A wide ranging review of Australia's national innovation system has been launched by Senator Kim Carr, the Australian Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science, and Research. The review will be conducted by an expert panel chaired by Dr. Terry Cutler.
Cutler in addition to his corporate experience (Telecom Australia) has had a longstanding engagement with public policy and has served on a large number of government and advisory boards over the last few years. He is a well regarded expert on innovation policy.
Technological innovation, particularly in IT is at the heart of Australia's economic prosperity in one form or other. Crafting effective policies that boost innovation is critical to ensuring robust economic growth and an improved standard of living. However, technology and public policy move at a very different pace!
The Innovation Review is to be consultative and forward looking. Dr Cutler has challenged businesses, researchers, academics, and interested parties to participate by contributing ideas, enthusiasm, and expertise. He also made the point that Australia needs to know where we should focus our efforts so we can marshal our capabilities to achieve the desired outcomes. "As a small country we cannot be a leader in everything -- we need to set our priorities and apply our resources accordingly," Cutler said.
Innovation challenges abound. Many likely obstacles were raised time and time again by the attendees at the Sydney stakeholder consultation sessions. To cover these the board will need to undertake systematic research to get beyond all the anecdotal comments and their likely submissions.
Governments worldwide are facing challenges in developing coherent policies that on the one hand contribute to the survival of the local ICT industry and on the other reduce the asymmetry in the application of the rules of competition. IT is advancing rapidly worldwide, leaving behind the laggards. In a recent interview executives from overseas commented that Australia was the only developed country without an ICT strategy.
The call for submissions to the review can be found at www.innovation.gov.au, we strongly encourage all Aussie IT participants to respond.
Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report