The recently released NSW Innovation Strategy promises a number of benefits for businesses, with early industry engagement likely to result in greater advantage.  

The New South Wales Government's Innovation Strategy, released at the end of last year, promises a number of benefits for industry which can be capitalised on in 2017 and beyond ‒ with early engagement likely to result in greater advantage.

Developing the NSW Innovation Strategy

The NSW Innovation Strategy is the result of extensive consultation by the New South Wales Government which was essentially along three key themes, consistent with the Australian Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda:

  • enhancing the ability of industry to do business with Government;
  • accessing, sharing and leveraging information in the economy; and
  • meeting the demand for skills required in the future.

What are the key findings?

The NSW Innovation Strategy identifies four primary goals which underpin the Government's actions going forward:

  • making the Government a leader in innovation, by being more open to external ideas and new approaches to the delivery of services;
  • helping research bodies capitalise on research and development;
  • equipping the labour force to meet technological advances; and
  • building on Sydney as the start-up capital of Australia.

What can you expect?

A number of changes are contained in the NSW Innovation Strategy, consistent with the goals identified above:

  • greater public sector risk taking and engagement ‒ particularly, in exploring innovative ideas and developing more partnerships with the private sector. The New South Wales Government has launched an Innovation Concierge service ‒ essentially, a portal for industry to submit Government-related innovation queries and proposals, in key priority areas, to develop those ideas and connect industry to key Government contacts;
  • increased streamlining of Government processes, including the release of open data where appropriate, simplifying procurement guidelines and increasing regulator responsiveness. Regulatory sandboxes will provide opportunities for industry to test products and services whilst maintaining existing protections ‒ particularly in the agricultural, energy and health sectors;
  • the development of a new relationship management approach, "Universities Connect" to assist with enhancing relationships with the university sector, and building on the existing Boosting Business Innovation Program; and
  • increased partnerships between the New South Wales Government and Local Government to provide spaces for innovation, and open up opportunities for innovative businesses, starting with the City of Sydney.

How can you be involved?

The New South Wales Government has made it clear that the NSW Innovation Strategy, while it will form the backbone for the Government's ongoing work with industry, is only the start of its drive on innovation and so we expect more initiatives to come.

For now, industry can:

  • engage with the New South Government on areas where regulation can be streamlined;
  • take advantage of the Innovation Concierge service and engage in regulatory sandboxes, where appropriate; and
  • leverage existing data available from the New South Wales Government through Data NSW, across a number of areas ‒ from infrastructure and communication to health ‒ to gain greater insights for new or existing businesses.