To improve Australia’s innovative capacity, the government should give greater weight to transition activities in funding universities, encourage innovative procurement policies, and improve the funding arrangements for industry research, according to a new report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).
CEDA is a national, independent, member-based organisation providing thought leadership and policy perspectives on the economic and social issues affecting Australia.
This new report, Australia’s economic future: an agenda for growth, provided policy priorities across 10 key areas to ensure continued growth in the Australian economy, an issue of critical importance particularly in the current Federal Election campaign.
The report is part two of CEDA’s 2016 series on economic repair.
The 10 key areas include: innovation, a national productivity policy, education, workforce participation, infrastructure, fiscal resilience, tax reform, federalism, workplace relations, and climate change.
CEDA CEO, Stephen Martin, said with less than three weeks to polling day, it was vital that both major parties delivered sustainable, holistic plans for how they will drive growth in Australia over the next three years.
Martin added that in an integrated global economy experiencing radical technological change, creating a culture of innovation and the clusters of activity to support it are the basis of sustained competitive advantage.
In specific, the report highlighted that:
- Government initiatives, including funding criteria, be changed to encourage universities to give greater weight for academic advancement towards the adoption, translation and diffusion of innovations
- Fund innovation activities by SMBs
- There needs to be a measurable improvement to innovation
- Industry Growth Centres be encouraged to become hubs of R&D and diffusion
- The Federal Government undertakes a thorough review of global innovation best practice and benchmarks Australia’s performance
“Encouraging innovation, improving overall education outcomes and introducing competition reform to previously protected areas are other key areas explored.
“To maintain Australia’s economic prosperity and ensure we continue to create high paying jobs of the future, Australia needs a genuine growth agenda to improve our competitiveness, increase economic flexibility and drive investment in economic infrastructure and our people,” he said.
“Australia is well positioned economically but with the right reform it can do better and increase the likelihood of continuing success in a highly competitive global economy.”
He added that the CEDA report delivers an important roadmap of priority areas to ensure Australia’s future prosperity.
“Australia has undergone significant economic reform in the past which has served us well and ensured our current level of prosperity. However, it is time again to embrace an economic reformist zeal to ensure the next wave of prosperity.”