The Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda is part of the government’s broader Economic Action Strategy. The agenda will provide incentives to help businesses large and small to grow, with immediate reforms to boost competitiveness and a range of proposals for public consultation.

The agenda sets out four ambitions for Australia to pursue:

  • a lower cost, business-friendly environment with less regulation, lower taxes and more competitive markets
  • a more skilled labour force
  • better economic infrastructure
  • policy that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.

Key initiatives in the first stage include:

  • encouraging employee share schemes
  • improving the vocational education and training sector
  • promoting science, technology and maths skills in schools
  • accepting international standards and risk assessments for certain product approvals
  • improving the 457 and investor visa programmes
  • establishing industry growth centres.

Many areas of government are working together to deliver these and the other initiatives.

More information on the agenda, including a 132-page report, is available on the Industry website. You can also register your interest in the agenda’s topics and receive email updates.

Overarching policy responsibility for the Competitiveness Agenda is within the Department of Industry’s Strategic Policy and Productivity section. For enquiries relating to the Competitiveness Agenda, email competitiveness.agenda [at] industry.gov.au or call Louise Talbot on (02) 6276 1619.

Industry Growth Centres Initiative

A key element of the Competitiveness Agenda is the Industry Growth Centres Initiative. The initiative is ongoing with $188.5 million in government funding over the first four years. The centres will be not-for-profit organisations run by industry leaders and rolled out from early 2015.

The initiative will help Australia shift into high-value and export-focused industries, while enabling national action on high-profile issues such as deregulation, skills, collaboration and commercialisation.

The centres will focus on growth sectors in which Australia already has a competitive advantage:

  • food and agribusiness
  • mining equipment, technology and services
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • advanced manufacturing
  • oil, gas and energy resources.

Consultation sessions will be held around the country regarding the implementation of the initiative. A range of opportunities to get involved will also be made available soon. More information on the Industry Growth Centres Initiative is available on the Industry website.

For enquiries relating to the Industry Growth Centres Initiative email industrygrowthcentres [at] industry.gov.au or call (Mr) Shon Fletcher on (02) 6276 1926.

Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme is the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity at the firm level.

With a national network of more than 100 experienced private sector advisers, the programme offers support through three elements:

  • business management – providing support for business improvement and growth
  • research connections – helping small and medium businesses to collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential
  • accelerating commercialisation – helping entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups and businesses address key challenges in the commercialisation pathway of bringing novel products, processes and service to the market.

More information on the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme is available through the Department of Industry’s Single Business Service, or call 13 28 46.

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