Business innovation stifled by lack of funds and skilled labour

New research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found that for one in five Australian businesses a lack of funds continues to be a barrier to product innovation.

New research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found that for one in five Australian businesses a lack of funds continues to be a barrier to product innovation.

Figures from the ABS’ Innovation in Australian Business, 2012-13 study found that a lack of funds and a lack of skilled people – either in the labour market or within the business – were the main barriers for innovation. Sue-Ellen Luke from the ABS said these issues, “affected around a quarter of small and medium sized businesses”. 

“For the purpose of innovation, almost 60 per cent of innovation-active businesses* are sourcing ideas or information from within their businesses, and 40 per cent get ideas from clients,” Luke said. “Just under 10 per cent of innovation-active businesses had a collaborative arrangement with universities or other higher education institutions.”

Survey results also showed that innovation had led to a reduction in cost for more than one in four innovating businesses in the manufacturing and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. The ABS will release more detailed information about business performance, activities and arrangements will be released in September.

* Innovation-active businesses are those that undertook any innovative activity during the reference period. This includes businesses that introduced or abandoned any of the four types of innovation (new or significantly improved goods or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes, and marketing methods) and those that had any of the types of innovation still in development at the end of the period.

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