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ONE DIRECTION: Winning the battle of creative ideas starts early. Photo: iStockphoto/Christopher Badzioch

Creative thinking required on innovation

Australia has a way to go if it is to match the prime minister’s rhetoric on technology and innovation.

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Perth, WA
Australia has progressively lost ground on our OECD competitors. Australia is the only OECD country without a science or technology strategy. While many Australian’s like to think of ourselves as a nation of inventors, that routinely “punches above our weight” in science, innovation and technology, Australia has slipped behind many other developed nations. Indeed, it has been a pretty dark time for Australian science. It was not until December 2014 that we finally had a Science Minister in the Abbott Government. Ian Macfarlane MP was the Minister for Industry from December 2014 until Christopher Pyne MP took over in September 2015. It’s likely that not much has changed since Minster Pyne took office, but during Minister MacFarlane’s time he acknowledged that Australia had the worst business and small business collaboration in the developed world. All major jurisdictions such as USA, Europe, Korea have high single or low double digit growth per year; however some of the BRIC countries have growth greater than 20% per year. Australia is at best flat at worse reducing. I was in Singapore last week for the launch of Intellectual Ventures (IV) Technology Development Center (TDC), with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board. IV’s business is to foster Open Innovation to drive R&D much faster than accelerators as they harness the power of many rather than the power of one. While KickBox, Spacecubed and others help innovation what’s required is even more accelerated thinking, before Australia becomes completely irrelevant.

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