Scientist calls for lift in support by government

PROVIDING seed funding, encouraging better collaboration between universities and industry, and promoting WA as a R&D hub are vital if WA is to make it into the big league.

That’s the view of several senior WA researchers contacted by WA Business News, who said while the State Government was making an effort to foster innovation, its strategies needed to have a greater impact.

Edith Cowan University Professor of Palliative Care Linda Kristjanson said the State Government could provide better assistance to local research.

“In WA we have very few opportunities to obtain small or medium sized grants,” she said.

“In Victoria and Queensland they do a feasibility study because they have State funding for it.

“They can compete at a national level because they have the data. Here we have to scramble to find the money.”

Murdoch University director of research and development Paul D’Sylva said better collaboration between universities would help secure funding.

“The State Government should take a greater role in collaboration between universities. The universities have become exposed to the forces of competition and it has promoted a go it alone strategy,” he said.

The researchers acknowledge that the Gallop Government has been working to foster innovation, but suggest strategies such as the InnovateWA policy were only a small start to making WA a State of innovation.

The recommendations made by researchers contacted by WA Business News were echoed in the Premier’s Science Council Review of State Government Research report of February last year.

The report stated a reliance on Commonwealth funding and made several recommendations, including:

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