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State of the (Innovation) Nation

6 December 2017

There are more than 10,000 high-growth firms in Australia at any given time and these firms make a disproportionate contribution to the country’s jobs and growth, according to an Australian Government report released today.

Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy, said the latest annual Australian Innovation System Report found innovation is a key driver of high-growth firms.

“Since 2010, the Australian Innovation System Report series has been tracking the performance of core components of the innovation system,” Mr Laundy said.

“The 2017 report uses newly obtained data from the Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) to analyse the phenomenon of high-growth firms in Australia.

“The report shows that innovation-active firms are more likely to report increases in sales, profitability, productivity, firm, size and other growth-related measures than firms which do not innovate. That is why the government’s innovation and science agenda is so important.

“Our successful adoption of digital technology is fundamental in boosting productivity growth and maintaining global competitiveness.”

Report key findings:

  •  Innovation has a positive effect on firm growth. Across all firms, product innovation is estimated to lift turnover growth by 3.3 percentage points.
  •  In 2015–16, an estimated 48.7 per cent of all employing firms were innovation-active. These firms are distributed broadly across all industries, with the highest proportion found in manufacturing.
  •  High-growth firms make a disproportionate economic contribution to sales and jobs growth, compared to other firms.
  •  High-growth firms are difficult to predict and rarely sustain high rates of growth for more than four years.
  •  The proportion of high-growth firms in the economy has been in decline since the global financial crisis. However, the proportion of high-growth firms in Australia is still above average among OECD countries.

“The report provides new insights into the importance of business growth and innovation,” Mr Laundy said.

“The Australian Government is working to ensure we have the right conditions to ensure high-growth firms can continue to thrive.”

The Australian Innovation System Report is available online at


Media contact: Minister Laundy's office 02 6277 4345