Australia needs to boost its education and support for industry and research and development to become a top-tier innovative nation by 2030, according to a report by an independent government board.
The report, Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation, was released by Innovation and Science Australia, a Federal Government statutory board that provides strategic whole-of-government advice on innovation, science and research matters.
The report seeks to create a high-performing innovation system that will be integral to Australia’s future, building on the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).
The plan makes 30 recommendations, which range from education and training to research, development and regulation.
According to the report, business expenditure on research and development is lagging behind Australia’s global peers.
One of the report’s imperatives is ensuring that industry has what it takes to be competitive by providing more government support for research and development, prioritising investment in artificial intelligence and machine learning, boosting competition in knowledge sectors and strengthening efforts in talent attraction and skilled migration.
The report found that while funding per student grew by $1000 from 2009 to 2015, outcomes in science, maths and reading dropped.
It recommends education be boosted in Australia by better preparing students for post-school STEM occupations, raising student ambition and achievement in literacy and numeracy and reviewing the vocational education system.
Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaela Cash says the Government launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda to play a leading role in creating an Australian innovation culture.
“The Government welcomes this report and has already moved to action some of the recommendations,” she says.
“The Government will carefully consider ISA’s recommendations and how it can build upon existing measures, including those implemented under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
“Innovation is creating the jobs of tomorrow. Every Australian can benefit from and be innovative regardless of age or job. For us to become a top-tier innovation nation, we need everyone to be involved.”
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