By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY: Australian Museum director Frank Howarth used last night’s Panasonic sponsorship announcement to encourage other consumer electronics companies to invest in scientific research and the arts.
Speaking about the Panasonic agreement, Howarth said, “I am pleased to see this public commitment to the vital role that science plays in the survival of humankind”.
Howarth then had a subtle jab at other companies, suggesting they invest in science too, when he said, “…I hope that Panasonic’s sense of social responsibility sets an example for others to follow”.
Howarth hopes that more companies in the consumer electronics industry will follow this example, setting aside the “not just ‘we’ll support a football team because it will sell more’” mentality.
When asked about corporate sponsorship of arts and scientific endeavours, Howarth said, “There are others around the place, but not so common in the electronics industry.”
Howarth points to companies’ preoccupation with “the bottom line” for this trend, and though he hopes more sponsorship will come, he realises that financial profitability from these agreements is minimal. “We’re not saying, ‘you’ll sell more,’ but you will be helping society,” said Howarth.
Aside from sponsoring the Australian Museum, Panasonic also supports the Australian Wallabies, the Australian F1 Grand Prix, the Olympic Games and the Manly Sea Eagles, amongst others.