Australian Innovation

Sophie Mirabella - Bridging the Valley of Death

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Australia can rightly be proud of its record on innovation, and excited by its potential for future innovation.  Our achievements include the joint discovery of penicillin, the invention of the black-box flight recorder, cutting edge radar technology, and biotechnology.  Great Australian products, like the Ford Territory, are the result of Australian innovation: the design, engineering, and development of that product all occurred in Australia. 

I can reiterate the Coalition’s support for innovation in Australia, and our determination to overcome some of the challenges that face us in the future.  Australian innovation is essential for our future economic growth and productivity.

Government has a role to play in innovation – it needs to create the right regulatory and taxation environment that will stimulate investment in innovation and provide reward for successful innovation.

An important tool used by Government to support innovation is the research and development tax concession.  This tax concession has been critical to the innovation of SMEs and large companies throughout Australia.  The Rudd Government proposed changes to how the concession would apply which would have left many companies ineligible and some forgoing research and development investment altogether.  The Coalition does not support the changes and believes that we need to maintain effective incentives for research and development in Australia.

We need to bridge the ‘valley of death’ - the gap between scientific discovery and commercialisation.  By bridging this gap we will lift Australia’s collaborative research and development performance. Businesses engaged in innovative projects should be able to work in close conjunction with Australian universities, research groups, and public research agencies.

In science education, we need to meet the challenge of ensuring we have enough science professionals in the class room, and the appropriate resources and apparatus to stimulate our children’s interest in the sciences.

Sophie Mirabella MP

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