What you told us

Firstly, thank you.

Before we embarked on drafting the NSW Innovation Strategy, we set out to discover what you, the community in its many dimensions, thought and felt about government’s role in the innovation ecosystem. 

Between January and April 2016, more than:

  • 240
    Face-to-face meetings, roundtable discussions and policy workshops took place
  • 170
    Written submissions received
  • 177
    Responded to our online invitation

To all of you who contributed valuable insights - thank you.

There were many learnings for government from this important consultation. They have been taken on board, discussed at length and, where possible, translated directly into the key initiatives that inform our Strategy to accelerate innovation in NSW.

We also recognise that innovation is a process. We will continue to listen, engage, respond and collaborate for better outcomes. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you.

We will continue to listen, engage, respond and collaborate for better outcomes

We invited feedback in relation to 8 areas of focus.

1.
Open for business
2.
Doing business with government
3.
Meeting demand for education & skills
4.
Leveraging data
5.
Accessing markets & money
6.
Sharing innovation spaces
7.
Disrupting business and government
8.
Smarter government

Key themes that emerged from the consultation included the need for:

  1. Closer engagement and collaboration between government, business, NGOs and research organisations and a ‘whole of community’ approach to problem-solving
  2. Government to revisit its procurement processes, making them more transparent and accessible, to enable SMEs and startups to compete
  3. Agile regulation to enable, not inhibit, innovation and encourage more risk-taking
  4. Physical spaces and virtual networks to connect knowledge creators, entrepreneurs and capital
  5. Stronger relationships between government, academia and education, with a focus on STEM skills

We asked:

Business told us

  • It is a critical time to focus on innovation, as the Australian economy must ‘innovate or die’ in order to remain globally competitive
  • Government has consulted business many times on innovation, but they are yet to see any tangible outcomes
  • There is no clear pathway or entry point to talk to government about innovation

The start-up community told us

  • Government should consider ways it can more easily purchase innovative new products and services, and ensure start-ups are aware of these options
  • A focus on smart cities is needed, as the local connections that occur in precincts are central to start-ups and business growth

The social services sector told us

  • An innovative procurement process, including outcomes-based procurement, is needed

Universities, research and education sectors told us

  • A single point of contact on innovation within government would be beneficial
  • Policy hacks which include universities should be used in new policy development
  • Connectivity and collaboration across the innovation ecosystem is extremely important
  • The innovation that sustains economic growth and high quality jobs requires initial investment in basic scientific research

Individuals told us

  • Ways to encourage innovation could include tax incentives for people embracing the sharing economy
  • Building support networks in regional areas is important, so people can live outside the cities without diminishing their professional opportunities

Young people told us

  • They wanted to use digital channels to contact MPs, Ministers and government agencies and that it was important to make points of contact clearer and more accessible
  • About the importance of technology to support their education and learning
  • That they valued social media for spreading ideas and information, and that government should find ways to enable all children and young people to have a say – not just popular kids and high achievers.  

The NSW Advocate for Children and Young People undertook targeted consultation with children and young people, reflected in the ACYP Strategic Plan, of which Innovation is a guiding principle.

From insights to action

As you will see, government has adopted many of your recommendations in bringing together the strategy to accelerate innovation in NSW.

We have focused first on where there is a clear case for government action, and where the initiatives will open up opportunities for collaboration - what we see as the underpinning spirit of the strategy.

The NSW Innovation Strategy is just the start. As a living framework, the strategy will be a backbone for government’s ongoing work with industry and the community.

Our intent is to work with you to accelerate innovation in NSW, and by doing so, further cement our state as a leading destination to live, work and develop the people and industries of the future.

Making it happen will take all of us. The journey starts now.

The Australian economy must ‘innovate or die’ in order to remain globally competitive