TECH BOSS CALLS FOR FOCUS ON INNOVATION
Written on the 16 May 2014 by Laura Daquino
CREATIVITY and innovation – two interrelated buzzwords Australia needs to be taking more seriously, according to TechnologyOne (ASX: TNE) CEO Adrian Di Marco (pictured).
More than buzzwords, Di Marco believes they are the foundations of Australia’s future.
Di Marco founded TechnologyOne in 1987 and has grown the company into Australia's largest publicly listed software company, with offices across six countries.
From his perspective, there needs to be a shift in priorities initiated from the top down.
“Few people in politics are saying Australia’s future is in creative and innovative tech-centric industries, which doesn’t make sense when you consider our incredible pool of talent.”
Di Marco says these industries need a push-up, because at the moment they are being weighed down by political discussions about other priorities. He says Australia requires a Silicon Valley-style injection to cultivate this talent.
This isn’t to say Di Marco believes everything from Silicon Valley is superior – he argues these company's often focus on being quick to market at the expense of product quality.
Conversely, he says Silicon Valley has it down pat with its treatment of innovation and creativity. Di Marco believes some of our government dialogue about resources would be better placed in also discussing these.
“Australia undersells itself as a country – you can particularly see that in the political scheme of things.
“Industries like resources are big money-makers, but we need to look at future opportunities in other industries that are also potential gold mines.”
In addition to the broader technology industry, Di Marco highlights biotechnology in particular as another burgeoning market.
“Particularly because of Australia’s biodiversity, there is some very interesting and ground-breaking research happening here that we should be encouraging more.”
Di Marco believes with more encouragement and monetary support, the local technology industry could grow to seriously contend with Silicon Valley and other global technology hubs.
He lends his support to the conversation about the high cost of doing business in Australia, from an entrepreneurial stance.
“The cost of doing business in Australia is ridiculously high,” says Di Marco. “We tax individuals too high which hinders creativity and wealth creation.
“I think we would benefit from a simplified tax system where individuals aren’t taxed more than companies and it’s 38 per cent across the board for both.”
Di Marco says sufficient support is the missing link in Brisbane blooming into the ideal location to start a venture, particularly a research and development centric organisation.
“Brisbane has a fantastic lifestyle, lower cost of living than other east coast cities, and great talent – why isn’t it a hub already?”
“It all comes back to empowering people and allowing them to become more competitive.”