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Government Reboots Innovation Agenda

Friday, 19 Aug 2016

IA

Makes it more than start-ups and venture capital.

New innovation minister Greg Hunt has wasted little time reframing the national conversation on innovation and laying out his plans for the next two stages of the government’s $1.1 billion agenda.

Against a backdrop of rising negative commentary on the failure of the government to sell its “ideas boom”, Hunt laid out his strategy to rescue and reboot the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

Central to that strategy – at least in the short-term – is stepping away from its strong association with fostering start-ups.

“Let me start with a simple proposition – innovation is about both old and new businesses,” Hunt told a national innovation summit.

“Innovation is not just about tech start-ups or IT; it’s also about established businesses doing things better to stay competitive in a changing environment.

“Innovation is happening on the factory floor, on our farms, at the supermarket checkout and in the office, in addition to the leading-edge research occurring in our science laboratories.”

Hunt said the early days in his new portfolio were spent visiting innovative companies; some of them large with household names and sizable budget allocations to science and R&D.

He saw innovation as a path to job creation.

“Industry is about the jobs of today, innovation is about the jobs of tomorrow and science is about the jobs of the future,” Hunt said.

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