Microsoft Report: Accelerating Innovation in Australia

Posted by Verde Group

Published on April 29, 2014 under Latest News

A recent report released by Microsoft outlines key measures that need to be undertaken if Australia’s innovation ecosystem is to remain competitive in the international economy.

The report outlines a new approach of how the Australian innovation ecosystem should work to make the most of the boom in technology and innovation, both locally and globally.

The research participants include over 15 innovation experts from both Australia and overseas, and they all had the view that innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity outcomes are all closely linked. They believe that each of these parties can learn from each other, and essentially can be ‘joined-up’ – leading to the name of the report – ‘Joined-up innovation: Making the right connections across Australia’s innovation ecosystem to support our future growth and international competitiveness’.

The report gives seven key steps that Australia can take to improve its innovation capabilities:

  1. Focus on interconnections within our innovation ecosystem
  2. Re-invent the way we work and innovate
  3. Look beyond startups
  4. Transform our culture
  5. Improve knowledge and information sharing
  6. Recognise and cultivate the right skills
  7. Encourage mobility

Some of the more relevant points such as step 1 above, are in line with recent reports outlining the lack of support in the startup community. Australia needs to embrace a more creative business culture, as more often than not, brilliant business ideas end up being developed overseas.

Another important step – ‘recognise and cultivate the right skills’ – highlights the need for more funding to be put into the education system, not only in technology courses, but business skills, arts and humanities courses. These are all necessary to produce the entrepreneurism and creativity needed to innovate including skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, sales skills, and innovation skills.

The last important step is in ‘encouraging mobility’ – that is, the mobility of talented individuals and high value businesses. These people are the technical specialists and entrepreneurs that will drive innovation. To do this, Australia needs to work on changing academic incentives – particularly the link between academics and SMEs; Encourage business mobility, and most importantly maintaining relationships with Australian innovators who move overseas.

Overall, it is important that Australia continues to work on its innovation ecosystem to remain competitive in the startup revolution.

You can download the full report from Microsoft here.