Microsoft welcomes Government’s Innovation Policy

Microsoft today welcomed the Turnbull Government’s Innovation Statement that proposes around 20 new measures to accelerate Australia’s innovation ecosystem to ensure Australia can remain globally competitive.

“I am delighted to see this package of policies and reforms because a comprehensive suite of measures will be required if we are going to be able to compete with innovation leaders like the US, Israel, the UK and Singapore,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia.

Microsoft commenced a project called Joined-Up Innovation almost two years ago to make the case for a national, whole of ecosystem approach.

“We called for Government vision and leadership, we called for policies that would encourage mobility, we focused on the importance of culture in driving innovation within SMEs and Government, and we recognised the need for the right skills and talent to be developed in Australia.”

“Last week we launched our latest report which focused on Boston as an exemplar of a city that has embraced innovation.  We learnt that place matters and in particular physical locations that enable people to connect and collaborate are essential to building trust – a crucial element in innovation.”

“So we are delighted to see the Turnbull Government’s Innovation Statement has addressed many of these areas of concern.”

In particular, we welcome the following announcements:

  • Government vision — establishing a whole of government approach to innovation, articulating the need to innovate and recognising that innovation policy is an ongoing approach.
  • Mobility — establishment of an Entrepreneur Visa to attract international entrepreneurs and the establishment of global launching pads in key innovation cities to assist Australian entrepreneurs take their ideas to the world
  • Culture — insolvency reforms to allow start-ups to fail, learn and start again
  • Place — the $11 million investment in a network of incubators to help start-ups get the resources, knowledge and networks they need to take their ideas to the world
  • Skills — the investment and focus on coding, STEM curriculum, funding to CSIRO and Data 61 and the focus on women in research and technology

Microsoft is also highly supportive of Government lowering the barriers to allow start-ups and small businesses to compete for Government contracts, stimulating innovation around national challenges and opening up public data sets.

“We have over 10,000 partners in Australia, 69% of which are small businesses.  Many of these companies are building their own solutions and services that can help deliver Government services and solve citizen problems. Making it easier for agencies to access and procure their services through the proposed Digital Marketplace is good for Government, it’s good for Australian small businesses and ultimately it is good for citizens who want Government to deliver better services.”

Microsoft has also been calling for bi-partisanship on innovation – and congratulates the Opposition on the suite of policies it has been announcing since the Federal Budget earlier this year.

“One of the lessons from Boston was that we need bi-partisanship on innovation.  We are thrilled to see the real contest of ideas that we now have. However, it will be important that all parties work together on ensuring that policies are improved and implemented, rather than thrown out over political differences.”

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