Research and innovation critical to future Australian industries – finds new ACOLA report

ACOLA today launches a new report, which for the first time confirms the importance of innovation, science and research to Australia as critical drivers of productivity and the building of future industries.

The role of science, research and technology in lifting Australian productivity makes 25 key findings about Australia’s current performance and outlines opportunities to boost innovation driven productivity.

3 June 2014

The report was launched by Expert Working Group Chair and co-author Dr John Bell at todays National Press Club address.

The report finds that building the industries of the future through enhanced productivity will require increased investment in research and development, a commitment to innovation, better links between business and research, focused international collaboration and the effective training and utilisation of an innovation-capable workforce.

Expert Working Group Chair and report co-author Dr John Bell FTSE said “there is an urgent need for Australia to look at measures to increase innovation. Current measures are inadequate and Australia is lagging behind key international competitors, many of whom are rapidly growing their investment in research and innovation.”

“Australia has an opportunity to utilise elements of international best practice in providing research and innovation support to improve productivity. For example, unlike the majority of our competitors, Australia has a history of frequent changes to innovation support measures for small to medium businesses. This erodes confidence and makes it difficult for businesses to plan,” added Dr Bell.

The report found that the success of Australia’s future manufacturing industries will depend on technological innovation, a shift to advanced manufacturing, integration with services, international connectedness and enhanced participation in global value chains.

The President of ACOLA, Professor Deborah Terry FASSA, commented, “The report makes some very important conclusions about measures to enhance innovation and therefore productivity.  It also finds that people and skills are key to innovation.  But, importantly, successful innovation is driven not only by a mixture of technical and scientific skills, but also by business and entrepreneurial skills and by a culture that is conducive to innovation”


The role of science, research and technology in lifting Australian productivity report can be found here ( 5MB).

A short report extract can be found here ( 3.5MB)

Contributing consultants and other reports are available here.

Additional quotes found on the Australian Science Media Centre’s Expert Reaction.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Rebecca Skinner, Communications and Project Manager on 03 9864 0925 or 0400 684 993 or

Additional quotes can be found on the Australian Science Media Centre’s Rapid Roundup.

More information on Securing Australia’s Future and The role of science, research and technology in lifting Australian productivity is here.