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Oz Spends $33bn On Innovation – But Still Lags Global Leaders

Oz Spends $33bn On Innovation – But Still Lags Global Leaders

Australia spent $33 billion on research and development spending in 2014-15 – the latest year for which the Government has been able to cobble together the figures – according to an innovation report released by Industry Minister Greg Hunt yesterday.

This comprised some $7 billion in basic research, a further $13 billion in applied research – and $13 billion in experimental development.

But the report warns that the ratio of R&D to economic output has been slipping since 2008, meaning Australia is losing ground against other advanced economies.

However it also notes stronger jobs growth at companies that have been embracing innovation. According to Industry Department chief economist Mark Cully every $1 spent on innovation by Australian companies returns $2 in revenue, justifying a greater focus on new technologies.

The report does note some encouraging trends in innovation, including a 300 percent increase in spending on information technology’; plus a 500 percent increase in the targeting of export markets when compared with non-innovation-active business.

But it says Australia is lagging well behind other OECD countries. It earns only 7.2 percent of its total income from the sale of innovative goods and services, compared with an average 18.1pc for the top five OECD nations.

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