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The Malcolm Turnbull effect: Renewed interest in innovation at NSW Parliament House summit


About 120 Australian Chief Executives, Chief Operating Officers, innovators and venture capitalists converged on NSW Parliament House for the inaugural Innovation Australia summit presented by Unstoppables on September 21.

Summit organiser, Wealth Strategist and Entrepreneur, Julio De Laffitte, heralded the summit as a resounding success, due, in-part, to the renewed optimism the corporate sector has now that Malcolm Turnbull, a successful businessman with a background in innovation, is Prime Minister.

Innovation Australia, hosted in parliament by NSW Minister of Innovation, Victor Dominello and Julio De Laffitte, brought together business leaders from multiple sectors to collaborate and find the answers to secure Australia as the innovation hub of the Southern Hemisphere.

“The feeling in the room was electric, and one of the reasons was business and government are taking steps in the right direction to work more effectively together,” said Mr De Laffitte.

“I want to thank Minister Dominello for hosting us and for giving us a platform from which to give creative thought and input into how we can do things better.”

In his address Innovation Australia Minister Dominello described Mr De Laffitte as ‘the personification of passion’ and predicted the entrepreneur would ‘change the world.’

What next from here?

The next step for Innovation Australia is the creation of a white paper informed by healthy debate and discourse at each of the industry roundtables during the event.

Each table considered a series of questions and possible solutions to put innovation at the forefront of their industry and to help Australia compete globally.

The white paper will be developed over the coming weeks, shared with government and released publicly through the Unstoppables website.

Also launched at the event was the inaugural Innovation Australia Awards aimed at creating a focus for innovators and idea makers to collaborate on their ideas with peers, investors and mentors, and to improve their ideas before applications close.

New technology, developed by Unstoppable Amy-Renee Horvorka, will collect, categorise, and rank the nomination and assess the development of the concept as it evolves during the months of peer collaboration and mentorship.

There is still a lot that needs to be done

Mr De Laffitte said with Australia at a ranking of 17 on the Global Innovation Index we have a long way to go. “Australia is nowhere near the levels of investments for innovations we should have… and if that continues, chances are we will be buying the future from others. Investment is one of the four fundamental components of GDP, along with consumption, government spending and net exports.”

Julio De Laffitte
Julio De Laffitte

In December 2014, the entrepreneur group Unstoppables, which De Laffitte is the founder of, undertook research to survey the thoughts and feeling of everyday Australians on how government and business should work together.

“We undertook this research to show the politicians their actions were greatly affecting their constituents, which is why I was so keen for everyone to sit down at the same table.

“At the time of the research, there was a real sense that not enough was being done, 62 per cent felt government weren’t doing enough to help innovation and new business to flourish.

“Only 12 per cent thought the government should stay on its current course by focusing on mining, tourism and other traditional sectors to make Australia more competitive on the world stage.

“Most people thought there should be greater investment in cutting edge businesses in technology, innovation and sustainability (49 per cent).

“The research also prophetically revealed the country would be better served if it was run by a successful business person. We look forward to hearing more from Mr Turnbull about these important factors in Australia’s ongoing success.”