STEM Strategy Would Help Drive Innovation

“The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future strategy released by the Chief Scientist is an important contribution to building the capacity of the economy to create the business models and the jobs of the future,” Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone said.

“The Chief Scientist’s strategy reinforces that individuals having STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and knowledge will be crucial to their ability to access the jobs which will be needed in a modern economy,” Ms Livingstone said.

“Our education and training systems must improve the capability of our people to think creatively, to innovate and to apply their skills productively if we are to keep up with the world’s best and brightest.

“STEM skills, as well as problem solving and design thinking as a discipline, need to be firmly embedded in teacher training and throughout our national curriculum.

“The skills learned in the STEM subjects, complemented by studies in social science and humanities that encourage critical and creative thinking, are necessary to drive the creativity and entrepreneurship that Australia needs and are increasingly seen by businesses as being essential in a modern economy.

“The strategy is consistent with recommendations the BCA has previously made, in particular the need to establish national innovation priorities, develop a national STEM strategy, align our research effort with areas of comparative advantage and address incentives for collaboration between industry and the research sector.

“It’s clear the next decade of Australia’s economic growth will need to be innovation-led, but we have taken far too long as a nation to realise the steps which are required to create the environment for Australia to be more innovative and entrepreneurial.

“Beyond the near term we also need to build the knowledge infrastructure on which future business models will be built. That’s why having a long-term strategic plan for science and research is so important.

“The Senate’s current inquiry into the Australian innovation system provides the perfect opportunity to pick up on the Chief Scientist’s recommendations and act to make innovation a central component of economic policy,” Ms Livingstone said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2603 | Mobile 0403 241 128