Mark is an Associate of Howard Partners. He been a long-standing collaborator in numerous Howard Partners projects since the firm was formed in 1998, including the current project on Australia's Rural Innovation System. He has also provided expert advice on many others.


Mark's particular knowledge, experience and skills are in public sector strategy, with specific expertise in science and innovation policy and in the strategic management of uncertainty and risk in the public sector. His work has a strong focus on handling uncertainties and risks in strategy formulation and delivery – including ways of learning and adapting effectively.


Mark also has a unique skill in the analysis of Global Value Chains


Currently based in the UK, Mark has enduring professional connections and associated activities in Australia.


Qualifications and skills

Doctorate in Science and Technology Policy Studies, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK (thesis title: Time Saving and Economic Growth) 1989; M.Sc. (Science, Technology and Industrialisation) Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, 1985; B.A. (Hons) Geography, University of Sussex, 1982.


General professional experience

Mark’s rounded multi-sector experience spans university, government and business environments, combining a strong focus on policy engagement with academic contributions to advances in public policy research, especially in relation to conceptual and methodological innovation.


Mark’s professional career reflects an abiding and sustained interest in understanding, and formulating strategies to improve, science and innovation performance (and also public policy in general). He is the author of Transformational Public Policy: A new strategy for coping with uncertainty and risk. Routledge: Studies in Governance and Public Policy series, July 2016.


Mark has held senior management positions in universities, and the consulting sector in the UK and Australia and headed-up a science diplomacy unit jointly funded by the European Commission and the Australian Government (promoting stronger EU-Australia science and innovation cooperation). He was the founding director of a government-funded policy think tank located in a leading Australian research university.


He is currently Associate Fellow at the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield, University Fellow at the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University in Australia, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.


Mark’s current consulting work focuses on the synergies between different aspects of capacity building in public policy (consulting projects, research and experimental development projects focused on new tools and techniques for use in public policy, executive education courses and executive search).


Specific professional experience

Recent project experience includes:


• Initiating and co-managing (with Professor Peter Drysdale) the path breaking Tasmanian Government’s White Paper on the Asian Century Mark was lead author on the science-related aspects of this White Paper.


• Expert peer reviewer for UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research funding applications (invited in recognition of by distinctive expertise at the interfaces between government, higher education and the business sector).


• Developed the format for the co-produced Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Future Forum television series addressing future policy challenges for Australia.


• Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the Australian Government’s APS200 Public Sector Innovation Metrics Project.


• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Advisory Panel on Innovation Statistics.


• Appointed to the Research Quality Framework (RQF) Metrics Working Group (the expert group tasked with defining improved measures of research quality and impact for Australian universities).


• Appointed by the Defence Science and Technology to the Safeguarding Australia expert subcommittee of the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).


Mark’s short courses for the APS (delivered whilst at The ANU) have included: Invention, innovation and industry in the real world: A course for policymakers; Public Sector Innovation; Key Issues in Science Policy; Investment Risk Management in the Private Sector Innovation Process.  He has also taught ANU Management Program sessions on: Thinking & acting strategically. He currently co-teaches a short course for the Office of Transport Security (OTS) entitled: Security Risk, Measurement and Management: Reducing the Potential for Nasty Surprises




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.


In November 2017 the Review Team released an Issues Paper to guide consultations and discussions about the Review.  The consultations program has now been completed, involving meetings with over 100 people from research and teaching organisations, business and government.


Dr John Howard

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