Barriers to innovation

THE 'Innovation in Australian Business' report, compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, provides important insights into a range of practices related to innovation undertaken in this country.

In the recently released 2010-2011 survey, Australian businesses listed factors impacting on their ability to develop or introduce new services and products, processes and methods.

A total of 17 industries were surveyed about the following factors that hamper innovation:

  • Lack of access to additional funds
  • Cost of development or introduction / implementation
  • Lack of skilled persons
  • Lack of access to enabling knowledge or technology
  • Government regulations and compliance
  • Adherence to standard
  • Uncertain demands for news goods or services

Of the innovation-active businesses surveyed, 63% reported at least one of the above barriers to undertaking innovation.

Innovation-active businesses with 5-19 employees were most likely to report at least one barrier to the introduction of new goods, services, processes or methods.

Lack of access to additional funds was the most commonly (32%) reported impediment to innovation for the majority of industry sectors. This was an increase of four percentage points on the previous year.

Interestingly, the highest proportion of innovation-active businesses reporting none of these listed barriers (51%) was the Healthcare and Social Assistance sector.