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Business innovation report puts NZ ahead of Australia

An Australian government report has suggested that New Zealand businesses are better than their Australian counterparts at getting original products to market, the NZ Herald reported on 5 August.

The study, which benchmarked Australia’s performance in innovation against other nations, reportedly indicated that Australian companies tended to modify existing products rather than inventing and marketing new ones.

The authors of the report commented on the low number of Australian businesses developing and exporting original products in comparison with other advanced economies.

They reportedly said that only seven per cent of small-to-medium businesses and 12 per cent of large companies were producing “new-to-market” innovations.

New Zealand ranked higher, with 20 per cent of SMEs and 27 per cent of larger firms creating new-to-market products.

But although New Zealand outranked Australia in some areas of innovation, both countries performed badly compared with other developed economies, according to Shaun Hendy, deputy director of New Zealand’s Macdiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

The study stands to face criticism on the grounds that data was sourced from a 2007 OECD scorecard and drawn from surveys dating back to 2004.