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Most NFPs Positive About PM’s Innovation Agenda

8 December 2015 at 10:24 am
Lina Caneva
The Turnbull Government’s four year $1.1 billion dollar Innovation Statement has received an overall positive reaction from the Not for Profit sector.

Lina Caneva | 8 December 2015 at 10:24 am


Most NFPs Positive About PM’s Innovation Agenda
8 December 2015 at 10:24 am

The Turnbull Government’s four year $1.1 billion dollar Innovation Statement has received an overall positive reaction from the Not for Profit sector.

The Foundation for Young Australians said the Federal Government’s investment in building the skills and backing the innovations of young Australians, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, was a watershed moment for the country.

“FYA has consistently called for an urgent, national investment in all young Australians to drive our country forward and prepare them for a changing world. The Innovation Statement demonstrates a positive and important response from government towards making this a reality,” FYA CEO Jan Owen said.

“For this ‘ideas boom’ to deliver long-lasting and sustainable outcomes, we must unearth the ideas and innovations of young Australians and support them to develop and utilise the skills and platforms to be more innovative and enterprising.

“The Government’s strong investment in developing the STEM and digital skills of Australian students is a positive response to FYA’s research, which has shown more than 90 per cent of Australia’s current workforce will need digital skills to do their jobs in just the next two to five years.

“We must now ensure the significant investment in this part of our education system is implemented in a way that equips young people with the enterprising skills to navigate a diverse employment journey that will span five industries and an average of 17 different jobs.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Government's innovation package would incentivise and reward innovation, entrepreneurship and risk-taking by focussing on four key areas – culture and capital, embracing risk and incentivising early stage investment in startups, talent and skills, training students for the jobs of the future and leading by example in the way the Government invests in and uses technology.

Jan Owen said the FYA welcomed initiatives aimed at fostering innovation, boosting the incubator ecosystems and providing easier access to equity-sourced crowdfunding.

“We hope to see young people placed at the centre of the Government’s efforts to build the next generation of startups and foster entrepreneurship in regional Australia. If we are truly committed to creating a sustainable and innovative economy our young people must be a central part of the plan,” she said.

“We are also hopeful that the Government will drive not only economic innovation through this agenda but also social innovation. Innovation has the power to create a more inclusive society in which no-one is left behind.

“The current bipartisan commitment to innovation and backing the next generation is a watershed moment for Australia’s future. It’s a big shift in the right direction.

“Now we must maintain the joint national focus on building the skills and opportunities for young Australians to drive this ideas boom and ensure all young people have the chance to be a part of an innovative, sustainable and equitable future.”

Entrepreneur-led advocacy Not for Profit, StartupAUS said the innovation statement was a good start but it could go further.

“The devil is in the detail,” Founder of StartupAUS, Brian Sher, said.

“On the surface of it, it’s a good start offering tax incentives for investment into startups. Only time will tell if this policy goes far enough or attracts enough capital to kick start the concept of an innovation nation.

“There is an entire shift that needs to take place…and finding great and inspiring leadership.

“It’s a mindset and cultural shift that is needed which starts with education at school level making it acceptable that entrepreneurship is a legitimate career.”

The Not for Profit peak body representing internet users, Internet Australia, said the innovation statement provided a comprehensive framework that would help entrepreneurs now and in the future to become world class.

“It confirms at the highest level of government the need for Australia to embrace an Internet driven digital future,” Internet Australia CEO Laurie Patton said.

However, the Not for Profit warned against allowing innovation to become a "politician's toy" in the run up to the Federal Election.

"No one has a mortgage on ideas in this area. It's not just about deciding what we need to do, it's about deciding to do it together, collaboratively, and with an agreed national agenda,” Paton said

"Australia has the potential to lead the world into the digitally enabled global economy of the future but we need a bipartisan strategic approach if we are to become a serious player.”

Social Ventures Australia said it welcomed the Innovation Statement and called for a national discussion on how innovation and agility can be fostered in social policy as well as economic policy.

“With an estimated $420 billion spent on social programs in Australia each year across welfare, health and education, it’s time to invest in the architecture that will enable social innovation to flourish and for this investment to make a real difference towards solving the social challenges we face,” SVA CEO Rob Koczkar said.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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