The 6 key challenges for Australian business innovation

The chair of an innovation body has highlighted the six challenges Australia has to face in order to prepare for disruption.

Speaking at an event in Sydney, Bill Ferris AC, chair of Innovation and Science Australia (ISA), says that while Australian businesses have the potential to be innovative, there are six core challenges that are holding Australian businesses back from further embracing innovation in the future.

“Australia already has some firms and sectors that are world-class, and others that have the potential to becomes so, [but] we will need to continue to support our innovation leaders, while encouraging the emergence of the next generation of breakout firms,” Bill said.

The innovation challenges Bill outlined are:

  • Encouraging more Australian businesses to achieve global best practice in innovative activity
  • Getting greater economic and social benefits via more innovative procurement and service delivery performance of governments
  • Developing an education system better able to meet the lifelong and changing needs of citizens and businesses
  • Strengthening collaboration among our research and commercial sectors to increase innovation and commercialisation
  • Maximising strategic international engagements to bring in the talent, knowledge and capital to fuel the innovation system
  • Selecting high-impact projects capable of realising step changes in Australia’s innovation outcomes out to 2030 and beyond

A businessman wrapped in caution tape stretches out his hand for a handshakeTo combat these innovation challenges, Bill suggested that Australia’s education system needs refinement to prepare the workforce for whatever new innovations that may appear by 2030.

“Our workforce will require the skills to generate, transfer and implement knowledge and ideas,” Bill said.

“We need an integrated education and skills system that produces and supports a workforce capable of reacting and adapting to change. We must do more to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurial skills from an early age.

“We want our children to have highly developed skills in the areas of logic, creativity and social interaction. The acceptance of and learning from failure as well as an attitude that it’s okay to start again must become the rule, not the exception.”

ISA will be presenting this suggestion and others to the Australian government in the 2030 Strategic Plan.

“In developing the 2030 Strategic Plan, we hope to identify one or more major, game-changing initiatives with scale that can deliver significant, direct and spillover benefits to the innovation system and broader economy.”

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