Strategic Plan 2016-20

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The Australian Government’s vision is for an agile economy, capitalising on Australia’s commercial and scientific strengths.

Central to this vision is the need for strong, self-reliant and innovative businesses.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science contributes to this vision by facilitating the growth and productivity of globally competitive industries.

We also support: scientific capability; strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills; and science literacy, as critical requirements for productivity and economic growth.

Globally competitive industries are important contributors to our economic growth and productivity. It is only through competitive businesses and industries and opening new markets for Australian resources that the jobs and prosperity of the future can be secured. The Australian Government’s approach continues to be to secure the jobs and prosperity of the future in a challenging environment where our population is ageing, the terms of trade have fallen from record highs, the Commonwealth budget needs repair and businesses face intense global competition and disruptive technological change.

By delivering the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the department encourages investment in scientific and digital capability; collaboration between industry and researchers; support for the development of strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills; and encourages more innovation and entrepreneurship.

Our programmes:

  • support businesses to collaborate with scientists and researchers in universities and other institutions to maximise commercial returns from the government’s significant annual investment to science and research and development;
  • promote the growth of internationally competitive industries by facilitating nationwide action on deregulation, skills, collaboration, commercialisation and international engagement;
  • facilitate competitive market places and business investment by assisting adjustment to inevitable industrial transformation;
  • provide regulatory frameworks to sustainably expand our resource base and provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy to underpin our international competitiveness and economic growth;
  • reduce business costs, including energy costs, through effective regulation; and
  • contribute to unlocking the potential of Northern Australia.

Vision

Enabling growth and productivity for globally competitive industries.

Overview

Supporting science & commercialisation

  • is important to deliver better scientific and commercial outcomes for Australia, including encouraging collaboration between researchers and businesses.

Growing business investment & improving business capability

  • is crucial to building a diversified, flexible, resilient and dynamic economic environment in which businesses can compete and grow to adapt to new markets and capture emerging opportunities.

Streamlining regulation

  • is necessary to lower costs to businesses and facilitate innovation, boosting productivity and enhancing Australia’s international competitiveness.

Building a high performance organisation

  • is about investing in our people, values, processes and systems to allow us to achieve our objectives and realise our vision.

Detailed information

Supporting science & commercialisation

Facilitating the development and uptake of new ideas and technology, and translating them into commercial activity, will deliver better scientific and economic outcomes for Australia. It will increase productivity, improve Australia’s competitiveness and drive economic growth.

Our aims are to:

  • support the creation and sharing of scientific and technological information as an input to commercial activity
  • encourage collaboration between the research sector and business to generate solutions that lead to improved productivity, international competitiveness and address national and international challenges
  • maintain a strong science base focused on meeting Australia’s priorities
  • promote the innovative adoption and diffusion of digital technologies.

Some of the challenges include:

  • overcoming the cultural differences between businesses and researchers —i.e. competition vs collaboration
  • demonstrating measurable economic benefits of science and innovation spending, given not all investment will deliver results in the short-term.

Overall, we expect our work to contribute to supporting science and commercialisation to deliver better scientific and economic outcomes if there is:

  • growth in the proportions of small, medium and large firms engaging in innovative activity
  • increased investment by businesses in intangible assets—i.e. the knowledge assets of an organisation
  • growth in the value-added of knowledge-intensive industries
  • improved returns from the commercialisation of research
  • improvement in Australia’s performance in scientific research.

Growing business investment & improving business capability

Within a global and increasingly digital economy Australia’s future prosperity and continued jobs growth relies on a diversified, flexible, resilient and dynamic economic base that can identify and adapt to new markets and emerging opportunities. This will support the transformation of existing industries and the growth of new ones, enabling access to new markets and improving competition in existing markets.

Our aims are to:

  • work with industry to support businesses to build the capability (including digital) necessary to achieve profitable and sustainable futures
  • encourage innovation and investment in growth sectors to underpin industry transformation and drive new and innovative opportunities for growth
  • support economic development in Northern Australia
  • work collaboratively across government to open up international export markets
  • work nationally and internationally to attract private sector investment
  • be an exemplar of innovation, embracing digital solutions to improve the efficiency and business experience of our programme delivery.of innovation, embracing digital solutions to improve the efficiency and business experience of our programme delivery.

Some of the challenges include:

  • adjusting to a transitioning resources and energy environment
  • ensuring we work with other agencies and the private sector to facilitate an environment which supports economic growth and jobs.

Overall, we expect our work to encourage investment in activities that contribute to improved productivity and increased competitiveness if there is:

  • growth in new private sector investment
  • increased foreign direct investment in Australia
  • improvement in Australia’s ranking in international performance indices.

Streamlining regulation

Reducing the burden on industry of inefficient regulation and improving the delivery of our programmes can lower costs to businesses and facilitate innovation. It is also important to ensure that the regulatory environment strikes the right balance between efficient markets and community expectations.

Our aims are to:

  • contribute to economy-wide regulatory reforms that reduce business costs, including responding to digital disruption and eliminate both duplication and impediments between jurisdictions
  • create a conducive and highly effective operating environment for Australian businesses
  • promote the operation of efficient markets, particularly in sectors such as energy.

Some of the challenges include:

  • jurisdictions defaulting to regulation to deal with perceived risks rather than seeking better solutions
  • regulators reluctance to accept international standards and risk assessments
  • failure to identify the impact of regulatory change, rapid technological innovations and emerging business moduels that circumvent existing regulatory measures
  • reform having a negative impact on specific sectors of the community.

Overall, we expect our work to contribute to encouraging innovation, strengthening competition and creating a lower cost operating environment for Australian business if there is an improvement in:

  • the quality of regulation (measured via domestic and international reviews)
  • business and government satisfaction with delivery of regulation reform.

Building a high performance organisation

To meet the Australian Government’s priorities we must adapt and be proactive and innovative as we work with our stakeholders to find new approaches to a changing environment. We will be able to achieve our objectives and realise our vision by investing in our people, values, processes and systems.

Our aims are to:

  • be recognised as a leader (and collaborator) in policy development and value for money programme delivery on matters relevant to Australia’s industries
  • foster a strong and collaborative development culture that builds employee capability and creates career opportunities
  • support the delivery of programmes that positively impact on Australian industry
  • improve delivery of internal enabling and support services through regular review of key processes to remove internal red tape and increase efficiency
  • become an agency of choice for new employees.

Some of the challenges include:

  • maintaining a positive culture in times of uncertainty and change
  • placing undue focus on processes rather than outcomes.

We will know that we have built a high performance organisation if there is an improvement, over time, in:

  • our staff’s understanding of the department’s role
  • stakeholder and peer recognition of the role we play on matters relevant to Australia’s industries
  • business satisfaction with the delivery of programme services
  • satisfaction with the delivery of internal enabling and support services
  • our overall productivity.
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