Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Chief: Businesses Must Embrace Innovation Initiative

August 17, 2016 7:40 am

Minister Greg Hunt of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is exhorting Australian businesses to embrace the government’s innovation initiative.
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Hunt said that innovation was critical for all businesses, including established ones.
During the election campaign, some have criticised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation rhetoric, which did not resonate well in some areas and was abandoned by the LNP in regional Queensland.

“There will be a very strong focus on what this means for job opportunities and improved job conditions for people from all walks of life. Innovation has to be the driver of 60 per cent of Australia’s productivity and that is fundamental to existing business,”

-Minister Hunt to The AFR.

Mr Hunt, who was the architect of the Coalition’s Direct Action climate policy,  said he would have been happy with staying in his environment portfolio, but was looking forward to the new challenge.

“The industry portfolio is about current jobs, innovation is about emerging jobs and science is about future jobs. Ultimately, this is about creating jobs and giving people a sense of long-term job opportunity and security,”

Mr Hunt said the venture capital market in Australia is developing, but it is still a long way off the US. He said the government is committed to fostering an innovative culture through direct loans rather than grants.
In view of the above, Professor Mark Dodson of the University of Queensland’s Technology and Innovation Management Centre has suggested that the everyday benefits, such as  longer lives, improved connectedness, freedom from boring and dangerous tasks, need to be communicated. He noted that better political leadership should be displayed on the issue, with less distraction towards start-ups.
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