19/12/2006 - 22:00

WA takes a lead role on innovation

19/12/2006 - 22:00

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There has been a considerable amount of activity in the state’s innovation sector during the past 12 months, with more WA companies investing in innovation than anywhere else in Australia, in per capita terms.

WA takes a lead role on innovation

There has been a considerable amount of activity in the state’s innovation sector during the past 12 months, with more WA companies investing in innovation than anywhere else in Australia, in per capita terms.

Office of Science, Technology and Innovation deputy director general Peter Viney told WA Business News that recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s revealed levels of business expenditure on research and development was at its highest in WA.

“We are committing $72 million to science and innovation that will support the diversification of the WA economy,” he said.

“We are working with industry to raise awareness of innovation as a driver for economic and technological change and to maximise the commercialisation of ideas by building links between industry and research.”

The state government’s focus on innovation was evident earlier in the year with the establishment of a new science and innovation portfolio headed by cabinet heavyweight Francis Logan.

During the year, Mr Logan outlined a plan to develop a series of technology parks across Perth to foster the growth of targeted industries.

Under the plan, the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson was earmarked to be developed into a technology park to boost the growth of the marine, defence and oil and gas sectors.

Mr Logan recently visited shipbuilders in Spain and Norway in an attempt to develop closer ties between the AMC and major international companies in these sectors.

On the science front, Western Australia was short-listed, along with South Africa, to host a $1.8 billion radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, which will collect radio waves emitted by objects in space, allowing scientists to better understand the laws of physics.

The state government also announced an audit into the information and communications technology industry in an effort to understand its current and future requirements.

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