Representing the Prime Minister Cooperative Research Australia – Innovation Showcase

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

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1 April 2022

Good afternoon everyone.

Sadly, the Prime Minister could not be here this afternoon and he’s asked that I represent him at this important event – which I of course, jumped at the opportunity.

And I look forward to seeing you again tonight at the CRC Gala Dinner.

I’d like to acknowledge…

  • Belinda Robinson, chair of Cooperative Research Australia, and fellow board members;
  • Jane O’Dwyer, CEO of Cooperative Research Australia;
  • And former Federal Ministers, the Hon Ian McFarlane and the Hon Kate Lundy.

It’s fantastic to welcome you all to Parliament House today, and officially open this showcase of Australian innovation and ideas.

I would like to give a huge thanks to Cooperative Research Australia for bringing this showcase together, here in the heart of our nation…

Not only to demonstrate - but to celebrate all that’s great about Australian creativity.

I can remember a show on TV, back in the 1980s, called ‘Beyond 2000.’

It was a kind of showcase of all the inventions we could look forward to in that mythical time in the next millennium.

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

The time it would take to refine, develop, commercialise and actually market these inventions was never-ending.

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

This showcase contains some wonders that would have been just about inconceivable in the 80s.

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

Like all the online telecommunications - that helped us through those COVID lockdowns.

A smart bed for aged care homes.

A 3D printed rocket booster!

And so much more.

The wonderful thing about all these inventions and innovations is not just that they’re in the here and now, but that they show the enormous power of Australian innovation harnessed to Australian industry.

Australia has world class universities and researchers.

Eighty-five per cent of Australian research is rated at or above world standard.

We’ve got a stellar record of innovations.

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

But what we’re historically not great at - is getting our best ideas off the ground.

Crossing what’s known as ‘the valley of death’ between early research and further development.

In a word, commercialisation.

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


Linking research to the forces that can take its insights and inventions to the world.

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

Industry without ideas stagnates pretty 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.

That’s precisely why the Morrison Government is investing more, to see more of these partnerships, and more commercialisation of great Australian ideas.

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

That’s why we’ve announced a $2 billion University Research Commercialisation Action Plan.

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

It’s all about focusing the power of our universities on the economic priorities of our nation.

Backing our best researchers and their ideas to ensure Australia’s economy roars back even stronger in the future, with leading edge manufacturing at its core.

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

We want to see great ideas out there, doing what every one of them has the potential to do – changing the world.

Not in the next millennium… but right here, and right 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 on making this – and so much else – possible.

Thank you.


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