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Boosting innovation in the Asian Century

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Industry and Innovation Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency


28 October 2012


Australia will forge stronger links between industry and research institutions to be a leader in innovation and take advantage of the opportunities of the Asian century.

Innovation is a core pillar of the plan to boost productivity growth and incomes outlined in the Gillard Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

To boost innovation, the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has set a national policy objective:

 By 2025, Australia will have an innovation system, in the top 10 globally, that supports excellence and dynamism in business with a creative problem-solving culture that enhances evolving areas of strength and attracts top researchers, companies and global partners.

The National Research Investment Plan, which will provide a framework for Government investment in science and research capacity, is being developed to help address national, regional and global economic challenges.

The Gillard Government intends to place a stronger focus on improved coordination of its investments in people, industry and research to create the new jobs and market opportunities of the Asian century.

“Industry, the research sector, the workforce and all levels of Government will need to work more collaboratively to ensure we have the innovative products, services and processes, as well as the skilled workforce and solid networks, that are essential for success in the Asian century,” Senator Evans said.

“We cannot rely solely on our natural resources for future prosperity. That is why the Government is managing a shift in the structure of our economy, boosting research,

education and skills and encouraging productivity and competitiveness in our manufacturing and services sectors.”

Mr Combet said the Government would draw on the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper as it developed industry and innovation policies, including in the forthcoming Industry and Innovation Statement.

The Government's priorities include:

 Boosting innovation by encouraging collaboration between industry and researchers, including guidance from the National Research Investment Plan;

 Helping Australian businesses improve their understanding of the opportunities available in the diverse and growing Asian markets;

 Assisting business to access appropriate information and finance for new ventures;

 Creating new jobs from emerging market opportunities in Asia; and

 Building capacity within, and partnerships between, Australian businesses to capture new markets.

“Government has an important role to play in promoting better coordination and cooperation between industry and the research community and in investing in innovation, education, skills and science,” Mr Combet said.

Senator Evans said the Government had already made important reforms to research funding programs to support international collaboration, including those administered by the Australian Research Council and the Cooperative Research Centres program.

“These make it easier for Australian researchers to work with their counterparts overseas and for talented international researchers to take up fellowships in Australia,” Senator Evans said.

“In addition, the Government has major bilateral programs with China and India, designed to strengthen links between the Australian research community and their counterparts in those countries.

“Our future prosperity will depend on innovation driven by collaboration between industry, investors, researchers and entrepreneurs who are connected to the fast growing and developing Asian region.’’

Senator Evans's media contact: Rhys Davies 02 6277 7580

Minister Combet's media contact: Mark Davis 02 6277 7920