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PACIA applauds the National Innovation and Science Agenda - 7 December 2015

The new National Innovation and Science Agenda announced today by the Federal Government represents a significant landmark for Australia and will drive our competitiveness and capability across all facets of the economy, PACIA said today.

PACIA CEO, Ms Samantha Read, said, "Innovation, chemistry and science are the backbone of an advanced economy. The new Agenda positions innovation at the heart of our economy and our culture. I commend the Government on its leadership and commitment to ensure innovation is central to future policy considerations.”

PACIA is the voice of the Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the economy. The industry is a critical enabler across the economy, providing inputs into 109 of Australia’s 111 industry sectors.

“Australia must continue to position itself as a leading science-based economy. We have a wealth of opportunities at our doorstep, with other economies in our region increasingly looking for high quality products and services. We have the ability and know-how to meet this significant demand, but we need a coordinated approach to better leverage our resources. The Agenda is well positioned to provide that framework,” said Ms Read.

“I am particularly pleased that the Agenda will support improved collaboration between universities, research centres and industry. Linking industry and research is crucial to our economy and our ability to compete in global markets. Initiatives such as streamlining and refocusing a greater proportion of block grant funding toward collaboration, and clear and transparent measures of non-academic impact and industry engagement, will be pivotal in shifting Australia’s current poor collaboration performance.

“PACIA is taking the lead in fostering commercially-focussed research, by developing partnerships with a range of organisations across the research sector and academia. Our new partnership with CSIRO announced last week will help to strengthen the contribution of science and innovation to the Australian economy, by fostering connections between industry and research.

“Through this partnership and others, we are bringing together industrial businesses and researchers to create innovations that solve real-life problems for industry. This is driving improvements in materials, products and processes. Importantly, these outcomes will flow through our supply chains and make a significant contribution to the Australian economy,” said Ms Read.

Ms Read also commended the Government for maintaining its commitment to adopt international regulatory outcomes and standards under the new Agenda.

“Effective regulation is a key enabler of innovation. The importance of well-designed regulation was highlighted in the Australian Industry Report released last week by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. We are very pleased that the new National Innovation and Science Agenda maintains the Government’s commitment to recognise and adopt the assessments of trusted overseas regulators,” said Ms Read.

“If we get this critical reform right, it has the potential to encourage companies to invest in newer, better and safer products and technologies made possible through innovation and chemistry. It could assist Australian supply chains to use these technologies to Australia’s advantage, improving our competitiveness in international markets, enhancing productivity and supporting jobs. Significant positive effects would be seen across the entire Australian economy.

“However, to be truly effective these reforms must allow Australian industry to access the latest chemistry at the same time as their overseas competitors. A number of Australian regulators, including NICNAS, are currently considering how best to implement this reform and we trust industry’s views will be carefully considered as part of this important opportunity.

“We look forward to working with the Government on this critical reform activity, which will require coordination and involvement across various portfolios,” Ms Read said.

Media contact: Krista Imberger – [email protected] or 0439 318 290

PACIA is the national voice for the strategically significant $45 billion Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. The industry employs more than 64,000 people and contributes more than $11.5 billion to GDP in industry value add. Ranging in size from small family-owned businesses to national and multi-national enterprises, PACIA members include chemicals manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, plastics fabricators and compounders, chemicals and plastics recyclers and service providers to the industry.

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