Associate Professor Christopher Vas
PhD (ANU), MBA, B Engg (Comp Sc)

Director - Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT)

About me

Christopher Vas joins Murdoch University’s School of Management and Governance from the Australian National University (ANU). He is Director of  the University’s first offshore R&D centre – Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT). The Centre was formed on the back of a $0.5m productivity and innovation benchmarking research study funded by SPRING Singapore in which Dr Vas was one of the Chief Investigators with Professors Peter Waring and Peter McKiernan.

SCRIPT also incorporates Murdoch’s Executive Education Centre which is a knowledge hub incorporating executive education and industry engagement. Under the directorship of Dr Vas, the Centre offers the Executive Masters program in Leadership, Strategy and Innovation promoting academic leadership of cross-cutting issues.

Dr Vas was Commissioner and Executive Director of the Second Murdoch Commission on Food Security, Trade and Partnerships: Towards Resilient Regional Food Systems in Asia. Previously, he was also co-chair of the Trans-Pacific dialogue ‘Creating a Productive Future: Social and Economic Challenges, Policy and Governance’ jointly hosted by the Crawford School of Public Policy (ANU) and Harvard Kennedy School (Harvard University). He co-authored ‘Tackling Challenges of Productive Growth in Resource Dependent Countries: The Experience of Ghana and Indonesia’ and ‘Demystifying Productivity for Better-Informed Policy‘. He has also published in leading journals such as R&D Management, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice.

As Program Director at the HC Coombs Policy Forum (ANU) - a joint think tank between the Australian Government and the ANU – he directed the Productivity & Competitiveness and Policy Futures Policy Research Programs. He also served in the Australian Government across many agencies including Departments of Industry and Innovation, Education, Employment and the Australian Federal Police.

Dr Vas was also Engagement Director for Executive Education at the globally renowned Indian School of Business (ISB). Through the course of his professional experiences, he has designed and delivered leadership, strategy and management programs for public and private sector clients including Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Areva Energy, Maersk Ltd (Denmark), Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, Coca Cola, Vodafone and many others.

Dr Vas’ expertise lies in innovation and productivity policy, human capital development, industry trade policy linking global value chains and public management issues. He was the 2014 recipient of the first Australian Government’s Australia-India Education Collaboration (AIEC) Endeavour Research Fellowship.

Dr Vas holds a Doctorate in Public Policy from the ANU and a Master of Business Administration. He has held visiting positions at Stanford University, Harvard University and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Research areas

My research interests span the following interdisciplinary areas and geographical boundaries:

  • Business Productivity, Industry Trade, Global Value Chains and Innovation;
  • Management and Organisational Behaviour;
  • Skills, Performance Management and Human Capital;
  • Public Policy – Networks, Governance and Evidence Based Policy Making;
  • Middle East and South Asia.

Current projects

2014-15. Benchmarking Study on Innovation and Productivity of the Singapore Manufacturing Sector, with Peter Waring and Peter McKiernan. (For Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Singapore)

Awards and grants

Research Fellowship – Endeavour Australian India Education Council Research Fellowship, Australian Government. 2014.

Research Grant - Institute of Public Administration Australia and University of Canberra Public Administration Research Trust Fund. 2010

Young Investigators Grant - Research Network for a Secure Australia. 2009

Events and speaking engagements

  • Australian Government. Australian Government Leadership Network Conference. September 2013.
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Productivity Leadership. 14 June 2013.
  • Creating a Productive Future: Social and Economic Challenges, Policy and Governance. 2-day Trans-Pacific Dialogue jointly hosted by the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. Co-Chair with Professor Bruce Western (Harvard University). 18-19 March 2013, Canberra, Australia
  • Media Interview: ABC TV News Breakfast Show. ‘Creating a Productive Future’ 18 March 2013.

2012 and earlier:

  • Delivered presentations at numerous international conferences including at the United Nations (UN) New York, Triple Helix Conference in Scotland, HERDSA in New Zealand etc

Professional and Community Service

Commissioner and Executive Director. Second Murdoch Commission on Food Security, Trade and Partnerships: Towards Resilient Regional Food Systems in Asia. 2014-2015

Advisory Board Member. Society for Knowledge Economics (SKE). 2011-Present.

Co-Author. The Future of Management Education, for the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC). 2013-2014.

Co-Author & Project Group Member. Tasmania’s Place in the Asian Century – White Paper for the Tasmanian Government. 2012-2013.

Member – Advisory Group and Project Reference Group. Workplaces of the Future – Australian Government Commissioned Project with the Society for Knowledge Economics. 2012-2013.

Publications

Journals

  • Legrand, T., Vas, C., (2014), Framing the Policy Analysis of OECD and Australian VET Interaction: Two Heuristics of Policy Transfer, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: research and practice, 16, 3, pages 230 - 248.
  • Vas, C., Koruth, T., (2013), Planning a Productive Higher Education System, US-China Education Review. A, 3, 10, pages 730 - 738.
  • Nicolopoulou, K., Karatas-Ozkan, M.,  Vas, C and Noumann, M. 2016. An incubation perspective on social innovation: The London Hub as a social incubator. R&D Management. DOI: 10.1111/radm.12179
  • Vas, C. Teamwork EQ-IQ Systems: Integration of Emotion and Cognition. European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology. (under review)
  • LeGrand, T and Vas, C. (2014). Epistemic Policy Transfer: The Case of the OECD and Skills and Workforce Development Policy in Australia. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice.DOI:10.1080/13876988.2014.910909
  • Vas, C. (2014). Generating Insight from Foresight: The Emerging Social Challenges for Law Enforcement Policy Makers. In Den Heyer, Garth, & Das, Dilip K. (eds). 2014. Police Reform The Effects of International Economic Development, Armed Violence, and Public Safety. CRC Press
  • Vas, C., and Koruth, T., (2013), Planning a Productive Higher Education System, US-China Education Review. A, 3, 10: 730 – 738.
  • McPherson, M and Vas, C. (2013). Tackling Challenges of Productive Growth in Resource Dependent Countries: The Experience of Ghana and Indonesia. Productivity Policy Research Program, HC Coombs Policy Forum – Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Saliba, G and Vas, C. 2013. Unravelling Human Dynamics To Enhance Future Policy and Strategy Development. Policy Futures Policy Research Program, HC Coombs Policy Forum – Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Vas, C. 2012, ‘Generating Insight From Foresight: Emerging Challenges For Law Enforcement Policy Makers’, International Police Executive Symposium “Economic Development, Armed Violence and Public Safety”, International Police Executive Symposium, United States of America, pp. 1-17.
  • Vas, C. & Lenihan, D 2012, ‘Innovating Government through Public Engagement: The Case of New Brunswick’, in Don Lenihan (ed.), Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement, Public Policy Forum, Canada, pp. 153-177.
  • Parham, D and Vas, C. 2012. Demystifying Productivity for Better-Informed Policy. Productivity Policy Research Program (Issues Paper 1), HC Coombs Policy Forum – Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Outreach:

  • The Conversation. Australia’s innovation future could get a boost from China’s five year plan. 2 December 2015.
  • The Conversation. Demystifying the global productivity puzzle. 4 February 2014.
  • The Conversation. Why take a stick to public sector productivity when a carrot works?. 4 October 2013.
  • Business Spectator. Maintaining the luck through Asian value chains. 05 July 2013
  • Business Spectator. Avoiding A ‘Hard Landing’ Off China Means Asking Hard Questions About Productivity. 18 May 2012.

Media interviews & appearances:

  • Channel NewsAsia. Reaping rewards: Vertical crab farming and high tech vegetables in Singapore. 11 December 2015. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/reaping-rewards-vertical/2340166.html
  • Channel NewsAsia. Murdoch University launches research centre in Singapore. 02 December 2015. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/murdoch-university/2313512.html
  • ABC Radio Nightlife AM 720. Corporate Welfare and the Role of Government. 14 January 2014.
  • ABC TV News Breakfast Show, 18 March 2013. Creating a Productive Future.