“Australia’s ability to deal with future economic uncertainty depends on a robust bipartisan commitment to science, research and innovation. They are the bedrock of economic prosperity and social wellbeing,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
Initiatives announced by Labor today in ‘Getting Australia Started‘ are worthy of further consideration.
The establishment of ‘Innovate Australia’, similar to Innovate UK, would provide independent policy leadership and a whole-of government approach – an idea long advocated by Universities Australia.
The establishment of regional innovation hubs, a national entrepreneurship support network and tax incentives for increasing the level of start-up capital available would all assist in boosting Australia’s research and innovation capability.
These ideas also look to augment the great work underway at many metropolitan universities through business accelerator programs. Proposals to expand such opportunities to regional universities would be welcomed by regional universities and the communities they serve.
Proposed seed funding for student start-ups is a welcome idea and one we proposed in our Keep It Clever policy statement in October.
“These are the sorts of ideas that need to be injected into the national debate on how to make Australia a global innovation superstar”, said Ms Robinson.
This is one of a number of important contributions over the past week in the national discussion on research and innovation. These include the Senate economic references committee’s report on Australia’s Innovation Future, the ACOLA report Translating research for economic and social benefit – Country comparisons report and Dr Watt’s Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements.