 scholars and researchers are actively participating in the GEM project; those with user names and passwords will have access to the interview schedules, data collection procedures, and other details required for systematic analysis.

In 2005 the National Teams, London Business School and Babson College as a consortium, established an independent, not-for-profit company called the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA) to oversee the operations of GEM. GERA now owns the GEM brand.


GEM is the largest survey-based study of entrepreneurship in the world. During the course of its history since 1999, over 60 countries have been involved with the research.

GEM Research has three main objectives:

  • To measure differences in the level of early stage entrepreneurial activity between countries
  • To uncover factors determining the levels of entrepreneurial activity
  • To identify policies that may enhance the level of entrepreneurial activity

The GEM approach

Every year each national team is responsible for conducting a survey of at least 2000 people within its adult population. The Adult Population Survey is a survey of attitudes towards entrepreneurship in the general population but it also asks people whether or not they are engaged in start up activity or own or run a business.

The individual national team surveys are all collected in exactly the same way and at exactly the same time of year to ensure the quality of the data. The individual national team surveys are harmonised into one master dataset that allows users to investigate entrepreneurial activity at various stages of the entrepreneurial process, as well as to study a variety of factors characterizing both entrepreneurs and their businesses in each participating nation and across countries.

Overall,  GEM’s  unique  ability  to  provide  information  on  the  entrepreneurial landscape  of   countries in a global context makes its data a necessary resource for any serious attempt to study and track entrepreneurial behaviour worldwide.

Developments in GEM Research

Clearly, entrepreneurship is a complex phenomenon and can be found in a variety of settings and situations. Thus, no single measurement, no matter how precise, can capture the entrepreneurial landscape of a country. As a result, GEM takes a holistic approach to the study of entrepreneurship and provides a comprehensive set of measurements aimed at describing several aspects of the entrepreneurial make-up of a country. In addition to early- Stage Entrepreneurial Activity, GEM identifies  “established  business  owners.” Established   business owners are entrepreneurs who have paid salaries and wages for more than 42 months. Their businesses have survived the most risky stage of the entrepreneurial process and much can be learned from comparing early-stage and established business owners.

GEM also documents entrepreneurial motivation. Thus, business owners are classified as being either necessity-driven or opportunity-driven. In addition, GEM documents the characteristics of all entrepreneurs with respect to product novelty, intensity of competition, employment and expansion plans, and use of technology. Finally, GEM looks at the socioeconomic characteristics of populations; as well as their subjective perceptions and expectations about the entrepreneurial environment.

Australia’s  Role  in  GEM

The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research has from 2010 has become the Australian partner in the GEM Consortium, responsible for both the data collection and reporting on Australian research.

ACE’s  role  in  both  GEM  and  CAUSEE,   (Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence), allows an ideal opportunity to produce extended statistical analysis providing a deeper and broader view of Australian entrepreneurial activity.



For more information or to further discuss these opportunities further please contact:

Neil James
Executive Manager – External Relations Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Phone: 07 3138 1971
Mobile: 0405188664
Email: rn.james@qut.edu.au