Technology | Innovation

Innovation is about national prowess

Innovation Australia Chair, Bill Ferris AC delivered his first major address to a CEDA audience in Adelaide on 25 November. Watch videos of the event below.


Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull and Industry, Innovation and Science Minister, the Hon. Christopher Pyne will release a national innovation and science agenda next month, Innovation Australia Chair, Bill Ferris AC has told a CEDA audience in Adelaide.
“I am confident that this will be a comprehensive blueprint, one which will include a number of significant measures to deal with the list of challenges,” he said.
The challenges facing Australian innovation include access to risk capital funding, business and entrepreneurship skills and international markets; lack of active collaboration; insufficient investment in the STEM curricula; and a risk averse culture, he said.
Mr Ferris said innovation is important because it has international significance.
“The importance of this innovation process is also about national prowess,” he said.
It is about the ability to solve problems of disease, play a role in development of renewable energy technologies and create better jobs, he said.
“For innovation to impact at this high national level, it has to be embedded in the thinking of all Australians,” he said.
Mr Ferris said the Prime Minister and Mr Pyne have made this clear “by elevating innovation to national priority status in Government policy.”
Discussing international rankings, Mr Ferris said despite Australia’s remarkable performance in terms of medical research breakthrough, Australia is struggling to stay in the top 30 OECD nations for commercialisation metrics.
“We are now at risk of squandering opportunities created by our highly credentialed R&D platforms,” he said.
“In the health and medical research sector unless we expand our investment into clinical trials and the development of new drugs and medical devices for Australian and world markets, we will lose the opportunity to create substantial increases in jobs, exports and profits.”