Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced the creation of a National Innovation and Science Agenda which includes funding, tax incentives and a strong focus on education initiatives to up the ante for Australia in terms of its innovation output.
The policy comes off the back of increased push since the Prime Minister gained office on the need to position Australia more strongly in the global economy and to facilitate a rapid move from traditional income from resources and manufacturing to one based on ‘ideas and entrepreneurship’.
Early announcements include:
• $8 million in a network of incubators helping start-ups get the resources, knowledge and networks they need to take their ideas to the world
• New arrangements to encourage collaboration between researchers and industry, including streamlining and refocussing a greater proportion of research block grant funding toward collaboration, with an addition $127 million in funding
• Over 10 years: $520 million for the Australian Synchrotron, $294 million for the Square Kilometre Array, and $1.5 billion for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
• A $36 million Global Innovation Strategy to support businesses and researchers to collaborate with their global counterparts on research with landing pads established for Australian entrepreneurs and startups in Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley and three other key locations
• $99 million investment in programmes to boost digital literacy and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst young Australians
• $13 million to increasing opportunities for women in research, STEM industries, startups and entrepreneurial firms
The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said: “The release of the Agenda is just the beginning. The next step will be a national discussion around this new way of thinking and doing, and the importance of innovation and science to our future.
“We will highlight the successes to date and inspire all Australians to be involved in shaping our future and harnessing the potential of our ideas,” Mr Pyne said.
More on this to come.
– Heather Catchpole