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Australia’s efforts to commercialise innovation must be reinforced: Report

If Australia increases Emerging Tech exports to the United States, it may create 80,000 highly skilled jobs and attract an additional AUD $24 billion in capital investment by the end of the decade, according to a recent KPMG Australia and American Chamber of Commerce in Australia study.

Australia is ranked eleventh in the world for QC patents and among the top ten for QC research and venture capital investment. However, the report argues that Australia must step up efforts to turn innovation into commercialisation to take advantage of the exceptional economic prospects in emerging technology. 

Between Australia and the United States, there is significant untapped trade potential. According to the KPMG assessment, Australia has world-class research in three areas that stand to benefit from the historic AUKUS security pact: quantum science, the digital economy, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Report co-author Dr Brendan Rynne, KPMG Australia Chief Economist, said: “Emerging technology holds significant economic potential for both countries.

“Our modelling shows that Australian companies could realise billions of dollars through increased exports to the US and far greater participation in the value chain if their efforts are focused on enhancing products and services in key US Deep Tech sectors”.

In order to find potential for Australia to engage in the US supply chain, the paper compares Australia’s strengths in each area with the amount of openness in the US. Examples include Australia’s cutting-edge AI capabilities in mining and defence.

The report notes that the Financial Services Industry, which buys $2 billion worth of AI products and services yearly, is the industry where Australian companies are most likely to succeed.

The specialised AI products and services that complement US strengths will likely find a road to market. Australian businesses leading the way in QC and the digital economy may also see rapid expansion.

 “As this report demonstrates, it’s vital for Australia and the United States to collaborate in AI, Quantum Computing and the Digital Economy to secure the full economic and strategic potential of these powerful new technologies,” says AmCham Board Chair Dr Brendan Nelson AO, President of Boeing Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific.

According to Doug Ferguson, KPMG Head of Asia & International Markets and NSW Chairman, Australian companies must move beyond our proven research strengths and engage and compete in both Australian and US customer markets and partnerships with US firms. “This will require a disproportionate joint effort by Australian corporate, the federal government and tertiary education sectors.”

Australia is a very alluring location for American investment and trade due to its strength in financial technology, big data, AI, blockchain, enterprise solutions, digital gaming, cyber security, immersive media (including augmented reality/VR), quantum computing, and advanced autonomous systems. The report identifies defence as a major opportunity, and Australia is among the top ten countries in the world for QC research and venture capital investment. 

In 2020, Australia’s GDP was predicted to be $1.3 trillion (at current market exchange rates); real GDP was down an estimated 4.2 per cent; and 26 million people were living there, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. (IMF source)

Estimated commerce in goods and services between the United States and Australia in 2020 was $58.7 billion. The difference between exports and imports was $38.5 billion. In 2020, the U.S. and Australia’s goods and services trade surplus was $18.3 billion.

Here’s the full report by KPMG, or download the report. 

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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