Over the course of the last 3 centuries, transport, communication, trade and many more important features of our lives have changed rapidly. However, the one thing that has been consistent through the ages is, that the ones who are proactive enough to visualize and try new things and those who are smart enough to invent better products/ solutions, are the ones who have profited and stayed wealthy over the years.
This is true specifically for seafaring European nations, who set out to discover distant lands in order to trade more and earn more. As they faced competition and got many more consumers across geographies, European businessmen were forced to come up with solutions that could help them produce more goods. This is considered to be the reason for the birth of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution is said to be a major milestone in history, that signaled the advent of large scale manufacturing. The industrial revolution is what gave birth to Multi-National-Corporations (MNCs), as they now had the ability to sell their products in many countries. It is the manufacturers who have been the most successful individuals of this age.
With the invention of the calculator and then the computer, man, was finally able to do multiple tasks at the same time, thus automating a lot of the menial work that had to be done by hand. This was the beginning of the information age. The information age is the one we are living in. An age, where no information is hidden from anyone, an age where everything can be learnt easily by the searching it online. The information age is the next leg of the industrial revolution. A major aspect of this age is the ease at which any and every information is available to all. The most successful individuals of this age are the tech gurus, the innovators and the ones who are comfortable with computers.
In both these ages, it’s innovation, which has allowed people to move up in life. So what is the next stage of our evolution? We have moved from the invention of fire, to the steam engine, to factories, to computers and the big question is what’s next? Only a great visionary who’s willing to take the risks will be able to predict or invent products that take us to the next stage.
The next era is already here. Although, the exact term is debatable, it certainly is the digital age is many ways. We are moving to an era where everything from banks, finance, insurance, retail, security, data, etc is digital.
The digital age is not limited just to our smart phones and laptop. It is now moving towards connecting each and every device – TV, washing machines, cards, phones, lights, ACs, etc. How does one visualize, what could be the next big innovation that changes the world and shifts the balance of power. It is tough!
However, it is important to note that all these successful countries had one thing in common – they supported the innovators and risk takers to the hilt! Without financial and Government support, new startups find it extremely difficult to build world changing technology and businesses.
The million dollar question is can you be at the right place, at the right time and be doing the right thing? A tough question, but it’s certainly doable. One just needs to see which country is the most proactive in adopting and promoting the use of new technology.
Australia is one country which is making an all out effort in this regards.
$10 billion Innovation Budget
Australia budgets over $10 billion annually for supporting startups and innovators. This fund attracts entrepreneurs from across the globe. Entrepreneurs who are able to successfully conduct pilot studies and launch their products in a small area also get access to more funds from both – the public & private sectors. The $10 billion fund is one rare Government support system, which many countries lack and yearn for. It acts as a magnet for skilled talent and innovative tech, that may otherwise have made another nation stronger!
Australia is in the process of developing a regulatory agenda for a digital economy. It means that the Australian Government is identifying the key factors necessary for building a digital infrastructure for the future. They are thus trying to get hold of the key players and understand the budgetary requirements for building this infrastructure. By doing so, the country will be in a much better situation to face an economy that is highly digital. By being one of the first countries to do so, Australia is creating a well defined road map for investors and businesses to begin operations and settle. Well designed infrastructure is the first thing that investors look for before investing in a country. By setting this up, investors are more inclined to invest in the country.
The digital framework is necessary in every economy as the internet is still quite new for most of us. A new digital business is built everyday and it takes quite sometime for investors and legislators to understand how the business operates and helps the economy. Thus, having a thought out structure to support the business and the investor always helps.
Intellectual Property Protection
Australia is building a framework to protect intellectual property and provide a great opportunity for innovation. No inventor can succeed if their product/ innovation is easily copied by another man/ business. All the effort that he puts in building a product/ business flows down the drain if he/ she is not given an opportunity to build a successful business around it. Why would anyone invest in a company if they know that the products can be easily copied and may lose value soon?
With a robust framework in place, Australia protects innovators and investors from getting ripped off. With a sound system in place for IP protection, businesses will always prefer to operate in Australia over any other country.
Australian Universities that use skill shortage lists
What good is an economy, if it cannot provide the talent that its businesses need? Businessmen can create products, get purchase orders and set the ball rolling for almost everything, but they cannot be expected to manufacture everything on their own! Recruitment is a key business function for corporates across the globe. An inability to get the right talent has resulted in the failure of many businesses.
The Government of Australia comes up with a Skill Shortage list every year. This list describes the skills that various industries need countrywide. Universities are expected to tweak their course curriculum in order to train and skill students with the right kind of skills.
The University of Western Sydney is one of Australia’s most prestigious Universities. It offers many industry relevant courses that help students to get a great job right after graduation. One of the most sought after courses is their MBA, which they offer with BSE Institute, one of India’s best financial institutes. The course is popular as it has a record of students getting placed with salaries of over $50,000 right after graduation.
Just like mass manufacturing led to the industrial revolution, smart manufacturing will lead to a revolution in manufacturing. Smart manufacturing is basically the ability to reduce human intervention and produce many more products than what we currently can. It results in better quality, lower prices and more revenue for manufacturers. With Australia being situated close to large markets of India, China and Africa, Australia is the most preferred destination for setting up large scale manufacturing units that can ship to major markets of the World.
This is why, smart manufacturing is one of the hotest topic that is being discussed. It can easily make this country continent, the next Great Britan.
These points are key to building an excellent infrastructure, which can in turn make Australia the next global economic giant.
The steps Australia is taking may or may not be in the right direction – that’s something which only time can tell. However, what is positive about these actions is that a Government is planning well ahead of time, hoping to become the next big economic powerhouse. Success and failure may come and go, but it is the continuous effort that make the World a better place.