Technology critical for a greener and more prosperous Australia – Intergenerational Report
The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has welcomed the sharp focus on investing in technology and digital transformation for a strong and resilient economy, outlined in today’s Intergenerational Report.
ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said the slowing productivity growth highlighted in the report, can be reversed by technological opportunities and innovations that will immeasurably increase Australia’s workforce capacity.
“Data, digital technologies and related infrastructure are essential for our future economy. New technologies are already improving our quality of life and health outcomes – however to grow this potential, Australia has a steep hill to climb.
“Australian spending on science, research and innovation as a proportion of GDP is woefully low – just 1.8%. This stands in stark contrast with our international peers like the United States, Japan and Germany, whom all spend 3% of GDP on research and development.
“We cannot rely on other countries for our prosperity. An urgent review of research and development funding in Australia is needed, to bring Australia’s total investment in research up to internationally comparable levels,” said Kylie Walker.
The Intergenerational Report also highlighted Australia’s strong position to become a leader in green energy technologies and the minerals needed to create them.
“Australia produces 9 out of 10 of the minerals needed for lithium-ion batteries, and is working towards the 10th. With demand expected to rise by 350% by 2040 just to meet our current global net-zero commitments, we have an unmissable opportunity to lead the world-wide green revolution and strengthen our national economy.
“Investing in green energy technology can provide new export opportunities for Australia, improve our energy security by reducing Australia’s reliance on global fossil fuel markets, and reduce energy prices – a win, win, win.
“The scale up of green energy production will need further investment in transmission and storage infrastructure. Investments through the National Reconstruction Fund and the Rewiring the Nation programs will support this vital work and we encourage the Government to ratchet up its investment in green energy technologies and infrastructure,” said Kylie Walker.