Bartlett launches Tas innovation strategy

By Rob O'Brien

Tasmania has introduced an Innovation Strategy targeting investment in sectors such as renewable energy and the digital economy in a bid to modernise its economy.

The Premier and Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, David Bartlett MP, launched the next significant step towards building a dynamic and modernised economy setting an ambitious agenda “to ensure we always have a vibrant and authentic place in the competitive global economy”.

The Tasmanian Innovation Strategy will initially targets five priority sectors for innovation in the state’s economy: high-value agriculture, aquaculture and food; renewable energy; the digital economy; a vibrant, creative and innovative Tasmania built on its lifestyle advantages; and, investment in tourism.

“As a small state with huge natural advantages, we need to be as clever and creative as possible in growing and modernising our industries, and securing jobs and prosperity for Tasmanians, for decades to come,” Mr Bartlett said.

“We have a dynamic and prosperous vision for Tasmania’s future, based on innovation, sustainability and our connections to the world around us.

“It’s an ambitious agenda, but a truly achievable one – because Tasmania has the people, the ideas, and the natural strengths to make it happen.

Mr Bartlett said the chosen sectors were identified by the Australian Innovation Research Centre in its report, An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania A New Vision for Economic Development: Conceptual Overview and Options Outline, presented by Professor Jonathan West in late 2009.

“Many of the initiatives in this strategy are designed to strengthen and support small businesses,” Mr Bartlett said.

“Small businesses will be critical to the strategy’s success, because they make up 95 per cent of private sector employment in Tasmania’s food processing and agriculture sectors, and 90 per cent in tourism.”

Mr Bartlett said part of the Innovation Strategy would see more technology to provide better and more efficient government services to business and the community.

“And we’ll help close the gap between rural and urban areas with services like eHealth and eEducation,” he added.

To view a full list of the initiatives to support the Innovation Strategy, click here

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