Bishop steering systems
variable-ratio power steering system for cars
Arthur Bishop's greatest contribution to Australian life may not be his inventions, but his proof of a very simple proposition: that exporting Australian know-how can be just as valuable as exporting our manufactured products.
Bishop's Sydney 'factory' produces ideas in the form of designs: designs for car steering systems and designs for the machines to make them. He employs a team of engineers and encourages them to think and experiment. He uses patenting laws to protect the devices they invent. Then his company develops new machines to build the new devices, patents the machines and earns royalties on each machine and product made.
Bishop's key inventions have been variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering technology and a rotary valve for power steering. Both produce safer and more precise car steering and are used in 4.5 million new cars a year. Yet none of them are made by Bishop's company - they are all made under licence. In 1993 his patents and licences earned $5 million in royalties. Some element of technology developed by Bishop is used in 20% of the passenger cars made in the world each year. The company holds more than 400 patents and patent applications.
Who Did It?
A E Bishop & Associates Pty Ltd : R&D, design, patenting, promotion
Arthur Bishop : inventor, managing director
Laurie Bishop : marketing director
'Innovation: last chance for Australian industry'
Society of Automotive Engineers, July/Aug 1992, pp 11-12.
Bishop Technology Group
Technology in Australia 1788-1988