Tuesday 06 February 2018
06 / 02 / 2018

Is Australia ambitious enough about innovation?

Innovation and Science Australia chair Bill Ferris wants to put Australia in the top tier of innovation nations by 2030. Michael Power went to hear him speak about his plan.

Australia is in danger of falling behind in the global innovation race unless it starts to get more ambitious about innovation and develop big “national missions” around health and ecology.

That’s the view of Bill Ferris who used his recent National Press Club address in Canberra to set out a bold plan for Australian innovation, science and research. Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation aims to contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of all Australians by strengthening Australia's innovation performance to become a leading innovation nation. The plan is separated into five imperatives; Education, Industry, Government, Research & Development and Culture & Ambition.

"This is more than a canary chirp in our economic mineshaft: It is a clarion call for national action," the foreword states. It sets the tone for a carefully marshalled argument, which demands a much greater level of ambition around innovation. 

It is refreshing to see the recommendation for an immigration policy that actively attracts international talent to Australia and ensures that highly skilled individuals are able to actively contribute to developing skills and jobs within the Australian economy. As a global business, we at Informed Solutions actively encourage our staff to undertake training secondments and to share knowledge across all or teams. This approach has been used to support the delivery of award winning innovative solutions right here in Australia, and to recruit and upskill Australian Graduates. The ability to move our people across the globe is critical to enable this to continue to happen.

It was also extremely pleasing to hear Bill encourage government to make greater strategic use of SMEs to stimulate innovation, and to commit to awarding 33% of all government contracts to SMEs by 2022.

There is much to be welcomed here and I’d urge you to look at Bill’s plan in more detail at the link below.


Michael Power is a Managing Consultant at Informed Solutions


The Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation plan is available here: https://industry.gov.au/Innovation-and-Science-Australia/Documents/Australia-2030-Prosperity-through-Innovation-Full-Report.pdf

The video of the full address can be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/national-press-club/2018-01-31/national-press-club:-bill-ferris/9379786

A transcript of the address can be found here: https://industry.gov.au/Innovation-and-Science-Australia/Documents/Bill-Ferris-National-Press-Club-Speech-31-January-2018.pd


Innovation and Science Australia Chair, Bill Ferris