(Australian Associated Press)
Bill Ferris is confident the Turnbull government will deliver a much-needed blueprint to lift the innovative standards of Australia and lead to real change.
The new chairman of Innovation Australia will say in a speech on Wednesday that in terms of health and medical research Australia is third or fourth in the world.
It also ranks highly in other research fields, including astronomy, environment, agriculture, engineering, information and communications and renewable energy.
“I cannot however make a similar boast about our ability to commercialise and get our fair share of the world’s marketplace for this intellectual property and inventiveness,” Mr Ferris will tell the Committee for Economic Development in Adelaide.
He says Australia is struggling to even stay within the top 30 OECD nations in terms of any commercialisation metrics and risks squandering opportunities created by its research and development platforms.
“This is not just about today’s jobs, exports and profits,” Mr Ferris says.
“We have to build new businesses, new ways of doing things from the bottom up and top down if we want to have a robust economy for future generations that can also experience growth in jobs, exports and profits.”
Mr Ferris expects Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation agenda will tackle key challenges to accelerate innovation in Australia.
These include access to risk capital funding, business and entrepreneurship skills and international markets.
“I am confident that this will be a comprehensive blueprint that will effect real change,” he says.
SIX INNOVATION CHALLENGES FACING AUSTRALIA
* Access to risk capital funding
* Access to business and entrepreneurship skills
* Access to international markets
* Inadequate collaboration among universities and other research institutes, business entities and governments
* Insufficient investment and interest in the STEM curricula of schools, VET and university programs
* A risk-averse culture which often results in the fear of failure trumping excitement of gain.