Australian Innovation

Kristina Keneally – Innovation Festival Foreword

I’m delighted that once again NSW is involved with the Australian Innovation Festival.

NSW is an innovative State and we take great pride in showcasing the latest trends as well as celebrating our champions of innovation.

We are leaders in photovoltaic research, robotics, and Information Communications Technology.

NSW is home to a number of innovative companies such as Cochlear Ltd, Resmed  and AMP Control.

Sydney is also where Google maps was developed.

Innovation remains key to meeting future challenges, enhancing business competitiveness through improvements in productivity, and supporting jobs and economic investment.

Through governance, zoning, pricing, regulation, tax incentives, campaigns, subsidies, and research and development funding, the Government is creating an environment conducive to business innovation.

We aim to harness innovation to maximise exports in key sectors, and to build an educated State.

In 2007 we released the NSW Statement on Innovation, which focused on five industries most likely to produce benefits for the NSW economy. These were:

•    Logistics;
•    Financial services;
•    Creative Industries;
•    Manufacturing; and
•    Resources

The strategy emphasised the importance of government action to help improve skills; upgrade knowledge and information infrastructure; reduce costs to business; encourage private investment in innovation; and reduce regulatory barriers.

Since the release of this strategy, new challenges have emerged, including the Global Financial Crisis and a focus on climate change initiatives.

In response, NSW broadened its approach - to support jobs and target emerging “green business” opportunities.

This, combined with the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package, saw the NSW economy endure these challenges and we are now leading the nation towards economic recovery.

This places us in an enviable position to pursue more innovative practices across the State.

A priority for the NSW economy will be the National Broadband Network as we continue to position the State’s technology and creative sectors in the growing digital economy.

We are also working with our university sector to support the sharing of research knowledge with industry.

One example is the NSW TechVouchers program, which provides funds to help businesses work with our research and knowledge sector to develop and improve products, services and practices.

A robust economy is one in which innovative activity thrives, and the NSW Government will continue to invest in and promote this key industry sector.

I look forward to the Australian Innovation Festival. It will provide a forum for individuals and business to share and adapt ideas in a collaborative environment.

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