“In a climate of reduced growth from traditional approaches, innovation is vital to driving increased productivity and economic growth as new technologies are a fundamental source for the creation of new jobs, new businesses, new industries and opportunities,” explained Hon. Michael Mischin MLC, Attorney General and Minister for Commerce.
While the early stage technology industry in WA is still in its infancy, there is a promising level of engagement in some of the most innovative new technologies coming to market – Fin-tech, Health-tech, Resource-tech and the Industrial Internet.
The report, commissioned by StartupWA, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the growing tech startup sector in WA, and jointly funded by WA Department of Commerce (Industry and Innovation) and the City of Perth, is centralised on the discussion – “ … will this wave of economic and social disruption be driven by companies imagined and built on Australian soil, or will it be driven by foreign technology companies?”
The report discloses that over 420 startups formed in WA since January 2010, of which 335 remain active. This represents a 235% increase from the 100 active startups identified in 2013 report.
StartupWA Director, Sam Birmingham believes “WA must support the continued growth of startups as job creators” and ensure majority of “this multi-billion dollar opportunity is captured and the benefits of disruptive innovations are retained in Western Australia.”
These businesses have directly created 2,974 jobs in Western Australian since 2010, with the growth of the startup ecosystem supported by the development of a dozen co-working spaces.
Deloitte state approx. one-third of the Australian economy faces imminent and substantial disruption by digital technologies and business models – a ‘short fuse, big bang’ opportunity for both business and government.
This is reflected in the report, with a focus on partnerships with government, universities and industry – critical to helping deepen capital pools and develop infrastructure to support entrepreneurs’ continued development.
Education and research are now primary drivers and the role of universities is fundamental to the national innovation system. The $1.1b Innovation and Science Agenda, released announced by the Prime Minister on Monday, allocated $200m to promote collaboration and commercialisation of research.