Microsoft approves of federal innovation plan

Microsoft Australia labelled the federal government's innovation action plan an "important step" in the long-term strategy for the development of Australia's information economy.

Microsoft's response reflects the approach in its own five-point innovation white paper -- Accelerating Innovation in the Information Economy in Australia -- to several government departments and agencies in early January.

The software giant's white paper recommended tax incentives, protection of intellectual property rights, an encouragement of adequate infrastructure through affordable bandwidth, a closing of the IT skills gap, a boost to R&D spending, the development of centres of excellence, and a minimisation of government regulatory action regarding the integration and development of new products and services.

In a statement this week, Microsoft pointed out initiatives around IT skills development, investment in R&D and support of small- to medium-size enterprises as examples of how the government's Backing Australia's Ability plan addressed many of the company's concerns.

"However, Microsoft also believes that developing a truly innovative economy is a long-term, incremental process," Paul Houghton, Microsoft Australia's managing director, said.

"Its recommendations concerning the further development of broadband infrastructure, as well as the provision of tax incentives and the establishment of a more favourable legal and regulatory framework for industry are equally important to fostering an innovative environment."

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