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Innovation Statement has the right themes, needs more tangibles for regions


Release Date: 8/12/2015
The Illawarra Business Chamber says the National Innovation and Science Agenda announced by the Federal Government is an ambitious plan to foster innovation, but further work is needed to boost innovation in regional centres and drive industry-research collaborations.
 
“We are certainly encouraged that both major parties have listened to the business community and committed to developing a strong innovation framework; this is critical not only for encouraging start-ups and entrepreneurs to capitalise on new ideas, but in providing an incentive for existing businesses to innovate and grow,” said Illawarra Business Chamber Chief Executive, Debra Murphy.
 
“It’s also pleasing to see an emphasis on incentivising universities to work with business to commercialise ideas, although we would like to hear more detail from the Government on this.
 
“Here in the Illawarra, we have the world class University of Wollongong, and we’d like to see the Federal Government outline how it will encourage existing businesses with innovative ideas to find and engage with our local researchers.
 
“Further, we would like to review the Innovation Connections funding criteria to ensure that the funding is made accessible to those businesses that need it the most.” Debra Murphy said.
 
Ms Murphy commented that the Illawarra Business Chamber is also seeking concrete information about how entrepreneurs and SMEs in regional Australia will be encouraged to innovate.
 
“The Illawarra Business Chamber has advocated the creation of ‘smart’ work hubs to spark creative ideas sharing, micro and small business collaboration.
 
“We’ve also called on the Federal Government to restore our Entrepreneurial Advisors, who would be a vital source of advice for local start-ups who are looking to deliver innovative new products and services
 
“These are examples of the tangible ways the Government can help existing businesses to innovate, as well as support our new start-ups to explore the next big idea.”
 
Ms Murphy said it was also pleasing to see the Government adopt a number of suggestions put forward in the NSW Business Chamber’s recent report, Thinking Business: Industry-Research Collaboration.
 
“New research funding arrangements for universities that emphasise industry collaboration and commercial and community benefit rather than just publication in journals and improvements in the way that the impact of research is measured will build confidence in the system,” Ms Murphy said.
 
“As argued in the NSW Business Chamber’s report, getting researchers ‘business ready’ and businesses ‘research ready’ is an important hurdle that must be addressed by the Government.
 
“Most importantly, the Government should maintain a dialogue between industry and the research community to ensure the commitments made in this statement are delivered effectively,” Ms Murphy concluded.
 
 
Media Contact:          Rebecca Burdick 0417 135 858



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