In with innovation

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Increased funding to STEM disciplines might encourage more Indian students and professionals to test their talent in Australia

Australia has long been told to innovate its innovation program. Fortunately, a culture of research, development and invention is back on the political agenda. Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, addressed the public on Monday 7 December, 2015 highlighting the government’s commitment to invest over $1 billion for an innovation package.

Innovation helps drive future development and jobs, sustainable industries and long-term economic stability and growth. With the mining sector slowing, Australia will now turn to improving resources and talent in the early phases of the production process. Greater incentives to implement R&D and harness human capital skills in start-up industries is vital to diverse economic success.

Stem.Indian Link

Having coined the so-called ‘ideas boom’, the successor to the ‘mining boom’, PM Turnbull is encouraging bi-partisan support for people to fund individuals becoming leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. Furthermore, this package will encourage greater risk-taking and allow budding entrepreneurs to implement their creative flair and work on ground-breaking projects.

The revolutionary incentives offered aim to support innovative minds in Australia. These include favourable tax incentives for start-ups, more credit points for successful post-graduate students, seed funding for new companies, grants to schools and universities to encourage STEM learning, new visa classes for entrepreneurs and much more.

This package might encourage more Indian students and professionals to test their talent in Australia. India has long produced many STEM graduates and those disciplines are the most popular. India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, is the acclaimed architect of modern India and helped forge a culture of higher learning in scientific and technological research.

Stem.Indian Link

With a focus on a scientific approach to understanding the problems of society, Australia wishes to share a similar idea and shape the future with India. And Australia has had a number of inspiring Indians furthering their research pursuits down under.

The work of Prof. Veena Sahajwalla, Prof. Minoti Apte and Dr Ranjana Srivastava show examples of notable contributions to the development of scientific research and development in Australia. Prof. Sahajwalla focusses her time on the sustainable use of materials and environmental effects of recycling. Prof. Apte has taken a leading role in investigating diseases in the pancreas. Dr Srivastava, a medical oncologist, treats patients with cancer and has written widely about the medical profession.

Stem.Indian Link

Whilst these people have taken great steps in their careers, the Australian government wishes to also promote Australia’s education opportunities to those at the start of their journey. Earlier in 2015, Chris Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, on a visit to India, addressed the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi promising an agreement to encourage final year high school students to apply to Australian universities to complete their degrees.

In December 2014, the Australia India Institute Task Force Report detailed the extensive opportunity for collaborative research projects in fields such as agricultural research, microelectronics, renewable energy, earth system sciences and astrophysics.

Stem.Indian Link

Australia and India have much to share and are both committed to increasing funding towards science and technology. In an effort towards achieving common goals, both countries will benefit from active research by diverse professionals. Fostering research partnerships is vital to cross-border success, allowing new solutions to be uncovered that could serve the global market.

The Innovation Package is to be welcomed and fellow Indians should embrace this transformative move with delight. With better funding, changes to investment settings and greater openness to talented individuals, Australia is taking a route that will source untapped potential.

Carl Buhariwala
Carl is a freelance reporter who has a passion to promote community events, the work of not-for-profit organisations and new ideas. He enjoys meeting people and documenting their work for others to read.
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