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Wyatt Roy on the innovation statement: “This is still the beta test”

Monday, 7 December 2015 | By Denham Sadler


The $1.1 billion innovation statement is the “first step” in transforming Australia’s culture and embracing innovation, assistant minister for innovation Wyatt Roy says.


Speaking to StartupSmart, Roy says the government will not be afraid to change the policies in the statement or scrap the ones that don’t work.


“I’d still call this the beta,” Roy says.


“It’s a very exciting and big beta test though.


“Of course, we can always improve this and add to this, but this is the first step. If we can improve these policies then we will, if we can add to them then we will and if something doesn’t work we’ll stop it.”


The innovation statement was built with unprecedented collaboration between government portfolios and members of the entrepreneurial community, he says.


“I don’t think we’ve ever seen this sort of holistic approach in government,” Roy says.


“The problem with government is developing policy is usually siloed and slow. But in the space of two months we’ve managed to bring together over nine government departments to drive policy creation and deliver a holistic package.


“It’s incredibly exciting – a lot of work over a long time has gone towards developing this and it will change the country for the better.”


He says the policies in the agenda will see the government acting to enable the growth and creation of startups rather than intruding in this process.


“It’s a whole systems approach to driving innovation,” Roy says.


“It’s about the government getting out of the way and acting as an enabler to ensure the entrepreneurs are fully equipped with the right skills and the right amount of capital.


“Today we’ve seen a clear indication that we’ll get out of the way and enable the community, and put a rocket under the things that work.”


While playing coy with picking a favourite among the more than 20 policies, Roy says the taxation changes should have a significant impact.


“As we develop a uniquely Australian ecosystem we need to unlock more early-stage investors and ensure capital that we previously invested in resources is directed into Australian innovation,” he says.


“They’re like my children. I’m not allowed to have favourites but I’m particularly excited about the tax changes. I love them.”


Roy says that at its basis, the innovation statement is about unlocking the “full potential” of the country.


“We have all the key ingredients – we just need everyone to get out there, have a go and push for this ideas boom for the country,” he says.


“All of Australia can be a part of this very exciting chapter in our history.”



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