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Innovation is driving Australia's future

7 December 2017

Joint media release with the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Craig Laundy MP

Today marks two years since the Prime Minister launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), setting a vision for Australia as a world leader in innovation.

Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science the Hon Craig Laundy MP said the measures introduced two years ago are helping Australians get their ideas to market and to create the jobs and growth we need. Today the Government is pleased to highlight this success.

Australian businesses, small and large, young and established, from cities to regional communities, are now looking to how they can work better and smarter, to generate wealth and create jobs.

“The NISA is helping our young people get the skills they need for jobs today and tomorrow. It’s boosting investment in Australian businesses, helping our businesses and world-class researchers to collaborate and innovate,” Minister Cash said.

The support programmes and investment made by the Government have helped suburban businesses such as TILT Industrial Design develop a new product line and hire 10 new staff. They are generating the next wave of quantum computing and 60 high-tech jobs to go with it. They are ensuring small business has access to a bigger share of Government contracts, and helping Australian start-ups to enter world markets through our overseas landing pads.

Mr Laundy said, following the launch of NISA, businesses were increasingly able to access funding for new, innovative ventures.

“Venture capital fundraising was a record $1.32 billion in 2016-17, more than double the previous year. Total investment was also up 24 per cent. The amount of committed capital in Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships increased from $620 million in 2015-16 to more than $1 billion in 2016-17, and in its first year the angel investors tax measures generated an estimated $280 million for Australian start-ups,” Mr Laundy said.

“This is not only vital funding for Australia’s small business and start-up community, but a clear expression of confidence in their potential for growth and success.”

The Government is also equipping young people with the digital, problem solving and critical reasoning skills needed for high wage jobs, and inspiring Australians of all ages to engage with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

The Inspiring a Nation of Scientists Measure delivered Let’s Count to 80 communities across Australia, which is more than double those reached in FY15/16. Nearly 800 early years’ educators trained, over 11,800 parents/carers engaged and 22,400 children inspired. All up, that’s 35,000 more Australian minds open to the power of science to enhance our lives and work.

Minister Cash said NISA was also helping encourage girls and women to pursue a career in STEM.

“The commitment has provided over $13 million for women in STEM initiatives to help address the challenges around attracting girls and women to STEM subjects and retaining them in STEM careers,” Minister Cash said.

“The SAGE pilot now encompasses almost half the nation’s publicly-funded research sector. Thirteen Australian STEM leaders have stepped up to the challenge of being a Male Champion of Change for STEM. The WISE grants program has also had a significant impact on interest and participation in STEM and Entrepreneurship for girls and women.”

NISA is the spark that is igniting Australian ideas and entrepreneurship, business growth, renewal and transition. It’s helping to drive and direct our changing economy, and it’s providing the foundation we need to generate more growth, secure more jobs, higher incomes, and a better standard of living for a prosperous Australia.

Media contacts: Senator Cash's office 02 6277 7320
                             Minister Laundy's office 02 6277 4345