Australian politics yet again lets down the innovation / startup industry… 😦
The federal government’s leadership scuffle last week has left the cabinet without an Innovation Minister, with Michaelia Cash taking on the Small Business portfolio, while Karen Andrews will oversee industry, science and technology.
It may seem like mere semantics at first glance, but the scrapping of the Innovation Minister role marks a big step further away from ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s much-celebrated, but ultimately, ill-fated National Innovation and Science Agenda. Launched in December 2015, Turnbull’s innovation agenda was hailed as ringing in a new era for Australian startups, committing $1 billion to 24 new policies to help bring more investment to early-stage startups, and to improve collaboration between the public and private sectors. However, since then enthusiasm for the innovation agenda has waned, to the extent that Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon Brookes last year questioned whether the agenda was dead in the water.