Australia ‘not very innovative’ says NAB report

NAB’s Business Innovation in Australia report has found that Australia doesn’t rate particularly highly when it comes to innovation, rated by Australian business owners. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone – being isolated has its arguable perks in terms of being able to be complacent, with financial services historically guilty of apathy due to a lack of competitive driving forces.

This survey looks at business attitudes towards innovation and opportunities, and examines the performance of companies thought of as innovators compared to those not thought to be innovators. This NAB report follows closely on the heels of a recent KPMG report on innovation in the risk insurance industry.

Key Findings

It is believed that overall, Australia is not a highly innovative place - the most common descriptor was 'mildly innovative'. 

  • Thirteen per cent of the firms surveyed said they believe Australia to be highly innovative
  • Within large firms, this figure is reduced to just six per cent
  • Conversely, over a quarter of all companies surveyed considered themselves to be highly innovative
  • All sectors have pockets that identified themselves as highly innovative
  • It’s possible that businesses may be underestimating how innovative Australia truly is (or conversely, overestimating how innovative they are)
  • Companies that identified themselves as highly innovative are better performers in business conditions and confidence, across most industries
  • Out-performance is reflected in trading performance, profitability and employment conditions
  • Innovative companies are generally more optimistic about Australia’s future economic growth in the short and medium term, but this doesn’t apply to very large companies
  • Most highly innovative companies, in particular big business, see the best opportunities for Australia in Asia, due to trade conditions and the growing middle class
  • The greatest motivation to innovate was to drive growth and revenue, which was most true in ASX300 companies, however other motivating factors for SME’s, for instance, were differentiating themselves, widening their customer base, and managing change and new trends

Download A Survey of Business Innovation in Australia: Key Findings PDF