The Prime Minister’s office has issued an innovation statement, noting a $9.7 billion government investment into research and development across CSIRO, government agencies, the business and higher education sectors.
And the industry has welcomed the Government’s focus on innovation and the pragmatic measures to boost it in Australia.
Deloitte innovation leader, Jason Bender, said from a culture perspective, the company supports the Prime Minister’s statement around his government’s greater preparedness to take risks over the medium-term.
“At Deloitte, we have built a culture around innovation and idea sharing. Through collaboration and a culture of thinking big like a designer, starting small and continuously iterating through our technical expertise and customer mindfulness, we have built new businesses that lift the value we deliver to business, the community and the nation,” Bender said.
“We are pleased to see this new approach and welcome the Government’s $1.5 billion investment into a National Collaborative Research infrastructure strategy in particular. We are very mindful of where disruption is happening, and the issues around insufficient access to early stage capital for many start-ups.”
Bender added that the Government’s intention to both deliver tax cuts through the $5 billion Small Business and Jobs Package and intention to reform employee share schemes to encourage start-ups to attract world leading staff will be well received.
As for the Australian Information Industry (AIIA), it has issued a statement backing the Australian Government on its $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda – a holistic package of reform which enables Australia to build the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity necessary for the country’s future prosperity and competitiveness.
AIIA CEO, Suzanne Campbell, said Australia’s future jobs and growth depends on innovation being at the heart of the economy and the National Innovation and Science Agenda is an important, tangible step in changing the national mindset on the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia’s economic success.
“The Federal Government has listened to industry and its feedback on how we take our home grown research, ideas and expertise and turn them into the businesses and jobs of the future. The agenda delivers policies for supporting entrepreneurialism – key to Australia developing a thriving, productive and internationally competitive startup sector.
“It’s encouraging to see the Federal Government deliver on areas of policy where the AIIA has been agitating for change. The $99 million investment in STEM programs is crucial to providing the workers needed for the jobs of tomorrow,” she said.
Campbell added that combined with the establishment of a digital marketplace for ICT procurement, the Government has signalled its preparedness to take a more strategic approach to procurement – using its purchasing power to drive policy outcomes.
“The $30 million investment in establishment of a new cyber security growth centre recognises both the need for Australia to build its own cyber resilience and importantly, the significant business opportunity for Australia’s own cyber security industry.”
She also claimed it’s now up to industry to find the opportunities in the agenda.
“Businesses of all sizes have their best ever opportunity to embrace innovation and set themselves up to be competitive in an increasingly digital global economy,” Campbell said.
SAP A/NZ president and managing director, John Ruthven, agreed that investment and incentives for start-ups are key to driving innovation, creating jobs and spurring growth. He also emphasised that education, large enterprises and government must be closely coordinated in their efforts if the Prime Minister is to establish fertile ground for new businesses.
“The tax reforms announced for the benefit of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMBs are essential for job creation, talent retention and growth,” he said.
Ruthven said he also sees the focus on talent and skills as critical to the success of the Government’s innovation agenda.
“There is a paradox within Australian society – while youth unemployment rises, so does demand for ICT skills. As technology’s influence across all walks of life continues to grow, it’s become critical that we work to address our nation’s ICT skills shortage.”
However, Ruthven also makes the point that business of all sizes, across all industries, have a role to play in facilitating growth in all areas of the economy.
“It’s not just the start-up community that should be encouraged. To realise the Australian ideas boom, stronger collaboration between business, research, academia and government is essential. This collaboration will ensure we develop the talent to inspire the ideas, and the partnerships to commercialise them.
“The disruption of whole industries is very real. It’s time to establish an economy based on innovation, so that Australia leads this disruption and no longer only reacts to it,” Ruthven concluded.