Innovation is a priority

South Australia is rapidly diversifying into new and emerging industries, including in fast-growing sectors such as defence and space, digital technology, cybersecurity, health and renewable energy. There has never been a better time to pursue the enormous opportunities coming our way.

By Hon David Pisoni MP

Many roles in these future industries will require a strong entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s why we are creating the ideal environment for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and take them to market.

We want to make South Australia the leading centre for future industries and entrepreneurship in the southern hemisphere, in line with our plan to make our state the nation’s startup capital, with the highest rate of business startups per capita in Australia within a decade.

Our innovation system and cohesive entrepreneurship ecosystem showcases South Australian people, businesses and ideas.

For example, we have established Lot Fourteen, on the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, as a world-class creation and entrepreneurial neighbourhood.

Lot Fourteen includes a startup hub where entrepreneurs, mentors and investors can easily access support to activate their ideas and take them to the world. This startup hub is operated by leading startup ecosystem builder Stone & Chalk, which has an impressive track record of helping young innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.

South Australia’s first Chief Entrepreneur, Jim Whalley, is connecting budding entrepreneurs with a network of events, mentors and investment opportunities.

Eventually, more than 5000 people will work at Lot Fourteen, including first time entrepreneurs, startups, scaleups, corporates, students and researchers.

It will soon be home to the Australian Space Agency, which will open its doors later this year, and the

$245 million SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, the biggest space research collaboration in Australia’s history.

We recently released our entrepreneurial action plan to supercharge innovation in South Australia, to create the right culture, to improve our capability and mobilise the capital to make our state a global leader in entrepreneurship.

Science and research is also a major focus.

Our $28 million Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund supports research programs that stimulate and encourage more startups, that build industry research and development capability, that advance scientific research, and that help entrepreneurs market their ideas.

We have tasked South Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen, with developing an innovation and science strategy for economic growth, and improving links between our key innovation precincts of Lot Fourteen, Tonsley, Waite, Technology Park and Biomed City.

Higher research quality correlates with better research impact, which in turn enables new technologies and industries. It was fantastic to see the recent outcomes of the Excellence in Research for Australia assessment, which showed that South Australian universities are punching above their weight.

The assessment, which measures the quality of research outputs relative to world standards, highlighted that 96.8 per cent of all subjects evaluated across South Australian universities were of world standard or above – higher than the national average of 92.3 per cent.

When you’re considering the next step in your career, I encourage you to think outside the box and consider the many advantages that South Australia has to offer.

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