Strategic context

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The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science facilitates the growth and productivity of globally competitive industries. It also supports the building of a strong scientific capability, business innovation and the commercialisation of new ideas as critical requirements for productivity and economic growth.

Australia’s population is ageing, our terms of trade have fallen from record highs, the global outlook is uncertain, and businesses face intense global competition and disruptive technological change. Navigating through these challenging times requires a dynamic and responsive economy powered by strong, self-reliant and innovative businesses. Globally competitive industries are critical to Australia’s economic growth and productivity, and for securing jobs and prosperity in the future. The Australian Government creates the environment in which competitive businesses and industries can thrive.

The department works closely with industry, businesses, the science and resources communities, Innovation and Science Australia, Australia’s Chief Scientist and other stakeholders to help build a globally confident and outward looking Australian economy through supporting science and commercialisation; growing business investment and improving business capability; and simplifying doing business. The department also works across governments to open up resources and other export markets, and support economic development in northern Australia.

The department’s 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 collaboration, commercialisation and international engagement
  • facilitate competitive market places and business innovation to assist with business and industry transition
  • support regulatory frameworks to sustainably expand Australia’s resource base and  underpin its international competitiveness
  • contribute to unlocking the potential of northern Australia
  • reduce costs to business through the delivery of simple, easy to access services and information, and streamlined regulation and government-to-business interactions.

Our work is supported by building a high performance organisation. We continue to invest in our people and seek new approaches that will allow us to achieve our objectives and realise our vision in a rapidly changing and challenging environment.

The department’s work is influenced by many factors, including the contributions of other players and the impact of the global economy. Some specific challenges for the department include:

  • overcoming cultural differences between businesses and researchers to encourage innovation and collaboration
  • measuring and optimising the economic benefits of science and innovation spending, given not all investment will deliver results in the short-term
  • adjusting to a transitioning resources environment including global competition and volatility in commodity prices
  • understanding and responding to diverse business needs
  • ensuring that the regulatory environment strikes the right balance between efficient markets and community expectations
  • helping policy makers find alternatives to bespoke and prescriptive regulation, including through increased utilisation of international standards
  • identifying and responding to the impact of regulatory change, rapid technological innovations and emerging business models that circumvent existing regulatory measures
  • operating in a tight fiscal environment where the department must find new and innovative ways of working to meet government and service expectations.