Innovation inquiry draws 200 submissions to date

Submissions to a Senate inquiry into Australia’s innovation system have called for government-led cultural change to boost productivity, create more high-skill, high-wage jobs, enhance competitiveness and grow our economy. 

Almost 200 submissions to the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into Australia’s Innovation System were received by yesterday’s deadline for submissions.

Shadow Innovation and Industry Minister Senator Kim Carr welcomed the broad range of submissions so far received, which have come from organisations, firms and individuals in every state and territory. A number of organisations have requested an extension, and the Committee has agreed to accept late submissions.

“In March I established this Senate inquiry to ensure we make science and research central to our future prosperity,” Senator Carr said.

“We are expecting well over 200 submissions in total, which is a great response and demonstrates a high level of interest in Australia’s innovation system.

“The findings of the inquiry will provide a basis of future policy development, including adequate science teaching, building a strong workforce and fostering a culture of entrepreneurialism.

“The Abbott Government has abandoned Labor’s 10-year innovation strategy, and has no plan for Australian jobs.

“This inquiry will help to re-establish a much-needed long-term plan for science and innovation, backed by a sustainable funding model and the infrastructure to support it.

“As this week’s report from the Business Council of Australia has highlighted, government has a key role to play in business growth, including through leadership on innovation policy and facilitating economic development.

“The BCA confirms what Labor has known all along: the sunrise industries of the future will not materialise on their own – they require a plan, action and support from the Government.

This is a theme that is echoed in a number of submissions to the Inquiry received thus far.

Just as the imperative for innovation is widely understood, so too is the need for forward-looking, long-term and strategic innovation policy… A widespread cultural change is required, and the Australian Government has the opportunity to lead it.

Office of the Chief Scientist

Government support of science and innovation has led to many radical and transformative innovations that have fuelled the dynamics of capitalism…Through its program and policy levers the Government has a critical role to play in ensuring a strong innovation system


To build sustainable and internationally competitive future industries in Australia, we need policy and program frameworks to not just link research with industry, but transfer that knowledge …This is a critically missing link in a seamless innovation pipeline for Australia, and one where we suggest the Government can add significant value.

Australian National University

The potential disconnect of research and innovation from industry is highlighted by the absence of a dedicated Minister for Innovation (or for Science and Research). While one could argue that the current titles and departments are for simplicity, they have created a situation where there is no clarity on whether research and innovation is led by the Minister of Industry or Education and their respective department, which translates to a lack of leadership in this area.

Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum

There is an important role for Government in providing the appropriate environment through policy settings for the attraction and facilitation of future and further investments in automotive R&D in Australia.

Ford Australia

“After almost 12 months in office, the Abbott Government has failed to outline a strategy to transition Australia to the high-skill, high-tech jobs and industries of the future.

“They have no science minister, no science policy and no innovation policy. They have no plan for industry. You’d be forgiven for thinking they were trying to send jobs offshore.

“The Inquiry was set up to fill the Abbott Government’s innovation, science and research policy vacuum and I look forward to engaging with the detail of the submissions in coming weeks.”

The committee is accepting late submissions. If stakeholders require extra time to make a submission, please contact the Secretariat.

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