Innovation in Australia, what does it mean?


The word “innovation” is now seen everywhere. What does it mean?

According to the OECD, in their Oslo Manual, innovation is defined as “the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations”.

So that means people that are innovators are agents of this change. How important they are to improving society and the world!

There are many elements that contribute to innovation. Collaboration—enabling people to connect, create, learn and explore new ways of working—is one of particular interest to me.

Indeed the Australian Innovation System Report 2013 report stated: “Collaborative innovation is significantly correlated with the introduction of new-to-Australia or world-first innovations.”

No matter the model of taking ideas through to industry, business and society (for example, venture capitalism or joint ventures) communication and connections with others is critical. This includes between innovators themselves so they can effectively develop, deliver and improve their offerings to customers, as well as between innovators and broader parts of society to ensure products and services are implemented.

Australia is ranked 21st in the world according to World Economic Forum’s The Global Competitiveness Index 2013–2014: Country Profile Highlights. This ranking is disappointing to many including us! We have so much potential in this country.

Interestingly, one of the factors contributing to this low ranking is the burden of government regulation, where the country ranks a poor 128th. Further to this the business community cites labor regulations and bureaucratic red tape as being, respectively, the first and second most problematic factor for doing business here. In addition investment in venture capital is well below what it was pre-GFC ($901 million in 2007-08) at $331 million in 2011–12.

Therefore being able to justify your value to society effectively is critical to making headway with customers, regulators and, crucially, funders.

That’s why here at Innovate Communicate we want to empower innovators to contribute to Australia’s innovation system.

Find out more about our current services to support communication and connections.

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