Government’s Innovation Agenda Benefits Rural Areas

18 December 2015

The government’s Innovation Agenda should hopefully benefit those in rural areas.

The National Innovation and Science Agenda will transform Australia’s economy and will drive prosperity and competitiveness, according to Industry, Innovation and Science Minister, Christopher Pyne.

“Innovation and Science are two sides of the same coin, and this Agenda will bring them both together: driving jobs, growth and investment and igniting a national can-do attitude,” Mr Pyne said.

Innovation isn’t all about city-based tech start-ups; our Agribusinesses should benefit as well, with Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals Warren Truss saying that the Australian Government’s new National Innovation and Science Agenda will change the way Australians work together to shape the future.

“Agriculture, small businesses and our regional economies are, and will remain, the engine room of our national economy under the new Agenda,” Mr Truss said.

“We know that for every dollar that the government invests in rural R&D, farmers generate a $12 return within 10 years.

“With the global population growing rapidly and arable lands shrinking, Australian farmers and related businesses are uniquely placed to help fill the world’s food basket.

“As in all sectors of the economy, innovation and R&D play a vital role in increasing agricultural productivity and farmer profitability – those benefits flow through the whole of the regional economy and are fundamental to our national prosperity.

“Our Innovation and Science Agenda includes a range of initiatives that will benefit industries, businesses and families in rural and regional areas, including programmes focused on research, education and business growth.”

According to Mr Truss, the government currently provides around $250 million per annum to fund Rural R&D for Profit programs that focus on delivering cutting-edge technologies and making research outcomes accessible to primary producers. As part of the Innovation Agenda, additional programs and support will be available, designed to boost innovative activity and help businesses to break into global markets.

Innovation Agenda supported by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF)

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomed the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and urged the government to consider agribusiness when legislating proposed changes.

NFF CEO, Simon Talbot, said the announcement marked the start of an important cultural shift for the Australian economy which would have important implications for the farm sector.

“Australian agriculture has historically been a strong source of innovation, drawing on Australia’s world class public-private partnership model for agricultural research,” Mr Talbot said.

“The farm sector relies on continual innovation to maintain Australia’s strong international competitiveness.

“The innovation developed within Australia is also considered to be world-leading and is adopted by agribusiness across the globe further reinforcing the need for continued and strong investment in this area.

“Bold new ideas will be required to continue to drive this leadership and to respond to the evolving demands placed on the sector in ways that continue to meet the needs of our customers while underpinning prosperity across the agricultural industries.”

You can find out more about the National Innovation and Science Agenda here.


Photo: iStock – Onfokus

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