Australia’s innovation future and how to harness it

| August 14, 2016

How can we harness innovation at every level and carve out a competitive position globally? Charles Nightingale from the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce explains how we can learn from Israel’s example and build a strong innovative culture here in Australia.

At the AICC, we hold innovation at our core. By directly promoting and encouraging learnings from Israel, one of the world’s most innovative countries, we can foster the right conversations and networks here in Australia, connecting and building Australia’s innovation future.

Last year, the Turnbull Government put innovation high on the Australian agenda, with our very first NISA (National Innovation and Science Agenda) initiative, which aims to “harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia”. But although we’re investing more time, spend and resources in innovation and R&D than ever before, we have a long road ahead of us – especially if we want to carve out a competitive position globally.

As a leading innovation nation, Israel has much to teach us about harnessing innovation at every level; from government to businesses to local communities and schools. With more start-ups than any other country in the world in relation to its population (which is considerably small – only eight million), Israel is world-renowned for prioritising innovation as a way of life – a way of thinking, planning and doing. By leveraging collaborative partnerships with Israel, we can learn from their example and build a strong innovative culture here in Australia, accelerating us into the global arena.

AICC’s recent business lunch event on ‘Celebrating Australian Innovation’ saw key industry leaders discuss ways of building a strong innovation ecosystem, the need for collaboration between all sectors, how to turn original ideas into concrete plans and actions, and how to foster a culture of critical and creative thinking through education.

High-profile speakers included Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice President of Research, University of Sydney; Annie Parker, Co-Founder, muru-d; Paul Shetler, CEO, Digital Transformation Office; and Anne Moore, Founder and CEO, PlanDo.

Collaboration is key to a strong innovation ecosystem 

“The challenge is for universities, and Australian companies and firms, to tell their innovation stories, but also to link together in ways we haven’t done before.” – Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice President of Research, University of Sydney.

We have no shortage of talent in Australia – but we need to talk in unison. Government and industry players need to work together to translate ideas from universities and accelerators into actions. Australian entrepreneurs and start-ups need industry support to bring their innovations to life.

Turning original ideas into innovative actions “[Innovation is] Whatever you choose to change and do differently. It’s the doing part that really makes innovation happen.” – Annie Parker, Co-Founder, muru-d

Driving impactful change is striving to do things differently, overcoming obstacles and taking risks along the way. Australian businesses need to find a balance between short-term goals and a focus on the end game, with a vision for creating lasting change.

Embracing both success and failure

“There’s an element of permission – that is, letting go and allowing organisations to succeed and fail on the basis of being innovative.” – Anne Moore, Founder and CEO, PlanDoSuccess and failure are key to innovation – and we need the environment that accepts the ‘new’, along with all the risks. There’s an element of permission that is holding us, and our co-operative behaviours, back – and this needs to change. Let failure happen – reward it even. This culture will empower people to take the risks and enable us to move forward.

For the highlights video from the event, please see here: