Canva’s success hides a lack of national innovation
“Right now, all of this success is a bit haphazard, and it’s not being directed at deep tech, things that will ultimately change and put the whole Australian economy back in place.”
Australia’s innovation policy at the federal government level has stagnated since the Turnbull era of ideas failed to resonate with voters. I hit rock bottom when Christian Porter Dropped into the Innovation Portfolio When he had to leave the position of attorney general due to a legal dispute over the unresolved rape allegations, which he denies.
Mr. Porter was invisible in the portfolio and since then the tech sector has been too Formed an industry lobby group headed by Tesla President Robyn Denholm In an effort to promote some forward thinking about policy regarding R&D incentives and other ideas for shaping the industry.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that Business expenditures on research and development It is 0.9 percent, half the OECD average of 1.8 percent, and the lowest level since 2003. Government spending is 1.79 percent, the lowest since 2005. The OECD average is 2.37 percent.
Pascal Guthieron, Head of APAC Enterprise Technology at Bain Research & The company says that countries around the world that are showing a concerted effort to align public and private investment in innovation are seeing broad-based industrial success, rather than just the emergence of successful individual companies.
“The government may see an increase in private investment, and therefore does not need to indulge in it as much, but the issue is the market signal about what is fundamentally important to Australia’s prosperity,” he says.
Countries including Israel, Singapore, Germany and the United Kingdom are shown as illustrations where the governments’ priorities are clearly aligned with the market.
In the world of domestically listed companies, R&D is often sacrificed to satisfy the appetite for profits, says Gautheron.
“After the dotcom boom, we became more conservative,” he says. “Unlike the United States, which has seen companies keep cash within the business, we are distributing it again.”
Swinburne University of Technology professor Demetrius Salambasis, an expert in fintech innovation and entrepreneurship, says innovation is thriving more in financial services due to increased collaboration between established institutions and start-ups.
Big banks have created separate entities focused on innovation, which work with and sometimes acquire startups, such as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Acquisition of the software company Virosia for $116 million earlier this month.
“This is a model that has seen growth in fintech innovation, but we need some kind of regulatory regime and additional policies to foster innovation in other key areas to move Australia forward,” Salambasis says.
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Merlin Crossley describes the Australian research policy environment as a “slow unfolding tragedy”.
He says competitive research grants success rates are only 10 percent, with most research costing only partially funded and a worrying reliance on international student fees to support the sector.
The Australian R&D policy landscape is unsustainable, uncoordinated, and unsuitable for Australia’s future purposes.
– Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University
We do not have a well-defined innovation system. “It’s all a little sloppy and then the government can talk about commercializing research, but that’s just a drop in the ocean,” Crossley says.
Larry Marshall, President of CSIRO, has long recognized the problem of not translating Australian ideas into commercial success, and since returning to Australia from Silicon Valley in 2015, he has set out to reshape the way the organization operates.
He insists that CSIRO experts are working on ideas with a question in mind: “Can we create a whole new market?”
She created her own Venture Capital Corporation, Main Sequence, which invests in deep tech based startups and builds new companies from scratch by putting together a team of experts to form companies.
“We did the opposite of what scientific agencies and scientists in general do: Start with a great idea or invention, and then, as an afterthought, try to find something to do with it,” Marshall says.
Since 2015, CSIRO has helped establish more than 100 companies, including Coviu, Telehealth company; FutureFeed which uses research from CSIRO and James Cook University, along with the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation, to reduce methane emissions from livestock; And Chrysos, which discovers and analyzes gold, and just raised $50 million for its next venture.
“Over the past five years, we have expanded our client base by 50 percent, so now we have more than 3,000 clients, we have increased our revenue by more than $100 million, and we have increased our stock portfolio by more than a factor of 10,” says Marshall.
CSIRO has even made a list of the 25 best innovative research organizations in the world Compiled by Thomson Reuters.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt describes CSIRO and Marshall’s efforts as a “bright spot” in the Australian R language&D, which needs help with smarter government thinking.
R . describes&D – Tax franchise rules are “normal,” saying they are not targeted at areas where big new ideas can be generated.
“Australian R&The development policy landscape is unsustainable, uncoordinated, and unsuitable for Australia’s future purposes
“It is a very costly and inefficient product, and in my opinion effectively used as a way to lower the corporate tax rate in Australia.
“There has to be some kind of strategy that starts with basic research and then on how to turn that knowledge into things that help Australia be more prosperous.”
In that light, the likes of Atlassian and Canva are exceptions to the rule, not symptoms of a well-prepared, innovative ecosystem.
One of the changes Schmidt advocated is for the government to link its spending on defense and security to R&D- The innovation ecosystem.
“What the United States does well is that it takes its huge government spending, and it helps boost the research landscape. Here we tend to buy from abroad whenever we get the chance because that way we won’t get into trouble if it fails.”
One area where local innovators are crying out for help is the constrained shortage of expert skills that hampers the growth of aspiring operators.
Cloud computing startup Stax pumped $37 million in R&D through 2021, after raising $23.6 million in private funding, but founder Thor Essman says a lack of skills is holding back growth.
‘Enable more R&D, through incentive and visa programmes, to grow and expand our existing capacity can transform Australia into a hub for access to highly skilled talent, technology, products and services and help meet the needs of the world in a pan-Asian time zone,” he says.
Interest rates are the lowest in modern times; We have to be brave and take advantage of this opportunity to invest in the future. After every major catastrophe in human history, there has been a recovery or a period of growth.”