Shadow industry minister Kim Carr has said that Australia risks missing out on the benefits of transformative technology without a coherent innovation agenda.
Writing in The Australian, the Labor MP said that manufacturing remained important as the country’s fourth-largest employer and would be increasingly important as Australia seeks growth from non-mining industries.
Rather than “picking winners” and doling out subsidies, it was up to government to provide incentives for companies to innovate and encourage greater participation in STEM disciplines in education.
“An innovation agenda is a vital part of any 21st-century government’s economic framework,” Carr wrote.
“This requires a full suite of measures, ranging from possibilities such as an entrepreneur’s visa and crowd-funding, to sectoral approaches.”
Earlier this month, chief scientist Ian Chubb outlined his recommendations for a science and innovation strategy in his Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia's Future report.
Chubb has pointed out that Australia remains without an innovation agenda, making it the only OECD nation without such a plan.
The chief scientist has noted that among the major concerns are the lack of research and business and research linkage, with Australian researchers working in industry half the OECD average of 60 per cent, and less still than is the case in the US.