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Science Minister Talks Fourth Industrial Revolution

John Gertsakis
Manager - Communications and Outreach
AMTA

 

The new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, has acknowledged the Fourth Industrial  Revolution (4IR) and its importance to Australia.

At his National Press Club (NPC) address on 22 March 2017, the Minister talked about science and innovation as essential in changing our lives for the better and crucial to shaping Australia’s destiny.

He also noted that ‘disruption’ is now the constant in society and that Government, scientists and innovators must collaborate closely in order to solve seemingly intractable economic and social problems.

Citing Donald Horne’s book - ‘The Lucky Country’, the Minister placed emphasis on the need for transition and structural shifts in order to address and exploit new economic challenges. Inherent in the process is that all sectors work toward a more diversified and flexible economy that brings new prosperity. Specifically, he lists the new challenges:

  • Managing the transition from the resources boom to more balanced, broad-based growth;
  • Accelerating productivity growth, if we’re to match the income growth of recent decades;
  • Facilitating structural change engendered by new technologies, globalisation and trade;
  • And all this against the backdrop of mediocre global growth and heightened uncertainty.

His NPC address reflected an optimistic and planned approach to developing science and innovation in Australia. He emphasised its social value of by way of a community that is enriched and engaged by the pursuit of new knowledge and its widespread application.

The address coincided with the release of Australia’s National Science Statement, which further elaborates the Government’s efforts to provides “an enduring framework to guide our decisions on what we need and what we want from science”, said the Minister.

So what did Minister Sinodinos cover:

  • Why innovation and science are relevant
  • The economic challenges
  • The value of collaboration
  • Government as an exemplar
  • Supporting science infrastructure
  • Commercialisation solutions
  • Building capability

All of these imperatives have direct relevance to the mobile telecommunications industry, and provide various opportunities for AMTA to pursue it vision and mission, especially with regard to our 5G trajectory and the critical role to be played by cutting edge technology.

As the Minister noted, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring challenges and opportunities, including new jobs, different jobs and a transformative process that will maximise the use of Australia’s brightest minds, businesses and institutions.

The Minister’s full NPC address can be found here

Details of the newly release National Science Statement can be found here

 

 

 

 

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