NSW has set out a 20-year roadmap to ramp up critical R&D

The NSW 20-Year R&D Roadmap – whose creation was really helpful as a part of the state authorities’s broader ARDAC Action Plan – was developed by the Office of NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE) throughout a six-month “deep analysis” of the {industry} sectors the place NSW is alleged to have “aggregated competitive advantages versus domestic and international peers”.

Arguing that “it makes sense to prioritise R&D by focusing on technologies and applications in which NSW has competitive advantages,” the roadmap teams the state’s most promising capabilities into 4 broad themes – digital, chemistry and supplies, biotechnology, and vitality – and analyses the relative maturity and promise of 39 know-how functions.

Those functions embody digital applied sciences like quantum computing, blockchain and cyber safety in addition to extra industrial developments together with robotics, AgTech, good supplies, vitality storage, cell-based meats, and sustainable fuels.

With virtually 45 per cent of Australian AI companies based mostly in NSW, for instance, the report notes that NSW’s “strong local cluster of AI businesses” and robust illustration of AI universities present a possibility via the state’s “skilled AI workforce, deep AI R&D capabilities, and a technology-ready, diverse multicultural consumer base ideal for AI product development, testing and insight generation.”

NSW’s primacy in Australia’s nuclear science analysis is one other standout, with the report noting that availability of such services gives advantages via the AUKUS alliance and potential export capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific area.

Identifying key alternatives for NSW is crucial in a state challenged by local weather change, urbanisation, automation, and demographic and financial energy shifts, NSW chief scientist Prof Hugh Durrant-Whyte mentioned, noting that the 20-year plan would assist NSW’s authorities and enterprise communities greatest direct their assets for nationwide and international power.

“In an increasingly connected global market for goods, services, investment and skills, economies that leverage world-leading R&D dominate industries,” he defined.

“Economies that are unable to sustain sufficient R&D capabilities and technology adoption will fall behind international competitors that can.”

Reversing the development

Efforts to catalogue NSW’s present capabilities displays rising consciousness of the necessity to enhance R&D funding within the state, which has fallen behind nationwide and “fierce and well resourced” worldwide rivals by way of how a lot of its gross state product (GSP) goes to R&D.

The newest NSW Innovation and Productivity Scorecard (IPS) – which can be expanded as a digital dashboard later this 12 months – rated NSW effectively forward of worldwide rivals in areas similar to college training, revealed papers and researchers, startup founders, digital functionality, and GDP development.

Yet the benchmark additionally recognized a number of areas the place NSW is effectively behind worldwide rivals, together with authorities funding in R&D, university-industry collaboration, and enterprise capital funding.

Slightly behind common have been enterprise funding in R&D – which declined in Victoria, NSW, Australia and New Zealand via a lot of the previous decade – in addition to patent functions, employment of tertiary-educated folks, labour productiveness, and development companies.

NSW’s R&D funding of 1.8 per cent of GSP put it on parity with the UK and Australia, the IPS discovered, however the state was lagging Singapore (1.8 per cent), Victoria (2.1 per cent), the USA (3.1 per cent), and Germany (3.2 per cent) and was effectively behind the OECD common of two.5 per cent.

In the context of the post-COVID restoration and NSW’s lagging R&D enterprise expenditure, “an R&D Roadmap for NSW has never been more important,” the report notes.

“Given the scale of our future challenges and opportunities, NSW needs to effectively focus its R&D investments and activities to maximise the positive impacts of science and technology R&D.”

Industry group Science & Technology Australia has been vocal concerning the potential returns from elevated R&D funding, and NSW Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens believes the OCSE report will assist enhance NSW’s standing amongst buyers by serving to direct authorities assist and private-sector funding.

The technique “puts in place a plan to better target funds to fast-track new technology and commercialisation for our people, the economy and our environment,” he mentioned because the roadmap was launched.

The state has a “world-class innovation ecosystem,” he added, “but we want to continue to improve, which is why this roadmap will build on our strengths and help lift our game in other areas.”

NSW’s struggles round R&D observe years of uncertainty for scientists and technologists, with Australia lengthy lagging behind comparable nations and the Morrison Government exacerbating the scenario by slashing R&D funding, then introducing and in the end rescinding contentious R&D tax reform.

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