Industry should look to double in size says new report

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Australia’s technology industry should aim to double in size and output by 2030, highlights the Australian Investment Council’s (AIC) new report. The significant benefits of this would flow to almost every industry in Australia through growth, improved productivity and new high-value job creation.

The key elements to Australia’s next phase of prosperity and growth will be through prioritising industries where we already are – or could be – world leaders, and ‘going narrow and deep’ in developing these industries, reports the AIC’s Roadmap to recovery.

Similar to AusBiotech’s views for the life sciences , the AIC report underlined how knowledge-based industries could underpin prosperity and growth for all Australians. As part of the ‘first-mover’ group of nations emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has a unique opportunity to reshape the national economy for the long-term future, and to position our market with a competitive edge against other developed economies around the world.

The AIC conducted a comprehensive member survey, identifying the major barriers and seven key policy priorities that should be prioritised for Australia’s economic recovery and the expansion of businesses, notably innovation, technology and skills; and international competitiveness.

Despite a skilled labour force, Australia ranks second to last in the OECD – ahead of Mexico – for the relative size of our technology sector; supporting industries such as life sciences has the ability to directly make a significant contribution to high-value economic output and to lift productivity, global competitiveness and create jobs across the entire economy.

Recommendations are targeted at creating a more knowledge intensive innovative economy through increasing business investment in research and development, more impactful collaboration between universities and businesses to commercialise research discoveries, and lifting STEM capabilities within our workforce to achieve a more advanced economy in years to come.

In order to lift capital investment into the SME market and larger businesses, the removal of the temporary barriers to inbound investment capital sourced from offshore under Australia’s foreign investment policy framework was recommended. When these restrictions are combined with the necessary travel bans that include incoming and outgoing international delegations, the ability to raise capital has been further felt by life sciences companies over the past few months.

Read the report here.