Don Scott-Kemmis, “Myths, crises and complacency: Innovation policy in the United States and Australia,”
United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, December 2018.
In 2015 Innovation and Science Australia found that despite, or perhaps because of, more than 26 years of continuous economic growth, important aspects of Australia’s innovation performance had not significantly improved. Innovation-related collaboration among firms, and
particularly between firms and research organisations, remains the lowest or among the lowest in the OECD.
Australia has a strong research system. Raising the level of research-industry collaboration and improving knowledge transfer have been perennial themes of Australian innovation policy. However, performance has improved little over time.
On the other hand, research-industry collaboration and effective commercialisation have also been strong themes in US innovation policy. The foundation of US policies
for innovation, collaboration and commercialisation were designed, and have been strengthened, in response to concerns about innovation performance. It is now timely to assess whether the US approach has relevance for Australia. The US experience provides insights in three areas: the design of specific commercialisation and collaboration programs, the approach to program governance and management, and the level of realism about impediments to innovation and ambitious outcomes in policy initiatives responding to new objectives.