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Why Study Innovation in Australia?

This article is sponsored by Curtin University

Are you dreaming of a career where you can use your creativity to change the world? If so, you might have a future in innovation.

A modern country with a history of innovative thinkers, Australia is an ideal place to learn, grow and launch your big ideas. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about innovation and the pathways that will set you up for success in this thriving career. 

What is innovation?

While you’ve probably heard of it before, you might be wondering how innovation really works. 

Innovation simply refers to the creation of new ideas, products, methods or solutions that solve key problems or create meaningful change. It involves thinking outside of the box to address challenges and seize opportunities. 

Beyond creative thinking, innovators require a global outlook, up-to-date technological skills and strong ethical decision-making capabilities. 

Modern innovators blend these attributes with traditional business knowledge, like marketing, strategy and finance, to create new and exciting solutions to issues that face our world. 

Why study innovation in Australia?

A culture of innovation

Australia has a long history of being at the forefront of technological change. Australian innovators were behind some of the most transformative inventions in history, including Wi-Fi, Google Maps, the cervical cancer vaccine and the cochlear implant.

Australia has also been recognised by international bodies for its commitment to innovation. On the International IP Index – which creates a framework for global economies seeking to strengthen the ecosystem for innovation and creativity via more effectual IP standards – Australia ranks #14 in the world, with a score of over 80 per cent. Scores are calculated across a number of categories, including patents, trademarks, design rights and more. 

The country is also an ideal site for testing and launching new ideas, as the population is ready and willing to adopt new inventions. Australia ranks 12th among 166 countries in readiness to use frontier technologies, such as the Internet of Things, electric vehicles and artificial intelligence (AI). 

This eagerness to trial new concepts applies not only to individuals but to businesses as well. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), over half of Australian businesses in 2021 were innovation-active, meaning that they had adopted at least one new good, service or process to improve their business. 

World-class education opportunities

Australia isn’t just a great country to launch an innovative career – it’s an ideal place to get the high-quality education you need to reach your full potential. 

The nation is home to one of the best education systems in the world, housing more than 40 universities, nine of which are ranked in the global top 100, per the QS World University Rankings 2024.

Many of these universities house cutting-edge facilities and industry-leading lecturers, all of which can aid in advancing innovative thinking. Certain institutions even offer programs specialising in innovation, wherein you can gain the knowledge and develop the skills to become a leader of tomorrow. 

For example, at Curtin University, students in the Bachelor of Innovation learn how to grow and leverage a creative mindset to solve complex challenges. You can even customise your course, choosing the specialisation that best matches your unique career goals. From environmental planning to fine art to social justice, there are specialisations to suit nearly every interest. 

A diverse talent pool

According to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, Australia is one of the top five most attractive countries in the OECD for highly qualified workers from around the globe. It is also one of the most attractive countries in the OECD for international students, who bring a wealth of experience and perspective to the nation – both of which can help in driving innovation. 

The report emphasises that global talent plays a key role in economic growth, competitiveness and innovation, and that nations that fail to “join the global competition for highly skilled migrants risk lagging behind.”

Read more: Opinion: Why Innovation is the Most Important Skill to Safeguard Your Future Career

An entrepreneurial hub

Australia is not only an ideal place to develop your ideas, but to launch them. When you do, you’ll join the country’s extensive startup landscape. 

Per a 2023 Austrade report, the Australian tech industry reached a value of $167 billion in 2021, becoming the third-largest contributor to the nation’s GDP. The report also notes the robust and growing startup ecosystem across areas like fintech, edtech, medtech, digital health and agritech. 

Education providers are also driving entrepreneurial growth by providing students with the resources and support they need to bring their visions to life. 

At Curtin University, for example, students have access to Curtin Ignition, an intensive training program for aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and corporate innovators. Throughout the program, participants receive expert help and mentoring to test and prepare their ideas for the commercial environment. 

Another initiative designed to help entrepreneurs succeed is Curtin Accelerate. This free 10-week program will see you grow vital entrepreneurial skills, learn from experienced founders and industry professionals, and receive a $5,000 equity-free grant.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why Australia is the ideal place to kick-start your future in innovation.

Are you ready to add your name to the long list of great Australian innovators? Take the first step with the Bachelor of Innovation at Curtin University. With specialisations available in a wide range of disciplines, you’ll gain the innovative thinking skills you need to thrive in your global career.

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