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Innovation and Science Australia: Prosperity Through Innovation 2030

Innovation and Science Australia:

Prosperity through Innovation 2030

BHERT reviewed the Innovation and Science Australia report “Prosperity Through Innovation 2030” provided to the Government in November, and released publicly in late January. BHERT’s view is that the ISA proposal to Government is a step forward for innovation in Australia. ISA began from the position that the innovation challenge for Australia lies in the translation of discovery into economic and social benefit.

 

The ISA set of recommendations focuses on the role Government can play in prompting and supporting an increase in Business Expenditure on R&D (“BERD”) in Australia, by:

  • Improving and tuning the indirect support to BERD, through the R&D Tax Incentive. An important addition is a collaboration premium.Note that Australia is one of a small group of nations that supports innovation through indirect – taxation-related – tools, rather than direct funding.It is not clear that this is the best mechanism; ISA hasn’t sought to challenge this
  • Putting a range of direct inducements in place, including:
  • Export support for small and growing firms (EMDG)
  • Shifting Government procurement to support small and growing firms
  • New funding for translational activities
  • Supporting “National Mission” initiatives

 

In support of these, the Report also urges the Government to:

  • Maintain Government support to national R&D (as a proportion of GDP)
  • Continue to support improvement in Australian education, with a focus on STEM outcomes
  • Fix the VET sector
  • Provide support to industry-linked PhD programs
  • Free up key skills import, via 457 Visa un-tightening
  • Accelerate the digitalisation of Government services and processes

 

            

The Report is not perfect nor will it satisfy everyone. However, it is largely in the right direction.

The ISA “Prosperity Through Innovation 2030” addresses many of the key issues for the Australian economy and society. The emphasis on BERD, the recognition of the need to build the workforce for the future, and the range of initiatives that will require collaboration between the higher education sector and companies, are well-directed and timely. The ISA recommendations support a broader engagement between companies and universities.

The Government will deliver its response to the ISA report later this year. A whole-of-Government position will be led by the new Jobs and Innovation Department.

 

Read the full report.  

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