Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Latest News

Bionics Institute White Paper: Building Australia Through Innovation

“Innovation is not a moment in time…It takes years of work and discipline and bringing ideas together and turning them into reality.”

David Thodey AO, Board Director

Innovation is fundamental to the Australian economy

We have a long history of entrepreneurship in Australia, yet we are falling behind in the global innovation race.

Australia is ranked 25 out of 132 economies for innovation system performance, behind New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, Malta, Estonia and many others in the Global Innovation Index 2022 Report. We are ranked 19th in the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) 2022 World Competitiveness Rankings.

However, Bionics Institute CEO Robert Klupacs is optimistic that Australia can – and will – be a leader for med tech innovation because Australia has the fundamentals in place.

We have the fundamentals in place but need to invest in infrastructure, support skills development and embrace an appetite for risk so that our brilliant researchers, scientists, engineers and clinicians can generate and test their new ideas.

Our White Paper, titled: Building Australia Through Innovation, synthesises stories, theories and recommendations to spark conversation and prompt our country’s policy makers and leaders to take action so Australia can realise it’s full R&D potential.

Four ways to supercharge innovation in Australia

The White Paper covers the state of innovation in Australia; innovation challenges; bridging the innovation gap; and recommends four ways to supercharge innovation with some stellar examples from successful startups and peak bodies:

1. Co-location: Precincts and hubs

“You get an unfair advantage from co-location,” says Dr Erol Harvey, the Bionics Institute’s Head of Development and Research Translation and CEO of the ACMD. “It’s all around personal interactions. Being part of a community in a precinct, those conversations in coffee shops can lead to amazing things.”

2. Skills development and funding

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker says: “With manufacturing infrastructure and investment, a focus on lifelong learning and skills development, a steady and longer-term approach to investing in research and its translation, Australia can and will build a thriving and tech-forward manufacturing sector, alongside a world-class knowledge economy.”

3. Storytelling and persistence

Synchron CEO Associate Professor Tom Oxley says: “If you’re researching something and you think that you’ve seen an outcome of the research that could change the way that things are done, and you don’t quite know what to do with it or whether it’s real, you have to go out and talk about it. You have to put yourself out there.”

4. Leveraging mentorship and partnerships

“Big companies learn a huge amount from startups,” says the Bionics Institute’s Robert Klupacs. “We can move much faster than they can. Big companies have great expertise, but often they’re tied down by their own rigid bureaucracy.”


The Bionics Institute would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this White Paper:

Mr David Thodey AO

Mr Robert Klupacs FTSE

Ms Kylie Walker

Dr Jill Freyne

Dr Erol Harvey FTSE

You might be interested in…