Turnbull agenda a ‘positive step’ for innovation potential


KPMG Australia and Advance have welcomed the Turnbull Government’s national Innovation and Science agenda, arguing it is “a positive step” towards realising the country’s innovation potential.

KPMG Australia and Australian global innovation network Advance have welcomed the Turnbull Government’s national Innovation and Science agenda, arguing it is “a positive step” towards realising the country’s innovation potential and becoming globally competitive.

According to Australia’s Global Innovation Strategy, only six per cent of Australian businesses currently engage in international innovation, compared to the OECD average of 18 per cent.

As a result, the Federal Government has said it will invest $36 million over five years to improve Australia’s international innovation and science collaboration — including the provision of $22 million in seed funding to assist Australian firms working with international research-industry clusters and $3 million in reducing barriers to regional collaboration through multilateral projects.

KPMG Australia national chairman, Peter Nash, said that the renewed focus on incentives and taxation benefits in Australia’s policy settings — in addition to a greater emphasis on collaboration — was key to ensuring Australia’s prosperity in the long term.

“As the Government has recognised, innovation is not just about startups. It’s about transformation and new thinking in existing businesses. Critically it’s about businesses staying in Australia and engaging with disruptors,” Nash said.

KPMG Australia head of innovation services, James Mabbott, said the Federal Government’s commitment to innovation demonstrated a recognition that the issues to be addressed are systemic and not simply the responsibility of the commercial sector.

“There is also a real innovators mindset at play with a clear indication that the government is prepared to experiment, test and iterate to determine what will work,” Mabbott said.

“We need to think big as entrepreneurs and aspire to be global. Our economy is not a closed system and so much of our success is dependent on our ability to participate successfully in the global economy.”

Building Australia’s global reach

Glen Boreham AM, the chairman of Advance’s board of directors, said Australia’s greatest global resource is “the Australian diaspora”, the one million Australians living and working overseas.

“This global powerhouse, made up of many of our best and brightest, builds our global connectedness, driving innovation and sustainable long-term growth,” Boreham said.

“Whether working overseas or as returnees, the diaspora drive jobs, investment and exports.”

Recently, Advance have been partnering with KPMG Australia for the elevate61 2016 initiative, a program that provides later stage startups with the foundations to build global scale from Australia – matching startup businesses with international advisers, entrepreneurs, investors and customers.

The accelerator program provides three days of intensive workshops to help companies refine their value proposition, identify their target market and further develop their ability to effectively reach and sell to potential clients, partners and investors.

Serafina Maiorano, global chief executive of Advance, said that Australian startups could “most definitely not afford” to be “under-networked [and] under-prepared” when it came to entering the US market.

“[elevate61] is a truly unique program that helps Australian startups accelerate their growth – particularly in terms of access to networks, capital and in market expertise in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles – help[ing] grow sustainable global businesses from Australia,” Maiorano said.

“By harnessing the influence, knowledge, and networks of our globally successful Aussies in the US, alongside our important strategic alliance with KPMG Australia, we hope to foster the next generation of global Australian companies.”