A renewed focus on innovation and ideas is essential to drive future growth in living standards in Australia.

The Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda will help ensure that Australia’s comparative advantage in mining is maintained and enhanced through continual innovation in the years to come.

Innovation isn’t about compensating for the end of the mining boom. It has about ensuring that Australia’s long-term advantage in mining continues, notwithstanding cyclical activity.

Mining is a central part of Australia’s ‘start-up’ economy. Research has shown that over the last decade a higher share of mining start-ups went on to grow and flourish than in any other sector, in turn generating large numbers of high-wage, high-skill jobs.1

The mining sector spends nearly $3 billion on research and development (R&D) annually, or nearly $1 in $6 of all business R&D spending in Australia.2

The mining sector is a prolific inventor and developer of specialised technologies, with a total of 6,539 Australian mining inventions filed for patent between 1994 and 2011 by operating miners, the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services sector, and publicly funded entities like CSIRO.3 

The minerals industry welcomes in particular today’s announcement of an additional $84 million to encourage literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The $9 million allocated to measuring impact and engagement in university research will further encourage innovation by the minerals industry.

The industry will participate actively in the review of the R&D tax incentive. An effective, economy-wide, market-driven measure, the R&D tax incentive has played an important role in sustaining innovation activity in Australia.     

You can read more about mining innovation in our new Fact Sheet here.



[1] Luke Hendrickson, Innovation Research, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Where does employment growth come from?  Presentation to the Industry Innovation Workshop 2015, 15 September 2015, p. 8.

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2013-14, ABS catalogue number 8104.0, released on 4 September 2015.

[3] Emma Francis, The Australian Mining Industry: More than Just Shovels and Being the Lucky Country, June 2015, p. 6. 

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