ATN UNIVERSITIES CRITICAL ENABLERS OF NATION’S PRODUCTIVITY
3 August 2022
The interim report released today by the Productivity Commission – 5 year Productivity Inquiry – The Key to Prosperity – lays bare the future challenges faced by Australia’s economy. This places the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) and our students, graduates and researchers in the engine room of the nation’s economy.
Enterprising universities like ATN will be key to maintaining the growth in wellbeing and productivity as the nation’s economy expands into service, value-added resources, data and knowledge economies.
As the Productivity Commission report shows, investment in human capital is critical to Australia’s economic recovery and productivity growth, as well as fostering the entrepreneurialism and ingenuity of Australians. This is intrinsic to the purpose and mission of ATN universities.
ATN currently supports student entrepreneurs and hosts hundreds of start-ups and micro-businesses at our campuses and through initiatives like Curtin Accelerate, Deakin ManuFutures, RMIT Activator, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, UniSA Venture Catalyst and UTS Startups.
We look forward to working with the Albanese Government on their Startup Year policy which provides 2,000 graduates and young businesses with a year-long opportunity to access mentoring at university campuses, learn from academic experts, access world class facilities and test new business ideas.
Three-way partnerships between universities, industry and government will become increasingly important in taking full advantage of the productivity enablers identified in the report – diffusion of innovation, data and digital technologies, business innovation and a skilled and educated workforce.
In our paper with Ai Group, released earlier this year, we urged the Government to use these three-way partnerships to address Australia’s skills challenges.
We recognised that Australia’s workers and businesses need a coherent skills strategy that can quickly plug urgent and persistent skills gaps in the economy with a balanced and fair pipeline of domestic and international workers.
Universities, industry and government working together can provide a bridge to the global economy and collectively address the challenges and opportunities needed to kickstart Australia’s productivity.