Representing the Prime Minister Cooperative Research Australia – Innovation Showcase

Good afternoon everybody.

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister could not be present this afternoon and he asked me to represent him at this important event – ​​which of course I jumped at the chance.

And I look forward to seeing you again tonight at the CRC gala dinner.

I would like to acknowledge…

  • Belinda Robinson, President of Cooperative Research Australia, and other board members;
  • Jane O’Dwyer, CEO of Cooperative Research Australia;
  • And former federal ministers, the Honorable Ian McFarlane and the Honorable Kate Lundy.

It is fantastic to welcome you all to Parliament today and officially open this showcase of Australian innovation and ideas.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Cooperative Research Australia for bringing this showcase together, here in the heart of our nation…

Not just to demonstrate – but to celebrate all that is great about Australian creativity.

I remember a TV show in the 1980s called “Beyond 2000”.

It was a kind of showcase of all the inventions we could expect in this mythical time of the next millennium.

What strikes me, looking back, is how distant that future seemed.

The time needed to refine, develop, market and actually commercialize these inventions was endless.

Cut to 2022, and we’re in that future. New ideas change our lives every day. They solve problems in real time.

This showcase contains wonders that would have been almost inconceivable in the 80s.

And that we won’t have to wait a lifetime.

Like all online telecommunications – it got us through these COVID lockdowns.

A smart bed for nursing homes.

A 3D printed rocket booster!

And more.

The wonderful thing about all these inventions and innovations is not only that they are here and now, but they show the enormous power of Australian innovation being harnessed by Australian industry.

Australia has world-class universities and researchers.

Eighty-five percent of Australian research is assessed at or above the global standard.

We have a stellar record of innovations.

We could list them all: the cochlear implant, the skin spray, the Black Box recorder, Wi-Fi… the list is long.

But what we’re not good at historically is turning our best ideas into reality.

Crossing what is called “the valley of death” between early research and later development.

In a word, marketing.

The way to do it, and the reason we are here today, is in another word:


Linking research to the forces that can bring its knowledge and inventions to the world.

Because in truth, you can’t have one without the other.

The industry without ideas stagnates rather quickly.

Ideas without industry have nowhere to go.

The ideas around us today – well on their way to market – show what’s possible when ideas aren’t just left on the shelf.

This is precisely why the Morrison government is investing more, to see more of these partnerships and more commercialization of great Australian ideas.

Our government has made it clear that securing our economic recovery from COVID-19 will depend heavily on our science and research community – in partnership with industry.

That is why we announced a $2 billion action plan for the commercialization of university research.

This plan will increase and deepen the links between universities and industries. It will connect more of our bright ideas with pending markets, our best minds with our most pressing needs.

It is about focusing the power of our universities on the economic priorities of our country.

Supporting our best researchers and their ideas to ensure an even stronger return to the Australian economy in the future, with advanced manufacturing at its heart.

We are creating a new generation of research entrepreneurs. A new generation of Australian companies and products.

We want to see big ideas out there, doing what each one of them has the potential to do – change the world.

Not in the next millennium… but here and now.

With that, and on behalf of the Prime Minister, it is a great pleasure to officially open this Innovation Showcase and congratulate Cooperative Research Australia for making this – and many more – possible.

Thank you.


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