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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: September 2014

13 - Manufacturing

from Part 4 - A national economy


Technological change is a core component of modern economic growth. This chapter examines fundamental questions about Australia's technological development between the beginnings of European settlement and Federation. It explains the main patterns of technological change in colonial Australia. Technology is the body of practical knowledge and methods used in production and consumption. It tells us how different raw materials, equipment and skills can be brought together to yield a desirable outcome and extend an economy's production possibilities. Technological change in Australia was largely an urban phenomenon. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth were the vibrant hearts of Australia's technological system. The emergence of professional patent agents provided further evidence of the importance that the patent system had come to assume in the market for technological ideas. The transfer of technology benefited Australia's own technological capabilities by allowing Australians to focus their creative energies on pursuits for which they had distinct advantages in terms of expertise and skill.

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