In this episode, we have the opportunity to reflect on the recent National Innovation Policy Forum in Canberra last month with my colleague, Dr Faisal Younus, who participated in the event. Thanks to Cooperative Research Australia, we also have been able to weave some excerpts from the panels into our discussions to try to offer some reflections and insights from the day’s events.
We open with Faisal’s key reflection from the Welcome to Country, followed by some of what Minister Ed Husic said in his keynote address.
We then look to the scale up challenge, which was initially identified at the same event 12 months ago and discussed on the podcast with Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO in January 2023. With a brief reflection on the challenge of needing midsize firms to take up innovation yet noting their dwindling numbers in the Australian economy, we then reflect on comments made by Dr Cathy Foley AO and Professor Roy Green. We also touch upon the challenging policy landscape over the past 30 years, and the dispersion of investments and resources, likened to the spreading of vegemite on toast.
We follow these government challenges with a few reflections on competition, or perhaps hyper competition, in the innovation system, before turning to the role of markets and the need to be solving a problem. This was highlighted in some of the remarks made by Dr Leanna Read, and Glenn Keys from Aspen Medical. We explore the notion of whether patenting could be the very beginning or the end of the beginning depending on the philosophies of market pull or tech push in various parts of the innovation ecosystem. Time, the one non-renewable resource, which we explored on the podcast with Allison Haitz and through soliloquy in 2022, where Glenn Keys and Phil Morle shared some perspectives from the podium.
We close by drawing some thoughts and themes from the panels around the innovation culture in Australia and the need for collaboration, which was encapsulated by Sally Ann Williams in her remarks, and the complexities and chaos of collaboration remarked upon by Catherine Livingstone AO.
While we couldn’t draw together all the incredible content from the panels, our thanks go to the other panellists who provided the inspiration for this podcast. Professor Andrew Parfitt, Matthew Wilson, Sophia Hamblin Wang, Professor Elanor Huntington, Dr Kerstin Oberprieler, Julia Spicer OAM, Dr Michelle Simmons and Dr Cori Stewart.