Interview on Innovation

Yesterday I was interviewed by John Durie a senior journalist at The Australian on innovation, disruption, Asia and what is happening globally.


Word on research

The Australian, Australia  by  John Durie 03 May 2019Business News – page 26 – 323 words


US companies account for 57 per cent of US spending on research and development, but in Australia it’s just 34 per cent.

The good news is this means the universities and others are filling the slack, but the Deloitte figures show corporate Australia has some heavy lifting to do if it wants to remain competitive.

Deloitte’s global strategy chief John Meacock is in town to spread the word and the Australian native said in an interview that perhaps Australia’s record 27 years of growth had made companies too conservative.

Asia is high on his to-do list, saying everyone talks about the region, but the key is to shift from a trading relationship to building business.

Ironically he is not the only one to raise this issue, with no one in business calling a recession, but noting there is a new generation in the workforce who have never lived through a prolonged downturn.

Deloitte regards itself as a professional service firm with just 13.5 per cent of Australian revenues earned from traditional audit work. Instead, Meacock says the firm has extended and developed its strength to partner with clients to help them transform their business. Deloitte itself has partnered with companies such as McLaren to tap its expertise on a range of issues – including, of course, using data.

He has noted that compared with his new home there is more discussion about policy in Australia, and while President Donald Trump has divided the US he has been positive for business, with the past four years seeing less regulation, with red tape now at just one-third of European levels.

Companies, he said, now understood they had to be profitable but for a purpose that includes making a social contribution and the key was to get the balance right.

Artificial intelligence, he argues, is the wrong term because machines and people working together is very real and instead we should talk about augmented intelligence.

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