UTS site search

Dr Samantha Sharpe

Biography

Samantha Sharpe is a research and policy professional with more than 10 years’ experience in public policy research and economic analysis. Her research focuses on regional economic development and innovation within firms and associated public policy of each. Samantha has been lead investigator on research projects funded by UK EPSRC, European Union and OECD. Outcomes of this research are policy development and industry advice around the support of innovative activity in places, the incubation of new technology, and the role public policy can play in establishing emerging markets for environment and ‘green’ technologies particularly in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Samantha is also an expert consultant to the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development Programme and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and has completed projects with the OECD on training and skills development activities with SMEs and regional transitions to green growth.
Samantha is a research associate of the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge, UK, and held senior policy positions in environmental policy and economic development in government.
Image of Samantha Sharpe
Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Core Member, Institute for Sustainable Futures
BArts., Masters of Public Policy, PhD
Phone
+61 2 9514 4169
Room
CB10.11
Can supervise: Yes

Book Chapters

Martinez-Fernandez, C., Ranieri, A. & Sharpe, S.A. 2014, 'Green skills for a low-carbon future' in Martinez-Fernandez, C.M., Ranieri. A., and Sharpe, S.A. (eds), Green skills for a low-carbon future, OECD Publishing, Paris, pp. 15-19.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter defines the key concepts that are central to this volume: what are green jobs and green skills and what are the implications for low-carbon economies if there is not enough of either. Labour market impacts from the transition from high to low carbon intense production will affect all workers.
Sharpe, S.A. & White, S. 2013, 'Eco-Innovation in Australia' in Australian Innovation System Report 2013, Australian Department of Industry, Australia, pp. 133-158.
Sharpe, S.A. 2011, 'Venture Capitalists as Knowledge Intensive Service Activity Providers' in Cristina Martinez-Fernandez, Ian Miles, Tamara Weyman (eds), The Knowledge Economy At Work: Skills and Innovation in Knowledge Intensive Service Activities, Edward Elgar Publishing, London, pp. 214-238.
Martinez-Fernandez, C. & Sharpe, S.A. 2008, 'Intellectual Assets and Knowledge Vitality in Urban Regions: The Role of Universities' in Tan Yigitcanlar (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Koray Velibeyoglu (Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey) and Scott Baum (Griffith University, Australia) (eds), Creative Urban Regions: Harnessing Urban Technologies to Support Knowledge City Initiatives, IGI Global, New York, pp. 48-64.
Recent studies have shown that universities and similar public sector research institutions differ in their relationships with user organizations both in relation to the type of new knowledge transferred and to the mechanisms of such transfer. Both the relationships and knowledge transfer are critically affected by the level of sophistication of the receiving companies. The creation of `urban knowledge+ has many dimensions, which means that spatial proximity to the sources of new knowledge does not automatically encourage firms to take advantage of what is on offer. Thus, the knowledge generated by universities has a critical function on the availability of local and international knowledge to the city and region where it is located, but much needs to be done for this knowledge to become relevant and absorbed in its geographical area. To show these dual processes, this chapter analyzes the region of Western Sydney at two levels: the knowledge demanded and the knowledge produced and transferred. Ultimately, the answer to the question of how universities can best contribute to the intellectual vitality of the place where they are located and which knowledge is relevant

Conference Papers

Herriman, E.J. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Population and Australian cities', French-Australian Researcher Workshop: Thematic and methodological exchanges, UTS, Sydney, Australia, October 2013.
Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'The race is not to the swift: breakthrough technology commercialization and implications for public policy', Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference 2013, QUT, Brisbane, February 2013 in Proceedings of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference 2013, ed Shepherd, D. and Davidsson, P., Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, QUT, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 1-17.
View/Download from: OPUS
Sharpe, S.A. & Martinez-Fernandez, C. 2012, 'Leverage training and skills development: enhancing productivity and return on investment', Service Skills Australia National Conference, Brisbane, February 2012 in National Skills Conference, Service Skills Australia, Australia, pp. 1-21.
Sharpe, S.A. 2009, 'Profiting from the breakthrough: Technology commercialisation in the global age, the case of LCD technology', Bari, Italy, June 2009 in Conference Proceedings of the 12th Uddevalla Symposium on The Geography of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Bari, Italy 11-13th June 2009, ed Irne Bernhard, University West, Trollhttan, Sweden, Sweden, pp. 899-921.

Journal Articles

Sharpe, S.A. & Agarwal, R. 2014, 'Strengthening Industrial Ecology's Links with Business Studies: Insights and Potential Contributions from the Innovation and Business Models Literature', Resources, vol. 3, pp. 362-382.
The declining availability of natural resources and the environmental impacts of continued extraction of primary resources for production activities have forced greater focus on waste streams and recycling activities. Industrial ecology as a field of practice and theory has been closely related to sustainability issues, yet despite the development of much theory and specific tools and methodologies, the link between natural, industrial and economic systems is not convincing. Not only that, the need for delivering sustainable production and consumption practices is increasing, which is demanding new solutions to existing problems, particularly around the degree of novelty. The interaction of industrial ecology with business studies and industrial investment decision-making remains under-developed, and this is likely impacting on the adoption of more sustainable and resource-efficient practices. As such, this paper uses a constructive approach and explores how two areas of the literature can support the development of the industrial ecology field into strategic business practice: firstly, the innovation literature, particularly the emerging work on open innovation and sustainable innovation as a model to understand radical innovation processes and the creation and maintenance of networked systems of firms; secondly, the closely related area of business model (BM) innovation, specifically the emerging typologies of sustainable BMs and how these typologies can be developed and used as a route to positioning recycling activities at the strategic management level of the firm.
Sharpe, S.A. & Martinez-Fernandez, C. 2007, 'Measuring regional knowledge resources: What do knowledge occupations have to offer?', Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice: an International Journal for Innovation Research, Commercialization, Policy Analysis and Best Practice, vol. 9, no. 3-4, pp. 262-275.
In this paper we will examine one of the most locally specific resources within regions: their workforce. We will consider how the specific types and quantities of knowledge workers evident in a region could be measured, and suggest that these workers form an integral but underestimated component of a region's innovative capability. To illustrate this hypothesis we use an established breakdown of occupations by aspects of knowledge and function, by sub-regions for the metropolitan region of Sydney. This paper aims to highlight two key points. Firstly the recognition that examining knowledge workers, especially in a broader sense than is currently utilised in the innovation literature (R&D scientific employment) is a useful way for examining and interpreting the knowledge dynamics of a region, and secondly, the importance of aggregation and scale when examining regional innovation systems. Adequate consideration for the distribution of these dynamics is essential for policymakers engaged in activities to encourage innovative activity as well as promoting equitable access to knowledge resources particularly in urban, metropolitan regions.

Reports

Martinez-Fernandez, C., Ranieri, A. & Sharpe, S.A. 2014, 'Greener skills and jobs for a low-carbon future', OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 1-226.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Green skills, that is, skills needed in a low-carbon economy, will be required in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations. Structural changes will realign sectors that are likely to decline as a result of the greening of the economy and workers will need to be retrained accordingly. The successful transition to a low-carbon economy will only be possible if workers can flexibly adapt and transfer from areas of decreasing employment to new industries. This paper suggests that the role of skills and education and training policies should be an important component of the ecological transformation process.
McGee, C.M., Wynne, L.E., Milne, G.R., Dovey, C., Mitchell, C.A., Prior, J.H., Sharpe, S.A. & Wilmot, K. 2014, 'Guiding World Class Urban Renewal: A Framework for UrbanGrowth NSW', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Wilmot, K., Boyle, T.M., Rickwood, P. & Sharpe, S.A. 2014, 'Smart Work Centres: An Analysis of Demand in Western Sydney', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-69.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
This study sets out to explore the potential for smart work centres in the local government areas of Liverpool, Blacktown and Penrith in Western Sydney. Smart work centres are differentiated from other work environments like main workplace, serviced offices, coworking spaces, third spaces and home offices by location, operations and atmosphere. Targeted to serve teleworkers, theyare located close to where people live, provide a fully serviced formal workplace but operate with a community atmosphere that engenders creativity and innovation. This report investigates the circumstances that support teleworking, examines the commuting patterns and demographics of the 3 LGAs, and then analyses census data to predict a demand for a centre in any one of the 3 locations. The report goes on to propose a scenario for a successful centre based on the findings from the research.
Mason, L.M., Mikhailovich, N., Mudd, G.M., Sharpe, S.A. & Giurco, D. 2013, 'Advantage Australia: Resource Governance and Innovation for the Asian Century - Final Report', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Sydney, pp. 1-94.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
The minerals sector and Australia are vulnerable. Reviewing the 160-year history of Australian mineral development indicates that local and international factors have all been influential in constraining or sustaining mining, including economics, geology and social forces. Research undertaken through the Mineral Futures Collaboration Cluster indicates that, in future, environmental and social factors will be important to both mining productivity and defining the role which mining plays more broadly within the Australian economy.Australia occupies an unusual position as a developed country, by being a net importer, whose capacity for international trade is increasingly reliant on a single industry sector (mining) that produces comparatively low-value commodities. Despite commitments to developing value-added mineral products in Australia over past decades, the contemporary reality is stark. Rather than thriving exports of steel and electricity, Australian exports are dominated by unprocessed bulk commodities of iron ore and coal. These and other mineral exports have followed the pattern of other export commodities (wool, wheat, sugar), in that they have comparatively low requirements for labour, are comparatively cheap and simple to transport, and are supported by high levels of foreign investment.
Martinez-Fernandez, C., Sharpe, S.A., Bruyninckx, H. & Konig, A. 2013, 'Green Growth in the Benelux: Indicators of local transition to a low-carbon economy in Cross-Border Regions (OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Working Papers, 2013/09)', OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 1-147.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper discusses the results of a study of measuring green growth in the Benelux countries (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg). The study paid particular attention to the challenges of measuring the transition to a low-carbon economy in cross-border areas as they have additional levels of complexity when it comes to measuring and monitoring their low-carbon transition. In cross- regions data collection hardly ever coincide with any single data gathering 'institution'. Moreover, Belgium (Flanders, Brussels, Wallonia), the Netherlands, and Luxembourg have different indicator systems at the national level, and even more so at the more decentralised level which creates problems of data availability, data (in)consistency, and hence comparability. Progress is already noticeable in the two crossborder areas analysed in the study. In Ghent-Terneuzen the bio-base economy is contributing to the value of turnover and growth in employment in the environmental goods and services (EGS) sectors. In Alzette-Belval the construction industry is engaging in resource-efficient building design and certification. In other aspects there is evidence of progress, but this evidence is anecdotal, or patchy in its collection, and not able to be included in the dashboard metrics developed during the study and discussed in the paper
Paddon, M., Partridge, E.Y., Sharpe, S.A., Moore, D.D. & Ross, K.E. 2013, 'The economic, social and environmental implications of population growth in Australian cities', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-88.
Sharpe, S.A., Ross, K.E., Moore, D.D., Partridge, E.Y. & Paddon, M. 2013, 'Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Melton, VIC', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-64.
Sharpe, S.A., Moore, D.D. & Paddon, M. 2013, 'Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Green Square, NSW', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-51.
Dunstan, C., Sharpe, S.A. & Downes, J. 2013, 'Investing in Savings: Finance and cooperative approaches to electricity demand management - A scoping study for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-124.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
This scoping study examines the potential for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to help reduce customer electricity bills and foster clean energy investment in Australia by supporting electricity network businesses to implement Demand Management (DM). The report concludes that the benefits of network DM are likely to be significantly greater and realised more quickly if regulatory reform is complemented with a cooperative approach to performance targets, reporting and incentives. It has been recognised for over two decades that electricity DM has been under-utilised in Australia. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, DM can reduce business and household electricity bills through: ? lower customer energy consumption (via improving end use energy efficiency) ? lower wholesale energy prices and reduced need for peak electricity generation, and ? deferred or avoided network capital expenditure (which has been the main driver of recent electricity bill increases). DM in the electricity sector can also directly and indirectly increase the uptake of clean energy initiatives, such as increased energy efficiency and renewable and low emission generation
Martinez-Fernandez, C., Sharpe, S.A., Hughes, M. & Avellaner de Santos, C. 2013, 'Improving the effectiveness of green local development: The role and impact of public sector-led initiatives in renewable energy', OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 1-60.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
This report presents a snapshot of the global renewable energy industry and investigates what this global industry can mean for local development. This industry is rapidly growing in response to countries+ activities to reduce their carbon emissions. The deployment of renewable energy is seen as a key development opportunity for rural regions and a way for governments to give substance to "green growth" claims. The paper suggests that local governments and other institutions will be central agents in the success of the transition of regional areas to low-carbon economies.
Martinez-Fernandez, C. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Overview of training and skills development in SMEs', Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 15-24.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Formal training and skills development: The state of play', Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 27-40.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Martinez-Fernandez, C. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Skills development on the ground: Formal and alternative approaches by firms', Skills Development and Training in SMEs, Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 41-55.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
The report discusses the results of the OECD "Leveraging Training and Skills Development in SMEs" (TSME) project which examines access to training by SMEs across seven regions in six OECD countries: New Zealand, Poland, Belgium, UK, Turkey and Canada. The book analyses the policy issues related to both low access by SMEs, and how to recognise the increasing importance of informal training and skills development methods. The book looks at how both formal and alternative ways of training and skills development interact and identifies impacts at three levels; for the firm and employees; for the industry; and for the local area where the firm is located. The report pays special attention to the development of entrepreneurial skills and the emerging area of "green skills". This focus is not just because `green skills+ represent the next new training opportunity + the de-carbonisation of economies that will occur over the coming decades represents an industrial transformation on the scale of the microelectronics revolution - but in many ways the response to the green economy is at an emerging stage- this means we have the opportunity to implement lessons from previous successful practices into a skill development area that will have enormous reach.
Martinez-Fernandez, C. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Innovators, exporters and new skills development', Skills Development and Training in SMEs (Local Economic and Employment Development - LEED), OECD Publishing, Paris, France, pp. 57-69.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dunstan, C., Downes, J. & Sharpe, S.A. 2013, 'Restoring Power: Cutting bills & carbon emissions with Demand Management', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-61.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Restoring Power: Cutting bills & carbon emissions with Demand Management
Sharpe, S.A., Partridge, E.Y., Paddon, M., Moore, D.D. & Lederwasch, A.J. 2012, 'Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Blacktown, NSW', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-51.
Herriman, E.J., Partridge, E.Y., Moore, D.D., Sharpe, S.A. & Paddon, M. 2012, 'Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Mandurah, WA', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-65.
Herriman, E.J., Sharpe, S.A., Moore, D.D., Ross, K.E., Partridge, E.Y. & Paddon, M. 2012, 'Research into the Economic, Social and Environmental Implications of Population Growth in Australian Cities: Case Study - Playford, SA', Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-56.