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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 3 April 2008) . . Page.. 960 ..

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly how the territory is performing in terms of business and organisational innovation? What challenges and opportunities lie ahead?

MR STANHOPE: Despite being strong in R&D, with more than 10 per cent of Australia’s public sector R&D undertaken in Canberra, our capacity to convert the IP generated to economic activity is somewhat weaker. National indicators show the innovation performance of the ACT private sector to be lower than the Australian average.

The 2005 ABS survey showed that, while nationally about a third of all businesses undertook some form of innovation, in the ACT only 28 per cent did. There may well be structural reasons to explain this. For example, we have the highest concentration of home-based and microbusinesses in Australia. But there is obviously room for improvement.

Indeed, it would seem there is something of a disconnect between the innovation capability that the territory possesses and the outcomes that we are currently achieving. The challenge for us is to turn the situation around—to understand how the innovation system works and what type of small interventions by government might facilitate better outcomes.

The study I released in March touches on some of the possible responses. It provides a number of recommendations to which the government is currently giving serious consideration and to which it will respond. The recommendations are contained under headings. Leadership—where should leadership on innovation come from locally? What might be the role of government in seeding this, recognising that innovation is fundamentally about people and culture?

Creating and leveraging sector linkages—how do we improve and deepen the links between the R&D, technology and creative sectors? There is stimulating and supporting innovation at the enterprise level. Do we need to look at other small interventions at the enterprise level to accelerate the development of small innovative firms? What is the private sector doing in these areas now?

There is the positioning of Canberra in the innovation space. We know of our strengths locally, but the stereotype view of Canberra in the outside world is still strong. How do we promote our technology and human capital credentials to national and international audiences—the connections that bring investment and attract talent? And related to that, how do we raise the awareness and understanding of the innovation paradigm locally so that more of our businesses take up the innovation challenge and implement systemic solutions?

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Financial Management Act

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the

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