David Todee on Australia’s innovation relevance and ambition | So Good News


A better formulated industry policyDavid Todey, who wants the Prime Minister to lead a new, broader innovation response, says more co-operation between states and the Commonwealth and “national ambition” are urgently needed.

Australia’s current innovation ecosystem has much to celebrate, but strong leadership and coordination could pay off even more amid changing geopolitics, new technologies and the climate crisis, the former CSIRO chairman and Telstra chief says.

“We need a sense of urgency to address these challenges,” he told InnovationAus.com.

“I think of Australia, and I still think ‘the lucky country.’ I don’t think it’s a good reflection of who we are. We are not happy. We are a hard-working, hard-working, creative, innovative and very capable people who have done well and can do better.”

InnovationAus Awards Patron of the Year David Todi

Patron of the InnovationAus Awards for the second year, Mr Todi will join Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley and NSW Digital Minister Victor Dominello next week to celebrate companies and individuals at the forefront of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.

Candidates are part of the Australian innovation ecosystem, which Mr Todi is very positive about. But he wants more for the nation through better formulated policies and coordination.

Mr Todi called for a new federal government-led innovation framework developed by a coalition of state governments, the education and research sector and industry. He said there was a need to move beyond the “tech and VC flavour” of the Turnbull-era National Innovation and Science Agenda to address the wider ecosystem and talent pool.

“Innovation can sometimes be easily interpreted as technology people and venture capital people. But the truth is that entrepreneurship and innovation come from everywhere. You don’t need a university degree to be an innovator and an entrepreneur,” said Mr Todi.

As part of the framework, better-articulated national industrial strategies will clearly articulate Australia’s opportunities to generate growth and create new jobs, as well as guide research and investment. It should build on innovative industry and environmental policies and define a national focus on innovation, including highlighting successes in building ‘national ambitions’.

“Australia has ambitions,” Mr Todi said. “If I look at mining, agriculture, there is ambition in the sense of making a difference. What worries me is that we, as a nation, have not communicated this as clearly as we could. I don’t want to put it entirely at the feet of the government, but they play a leading role.”

The range of opportunities and challenges, after Australia’s digital, economic sophistication and research output ratings fell, means a new initiative must be led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Industry and Science Minister Ed Husick.

“We need a big umbrella that is important to this nation and I think the Prime Minister really needs to go there. By the way, it could be an innovation in labor law reform, it could be an innovation in health outcomes, it’s not a technical thing. It’s a vision, a way of thinking about things and a way to engage every Australian.”

The key to success is co-ordination with state and territory governments, which Mr Todi says will never achieve full consensus, but co-ordination could easily be improved by something like regular meetings of digital and health ministers.

“I can’t remember a time in recent history when the head of industry and science at federal level bought all the state ministers and bureaucrats together and from what I can see on the ground, the interaction between the Canberra department and the department. the state level is unstable at best. So I think better communication is needed.”

Mr Todee said while there were areas to improve leadership and coordination, many components of Australia’s innovation system remained world-class.

“I remain optimistic that we can create positive change for our nation and I am constantly inspired by the innovative people I meet in Australia,” he said. “Their commitment and ambition – and willingness to take risks – is what makes a difference.”

David Todey is chairman of Xero and Tyro Payments and a board member of Ramsay Health Care. He was a patron of the InnovationAus Excellence Awards From 2021. Here at InnovationAus.com, we are grateful for his support and the positive role he continues to play in the innovation ecosystem.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley by email.


Source link