Universities Australia | 17 February 2013
The government’s industry and innovation statement – A Plan for Australian Jobs – has the potential to unleash research and innovation as the key drivers of national productivity, according to Universities Australia (UA).
A central component of the three-pronged strategy is introducing Industry Innovation Precincts, hubs of research and innovation to support industry competitiveness. UA chief executive Belinda Robinson says
This complements the National Research Infrastructure Plan and the five Breakthrough Actions for Innovation announced by the Chief Scientist last week. The Precincts are an exciting new approach to innovation policy and are needed to lift economic prosperity and productivity through stronger industry-research collaboration.
In addition to improving industry access to research capacity, the Precincts program should also expose industry to the value of employing researchers. The proportion of researchers working in Australian business is as low as a quarter of some other successful innovative trading nations. As a nation we must address this critical issue if we are serious about increasing our capacity to innovate.
Robinson says that it is important that the Precincts are part of an overall research strategy that also acknowledges the fundamental importance of basic research in securing a strong and balanced research capability.