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ACS President's Blog: Riding the innovation wave

Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015

Posted on Tuesday 10 March 2015 by ACS President, Brenda Aynsley

Brenda AynsleyI would consider myself a strong supporter of innovation, which probably explains why I enjoy the TV show, Shark Tank, where Australian entrepreneurs come to pitch their business ideas to a panel of self-made investors.

The program is a tangible reminder of the ingenuity that many Australians possess and our capacity to apply it to solve everyday problems. Some of the technology inventions showcased each week, including one by a 14-year-old boy, give me confidence that Australia can harness innovation to drive prosperity.

However, a capacity for innovation is just a starting point. We must ensure that we don’t just innovate for the sake of it, but that we balance creative licence with ethics and accountability to deliver “responsible innovation”.

It’s also essential that our governments provide the right legislative frameworks and incentives to encourage and enable this level of creativity, from the education we provide our children right through to the way we encourage and support entrepreneurial development.

Just last week, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes took issue with the government’s $100 million cap on R&D expenditure, calling it a “short-sighted” policy. “Logically it doesn’t make any sense. Surely we want to promote R&D and innovation; why would we want to restrict that?” he asked. For Atlassian, a true Australian success story that is about to list on the New York Stock Exchange, R&D has always been integral to its growth and development... Read more