Research Engagement and ImpactHow can Australian innovation create new industries and jobs?
With the downturn of traditional manufacturing, most notably the closure of automotive firms in Australia, innovation is crucial to create new industries and jobs of the future. Economic complexity, or the ability to make competitive products that few other nations can make, is vital in driving innovation in areas of smart specialisation, or those that are unique and superior.
With job losses around the closure of mass manufacturing firms, Australia is at a critical phase in its transition to advanced manufacturing. Professor John Spoehr and his team aim to determine how industry can be supported to transition to a more competitive economy through their project Economic complexity as a driver of innovation and smart specialisation.
Expected outcomes of this project include high-value industry intelligence in support of product diversification. Significant benefits such as increased international competitiveness, exports, revenue, and economic growth are anticipated from the project.
The project offers a model for boosting economic complexity to drive innovation and smart specialisation in unique areas of strength. This will lead to risk reduction in decision making, policy design and industry support to boost job creation and industry development. This is vital for Australia's competitiveness and economic prosperity.
The project was awarded $143,646 in the latest ARC Linkage Grants announcement. The team consists of John, Associate Professor Giselle Rampersad (CSE), Professor David Powers (CSE), Dr Rong Zhu (CBGL) and Professor John Quiggin (University of Queensland), who will be working with the South Australian Department for Industry and Skills (DIS).
DIS helps industries, businesses and communities identify and capitalise upon opportunities for job creation and economic growth. It harnesses the South Australian Government's expertise in attracting investment, improving industry competitiveness and building a skilled workforce.
DIS is positioning South Australia to capitalise on industries, including medical devices, defence, agribusiness, food, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and mining- and energy-related technical services. The redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi automotive manufacturing site into the Tonsley Innovation Precinct reflects a long-term investment in the state's economic capacity, skills and innovation, and will leverage South Australia's existing capabilities and experience - particularly in southern Adelaide.
“We look forward to collaborating with Flinders University and the University of Queensland on this important project and to integrating the findings of this study in our policies on how best to support innovation economic complexity and smart specialisation,” said Tim Mares, Director, Strategic Economics and Policy Coordination, DIS.