The Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) today welcomes Labor's commitment to build on the capacity and diversity of Australia's universities, and to focus on Australia's innovation capacity.
AVCC President Professor Gerard Sutton said that the innovation blueprint delivered by the Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, is a positive step forward for realising our innovation capacity.
"We look forward to the finer details of Labor's proposals, specifically on the issue of venture capital and reforms to investment in R&D which are critical to underpinning a globally competitive innovation economy," Professor Sutton said.
"In Australia incentives for private sector investment in R&D, particularly in university research, is a crucial element of an effective national innovation system.
"This is due to the unique nature of Australia's national innovation system - Australia has a higher proportion of its research workforce in higher education institutions than almost any other OECD country, and the bulk of the nation's key research infrastructure is in universities and other publicly funded research organisations, such as the CSIRO.
"The AVCC therefore welcomes any discussion on strategies that have the potential to build skills, infrastructure and productivity through a cohesive innovation strategy underpinned by public and private support," Professor Sutton said.
The AVCC will continue to work with the Government and the Opposition Parties to ensure that future policy initiatives, investment packages and indeed election initiatives properly recognise the value of Australia's innovation capacity and the role that the university sector plays in building Australia's economic and social prosperity.
The AVCC will consider Labor's proposals for broader university reform when released.
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