A changing of the guard in Government has brought with it a renewed focus on Australian industry – and on the need for innovation.

Australia now has a minister for innovation as well as an assistant minister for innovation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the Innovation and Industry portfolio as being at the centre "of one of our most important agendas.” 

He acknowledged that if Australia wants to remain a prosperous, first world economy we must be “more competitive, more productive … and above all more innovative.”

We couldn’t agree more.

The appointment of former Education Minister Christopher Pyne to this key portfolio paves the way for a new era of advanced manufacturing in Australia.

And the elevation of tech savvy Gen Y QLD MP Wyatt Roy to the position of Assistant Minister for Innovation reinforces the Government’s commitment to supporting research institutions and new technology.

Wyatt Roy has made a point of visiting innovative countries like Israel and the US to get a valuable insight into how best to commercialise IP and local research.

He is certain to deliver knowledge, energy and boundless enthusiasm to this portfolio.

Minister Roy is the first to admit that Australia must embrace the future, or risk being left behind.

In his first media statement as Industry Minister Mr Pyne warned that “the sweeping tide of new disruptive technologies will entirely transform the way we live and the way we work.”

He says Australian industry must continue to lead the world in research and innovation – ensuring our nation can seize the opportunities ahead. 

Mr Pyne indicated he would encourage greater collaboration between industry and researchers, research institutions and universities.

Industry can be heartened by Prime Minister Turnbull’s recognition of the importance of research and development.

Industry Update acknowledges the role played by the previous Minister Ian Macfarlane in guiding the manufacturing industry through some extremely difficult times.

Mr Macfarlane penned a regular column for Industry Update readers and we thank him for his valuable contribution.

It’s now up to the new-look Ministry for Industry, Innovation and Science to drive the Government's ambitious new program.

We will wait to see whether they can deliver.

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