Dr John H Howard

John is a highly regarded expert on innovation and innovation policy. He is also a very experienced management consultant with a track record of achievement in the areas of:


  • Governance and public management.
  • Public policy analysis, research, and advice.
  • University engagement with industry.
  • Management strategy, strategic planning, organisation design.
  • Government program review and evaluation.
  • Regional development and regional innovation systems.


John’s professional knowledge, skills and experience in the fields of innovation, management consultancy and public policy provides a unique combination of capability that has been applied in an extensive portfolio of successful commissions and assignments for government, business, universities and the non-government (NGO) sector over a 25-year period.

Qualification and skills


John has high level skills in writing, data and information analysis, stakeholder consultation, communication and engagement, and in the presentation of research findings and actionable and implementable recommendations in papers and reports. He holds a PhD (The University of Sydney, Innovation, university-business-government relations), a Master of Arts Degree (University of Canberra, Public Policy, Organisation Theory; and an Honours Degree in Economics (University of Tasmania, Applied Economics, Management, Public Administration).


General professional experience


John’s expertise has been developed over 25 years as managing Director of Howard Partners (since 1998) and as a Partner in Ernst & Young and Coopers and Lybrand (PwC) between 1988 and 1998.  He is a member of the Alumni groups of both firms.


John’s experience is concentrated in the areas of management strategy, governance, and public policy. This has underpinned his approach to Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy and analysis of innovation systems. He has advised on the governance of innovation systems and innovation strategy implementation.


John has an extended range of connections in the Innovation System built up over many years of commissioned research, advisory, and evaluation work. His LinkedIn profile extends to 3,200 connections, principally at executive/ senior management level in business, the research sector, and government.


Specific professional experience


John has researched and produced several influential publications on innovation and knowledge transfer, authored many reports and policy papers for Government and business, and has presented at international conferences and events. Recent experience in the areas of strategic planning and innovation systems include:

  • Advised Innovation and Science Australia in the development of Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation - A Plan for Australia to Thrive in the Global Innovation Race, including management of the Consultations Program and an Expert Opinion Survey.
  • Advised the Hunter RDA in the development of a Regional Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) for the Hunter Region in NSW.
  • Prepared research papers for ACOLA SAF 09 on the Translation of Research for Economic and Social Benefit and for SAF 10 on the Skills for Enterprise Innovation. The projects required extensive consultation with leaders across Commonwealth and State Government agencies, businesses, and research organisations concerned with innovation.
  • Development of Strategic Plans for a large number of government and non-government organisations. The most recent was for the Department of Housing and Public Works, Queensland in 2014.
  • Prepared the University of Canberra five-year Engagement Plan while PVC Innovation at the University of Canberra (2008-2011).
  • Prepared the framework for the ACT Innovation and Economic Development Strategy, 2012, drawing on a detailed Study of the ACT Innovation System which he undertook in 2007-08.
  • Prepared policy papers on innovation systems strategy, knowledge transfer and translation, including research and editorial support for the recent UTS reports to the Senate Innovation System Inquiry (with Professor Roy Green, 2015), The Role of Intermediaries in Innovation Systems (2007), the Role of the Arts and Creative Practice in Innovation Systems (2008), Knowledge Exchange Networks (2005), and the 2003 Evaluation of the CRC Programme.


Concurrent appointments


Adjunct Professor, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney

This role involves:

  • Participating in the academic activities of the UTS Business School.
  • Research and publication in the areas of science, technology and innovation policy and innovation management, with a particular focus on regional development, manufacturing and the adoption and application of information and communication technologies Link


Adjunct Professor and Academic Fellow, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

The role involves undertaking contributing to the research portfolio of the Institute and participating in the University's College of Adjuncts.


Board positions

  • Great Lakes Education Fund, 2011-present.
  • Canberra Business Council (Chair, Economic Development Task Force), 2008-2011.
  • Research and Learning Institutes Group (a Committee of the Canberra Convention Bureau).
  • Epicorp (a business incubator, seed investor), 2008-2011
  • Australian Centre of Excellence in Local Government, 2009-2011.
  • Regional Development Australia (ACT) and Capital Region Development Board (2008-2010)




During 2018 Howard Partners is celebrating 20 years as an independent public policy research, advisory, and management consulting firm.


Howard Partners was honoured to have contributed to the Innovation and Science Australia Strategic Plan, Australia 2030: Prosperity Though Innovation, released in early 2018. Our Consultations Report and Expert Opinion Survey was released at the same time.


Howard Partners is currently working with the National Primary Industries Research and Innovation Committee on a Performance Review of Australia's Rural Innovation System.


The Review Report has been completed, under the title "Australia's Rural Innovation Future"


Dr John Howard

PO Box 4090, Manuka, ACT, 2603

PO Box 282 Forster, NSW, 2428


P +61 (0) 2 6273 5222 (Canberra)

M +61 (0) 4 0358 3600