Innovation Policy Talk

On Thursday (8th May), I am part of a panel discussing “Priorities and Directions in Innovation Policy in Australia.” Also on the panel are Nicholas Gruen and Patrick Coleman (of the BCA). It is an Economic Society of Australia event and it will take place from 5:30pm at the Productivity Commission, Rattigan Room, 35 Collins St.

I’ll be discussing issues related to my submission to the National Innovation Review. But I hope also to include some remarks on the Victorian budget due to be handed down tomorrow evening. It is John Brumby’s first as premier and since he was the person with what I regard as the best 2020 Summit idea on innovation — that is, using COAG to promote innovation across Australia — hopefully, there will be some good things to emerge there.

[Update: A new publication, Innovation ’08 has articles by pretty much everyone in the innovation policy space. Look for a familiar face on page 17.]

3 thoughts on “Innovation Policy Talk”

  1. Hi Joshua, great blog and delighted to see you active in the debate on the national innovation system. Your panel discussion sounds like it will be very interesting, particularly for MJA ( as Nick Gruen is on the specialist tax panel of the NIR. Cheers, John


  2. The challenges of an innovation policy is to set a framework for risk taking and failure. Most government spending and big business and large super funds and the like are risk averse. Innovation to succeed by definition must have many failures. The trick is to allow many to be given a chance.

    It is not only risk in investment that has to be made to happen but it is risk taking behaviour on the part of customers of innovative ideas and products. It is almost impossible for a risky innovation to get a government department to purchase it. It is even harder to get a large commercial organisation to be the first to try a new product.

    There are plenty of people with ideas, plenty of would be entrepreneurs but not enough buyers and investors who will take a risk. Perhaps there is some way of encouraging buyers and investors to take risks on purchasing innovation as well as policies to encourage the innovators.


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