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Six key challenges for Australian innovation


According to Bill Ferris, chair of Innovation and Science Australia (ISA),  bold action is needed to harness Australia’s innovation potential in facing up to the risks and seizing the opportunities presented by the forces of globalisation, technological disruption and demographic trends that will shape the nation’s economy and society over the medium term.

Ferris has identified six key innovation challenges Australia must address to become a top tier innovation nation:

  • Encouraging more Australian firms to achieve global best practice in innovative activity
  • Getting greater economic and social benefits via more innovative procurement and service delivery performance of governments
  • Developing an education system better able to meet the lifelong and changing needs of citizens and businesses
  • Strengthening collaboration among our research and commercial sectors to increase innovation and commercialisation
  • Maximising strategic international engagements to bring in the talent, knowledge and capital to fuel the innovation system
  • Selecting high-impact projects capable of realising step-changes in Australia’s innovation outcomes to 2030 and beyond

Developing specific, actionable recommendations for dealing with all six challenges is the focus for ISA’s 2030 Strategic Plan, to be delivered to Government later this year.

“Our workforce will require the skills to generate, transfer and implement knowledge and ideas,” said Ferris.

“We need an integrated education and skills system that produces and supports a workforce capable of reacting and adapting to change. We want our children to have highly developed skills in the areas of logic, creativity and social interaction.”

Ferris also discussed the possibilities of using major high-impact large scale projects to drive innovation.

“In developing the 2030 Strategic Plan, we hope to identify one or more major, game-changing initiatives with scale that can deliver significant direct and spill-over benefits to the innovation system and broader economy.”

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