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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Bringing Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprises to the Front of Innovation

By Niamh Callinan, Global Voices National Scholar, Y20, 2021


Niamh Callinan is a Global Voices National Scholar. Her policy paper focuses on Bringing Australian Small-to-Medium Enterprises to the Front of Innovation.


Executive Summary


Innovation is critical to supporting and growing Australia’s economy through providing jobs and increasing the standard of living (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, 2021). However, Australia’s innovation output ranks relatively low by international standards. This is a consequence of an ongoing disconnect between industry and research sectors, particularly small to medium enterprises (SMEs).


This policy paper recommends two solutions; an expansion of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) SME Connect Framework to similar organisations, such as Austrade, to support SMEs across all industries (like trade and investment industries) and expand the government funded Research Block Grants Initiative to promote long-term collaborative partnerships between universities and industries.


These recommendations are designed to improve industry-research collaboration in Australia and ultimately contribute to increasing Australia’s innovation output and related international standing.




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