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Growth through innovation

Growth through innovation

New thinking drives change

We need to support companies that are prepared to innovate and reap the rewards of business change.

The success of transforming the South Australian economy depends on our ability to adopt new ways of doing things, using advanced technologies to build globally competitive, high-value firms.

We will create an environment of innovation, with the infrastructure, finance, information, institutions and people with skills and connections. We will support those companies that innovate and reap the rewards of business change.

We will sustain an ecosystem of creative, innovative and adaptive firms by attaining complex manufacturing and engineering projects in defence, mining, resources and other sectors.

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We need to foster entrepreneurs who are willing to innovate and promote collaboration between firms.

By competing on the basis of value, not lowest cost, innovative South Australian businesses will prosper in our increasingly globalised world. South Australia already has the platform for economic growth with a strong research community, entrepreneurial businesses, creative communities, high-quality education and an ability to collaborate, supported by dependable infrastructure and existing links to national and global markets.

By committing to innovation, and exploring new ideas, our businesses can develop new products and establish new markets. An investment in innovation by both businesses and government, will increase productivity and profitability through the creation of higher value goods and services, building a more sustainable economy – and that means more jobs. The long-term prosperity of the state’s manufacturing sector depends on our ability to develop niche, high value-added products that are internationally competitive and linked to global supply chains.

Industries such as defence and health, along with the growing sector of information and communications technology, are a positive example of growth and prosperity via innovation. Embracing fresh thinking will create new, more sophisticated manufacturing activities and products, particularly for businesses which have relied on the car assemblers and now need to diversify.

Innovation will grow our food industry to create new premium products to satisfy increasing demand from Asia, drive our health and biomedical industry and deliver technological breakthroughs that will help us maximise our resource industry potential.

Actioning an innovative future

Objectives for 2017

  • Create $400 million of new sophisticated manufacturing export products in response to the cessation of automotive manufacturing.
  • Increase the level of business expenditure on research and development from $1.06 billion in 2011-12 to at least $1.5 billion in 2017.
  • Establish Tonsley as a nationally recognised and globally connected innovation and advanced manufacturing hub.
  • Ensure that all major public and private projects support innovation and local businesses through their procurement decisions.
  • Uphold South Australia’s status as the Defence State by increasing local industry participation in major defence projects, including military vehicles, aircraft and unmanned aerial systems.
  • Entrench Techport Australia as the national centre of complex warship and submarine build and sustainment.

Progress against objectives

Taking the initiative

Tonsley, a high-value industry, education and residential precinct, provides transformational infrastructure to allow businesses to innovate and move higher up the value chain. Richard Turner, CEO of Tonsley-based ZEN Energy Systems, states ‘Moving in with other advanced operators and educators into one interactive precinct can only foster greater innovation. This benefits not just our company, but the entire state.’

The Data to Decisions CRC (D2D CRC) is researching and developing tools to extract intelligence and unforeseen insights from ‘Big Data’. It will help businesses to unlock the value of their data, and make decisions that improve competitiveness and productivity.

The ICT Roadmap seeks to increase the number of South Australian ICT companies that deliver high-value, innovative solutions to the global resources sector. Current projects include a remote operations centre for Adelaide and a real-time cloud-based analytics platform for drilling operators.

The Photonics Catalyst Program, part of the Manufacturing Works strategy, is supporting the development of innovative photonic products such as sensors, lasers and optical fibres across defence, medicine, agriculture, mining, food, construction and forestry.

The cellulose fibre chain initiative, part of Manufacturing Works, is supporting industry in developing more sustainable and higher-value products from the Limestone Coast’s forestry resources.

The NanoConnect program, part of Manufacturing Works, supports opportunities for South Australian manufacturers to experiment with advanced nanotechnologies and engage with key researchers.

Make it a priority to get involved

Manufacturing Works

Find out more about Manufacturing Works programs that can help your manufacturing business to innovate, capture new markets and increase the knowledge and skills of your employees:


Find your niche at Tonsley, a collaborative and high-value industry, education and residential precinct:

Building a Stronger South Australia: Our Jobs Plan

Learn about our strategy to support displaced automotive workers and communities affected by the closure of GM Holden, and help our manufacturing sector diversify into new products and markets:

Investing in Science

An action plan for prosperity through science, research and innovation:

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