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Bill Ferris: Innovation for future prosperity

Bill Ferris highlights the importance of innovation for future prosperity

Bill Ferris AC, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia, has called for a greater focus on the role of innovation in driving future economic growth and prosperity in a speech delivered today at the NZVCA 2016 Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference.

Mr Ferris told the audience that strengthening our national innovation systems is essential in preparing for a future characterised by increasing global economic competition.

"Heading deeper into this 21st century, innovation will play an increasingly vital role in securing and maintaining the economic growth and individual prosperity to which countries like New Zealand and Australia have become accustomed." he said.

Mr Ferris indicated that he is an admirer of the successes enjoyed by New Zealand startups: "there are some great stories about innovative companies coming out of New Zealand. These types of successes are important, and not merely for the founders, investors and end-users of innovative new products or services, but for the trajectory of the national economy as a whole."

Realising the benefits that innovative and startup companies can bring to a national economy depends in part on creating a culture that "celebrates success while seeing the value in learning from ventures that don’t work" he said.

Facilitating the development of a national culture that fully embraces innovation is a key objective of Innovation and Science Australia. The upcoming audit of Australia’s innovation system and the following 2030 Strategic Plan will provide whole-of-government advice on fully harnessing Australia’s innovation potential.

Mr Ferris strongly urged those in attendance to be active in seeking-out opportunities to support up and coming innovative businesses in a rapidly developing and constantly transitioning global economy.

"Encouraging the development and growth of startups, supporting the commercialisation of publicly-funded research and attracting R&D investment, are all important priorities and ones that our countries share in common." Mr Ferris said.

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