Ideas are easy. Innovation is hard.

“Australia is a creative nation, but that alone does not get you to the top of the innovation leader board.”

Peter Humphreys knows innovation, inside out – and his recent research study has proven once again that Aussies have a long way to go if they want to lead the field.

And it comes as no surprise that the linchpin is not having a big idea. It’s investment.

“Ideas, the front-end of innovation, are easy. The hard part is execution, turning those ideas into reality and getting actual investment in innovation.

“At its core, the innovation ecosystem is an economic system. Its complexity goes well beyond ideas and start-ups. Because it’s a system, everything is connected; so all the dots need to be joined,” he said.

Peter says that creativity is certainly not an issue. As Principal Consultant and Founder of Smarketer, an independent consultancy specialising in developing and delivering strategies for innovation and transformation, Peter has seen first hand the capabilities and creativity of Australian businesses.

“Australia ranked #1 in the Global Creativity Index 2015 (GCI) – but the latest global innovation standings highlight just how hard connecting the innovation and economy dots has been for this country. Australia is now ranked #23 in the Global Innovation Index 2017 (GII). Last year we were ranked #19 and in 2015 we were #17,” he said.

So while we have a great environment for ideas generation, we don’t do enough with those ideas. Years of economic growth and rising business profits have not stimulated investment in innovation. Australia needs to become more of a ‘Schumpeterian’ innovation economy in order to become a global innovation leader.”

Peter explains that leading contributors to the global innovation system commonly fall into a category the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) calls ‘Schumpeterians’. These innovation leaders typically invest more in science and human capital and have stronger innovation incentivising tax policies.

In contrast, the ITIF categorises the Australian type of contribution to the global innovation economy as “Adam Smithian”, a term that refers to the laissez-faire, neoclassical economic approach long adopted by Anglo-Saxon nations, which favours a less assertive role for government policy in shaping innovation capacities.

This is where Peter believes that a business incubator like the EIBC is critical.

“EIBC plays an important role in engaging the local business community and showing the benefits of innovation.

“The fact that EIBC has been developed as a result of funding from local, state, and commonwealth governments is testament to and acknowledgement of the ongoing potential of business incubators in Australia. We need more ‘innovation champions’ to make a real difference.”

Peter recently joined the Eastern Innovation Business Centre community as a tenant, to immerse his business within an innovation framework and mindset.

“While Smarketer had been successfully operating as a home-based business for several years, I saw EIBC as a fresh new opportunity. I wanted to work in an environment that was purpose-built for innovation, with like-minded people.

“EIBC is a perfect base for me at this next stage of my business. I thoroughly enjoy being a part of such a dynamic community, especially with Danielle Storey at the helm. Danielle is so passionate about what we are achieving here and the driving force behind our expansion and growth,” he said.

“The EIBC is focused on accelerating the commercialisation of innovative ideas. All innovative businesses are welcome and our facilities are ideal for tech and construction based start-ups with innovation at their core,” said EIBC Chief Executive Officer, Danielle Storey.

“EIBC is for people with great ideas who can benefit from a supportive, inspirational, collaborative environment and who can use our facilities to get the best out of their idea, have access to expert guidance and attract the best people to work with their business.”

Peter Humphreys of Smarketer develops and delivers strategies for innovation, transformation, customer experience, operational effectiveness and efficiency, technology disruption, product services and go-to-market. Find out more here: http://www.smarketer.com.au

EIBC provides a highly innovative and sustainable base to facilitate, inspire and grow innovative ventures, collaborations and businesses to achieve great success. Want to join our community? Find out more at http://www.eibc.net.au or call us on 1300 862 422 to arrange a tour.

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