Government Innovation Investment a Welcomed Strategy but needs Addition of a Long-term Sustainable Model – An opinion piece by Derel Wust, Managing Director of 4Tel

4Tel is very pleased to congratulate the Federal Government on its National Science and Innovation Agenda.  The Agenda is a bold attempt to encourage Australians to innovate and take chances - and give practical means of support.
The Managing Director of 4Tel, Mr. Derel Wust, welcomes the recognition to the innovative IT sector. Wust said: “It is so refreshing to see innovation front and centre in Government policy. Australia will now have a chance of joining top economies in a more guided strategy.”
“However, I would comment that the policy framework deals mainly with supply side innovation. That is CSIRO, universities, investors and small start-ups.  Where does the policy address demand-side issues on creating sustainable innovative businesses?”
“Customer problems create the long-term opportunities for small business, not grants.  No overseas type of Silicon Valley has been sustainable without regular Government consumption of selected services.  Unless the Government through its Departments and Government-owned-Corporations (GOCs) shows a targeted appetite to be a consumer of the very Australian innovation that they have fostered, then sustainable Kangaroo Valleys may be an elusive dream.”
“When trying to sell into overseas export market, the lack of Government consumption of the innovator’s product, or a “Badge of Government”, makes overseas sales to other Governments or GOCs practically impossible.”
“As a medium-sized profitable IT company that has successfully passed through the start-up then growing phase to profitability without any targeted Government help, we welcome the stated policy goal to address the very real difficulty of doing business with the Government and developing export markets.”

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