Motivation for innovation
The chief executive of the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), Mr Archer thinks the idea of innovation as blue-sky discovery – “scientists in a lab discovering wifi” – is a notion that could inhibit the growth of innovation in the regions.
In the regional context, he thinks innovation is about “people taking new technologies into their businesses, finding new ways to do things, developing new products”.
Regional infrastructure investment is important and welcome, Mr Archer said, but it’s not enough to power development in the regions. “It’s about how we’re going to transition, develop new jobs, identify new ways to be prosperous” – that is, the work of innovation.
“I’m seeing positive signs there, but we’ve got a long way to go to identify our regional innovation systems and how we can support them. We’re 10-15 years behind the United States in this respect.”