Turnbull Government innovation plan set to drive an “ideas boom”
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says Queensland small businesses will benefit on the back of Malcolm Turnbull’s billion-dollar innovation package announced today.
CCIQ CEO Stephen Tait said the policies contained in the Prime Minister’s innovation statement will enable small business to enter an “ideas boom” founded on collaboration, entrepreneurialism and risk taking.
“The Federal Government commenced the long journey of removing barriers to innovative activity, facilitating a culture of innovation at the broadest level and providing the foundation conditions that enable businesses to use innovation as a source of competitive advantage,” Mr Tait said.
“The $1.1 billion innovation package – to be rolled out over the next four years – includes tax incentives, insolvency reform, an entrepreneur visa and a new $200 million CSIRO innovation fund.
“CCIQ congratulates the government in delivering 24 measures designed to incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, seeking to eradicate the ‘fear of failure’ engrained deep in the Australian mindset and instead reward risk taking.
“These measures allow Australia to shift away from an approach that is dominated by government programs towards a systematic and incentives-driven approach to innovation.
“Mr Turnbull promises that his ‘agile’ government will encourage risk-takers through measures such as introducing tax offsets for early-stage venture capital investment as well as reducing the bankruptcy period from three years to one year to provide a ‘safe harbour’.
“This is set to assist businesses who have identified the biggest barrier to innovation being the lack of cash reserves and other financial pressures.”
Mr Tait said this was especially important in the context of growing competition from globalised markets, the innovation economy thriving in other countries and other economic pressures that could influence Australia’s competitiveness.
“The announcement of these policies places Queensland businesses in the best position to turn their great ideas into reality,” he said.
“We can no longer afford to hold on to that fear of failure.
“Mr Turnbull specifically mentioned the efforts of small and medium businesses, the original entrepreneurs, in pioneering innovation over the past decades.
“There are many wonderful innovative practices being implemented on a daily basis in the operations of Queensland small and medium businesses.
“While there may have been successes previously, he believes that ‘Australia is failing behind when it comes to commercialising good ideas’.”
Mr Tait welcomed the raft of policies aimed at “educating the next generation of innovators” and addressing this issue by way of a $51 million pledge towards school-aged coding and STEM skills, $13m to support women in research and STEM, an Entrepreneurs Visa (without a cap on numbers) and a pathway to residency for high quality post graduates.
“It is critical that industry and government focuses on collaboration as the policies start to take effect from July 2016,” he said.
“Through greater cooperation, IT investment and more university and business collaboration, we will see the ‘ideas boom’ take shape.
“Queensland is ready to capitalise on the innovation settings announced by the Turnbull Government today. This will allow creative people and businesses in our state to thrive and generate value from new ways of doing things – if they are willing to take the risk.
“If there is to be a key message for these businesses it is that innovation must be centred at the core of our approach to being profitable and competing.
“With innovation accounting for 50 per cent of long term economic growth in advanced industrial countries, it is clear that innovation is a cornerstone of economic and community prosperity in Queensland.”