Design Is The Missing Innovation Ingredient


In response to Australia’s National Innovation & Science Agenda, the Australian Design Alliance [AdA], made up of fourteen peak national organisations, has identified a key area in Australia’s Innovation Eco-System that is missing.

Innovation and design are natural bedfellows, but this important connection has not been made in the Turnbull government’s newly released draft Innovation agenda, according to the [AdA].

This is a major omission.

Leading European economies embrace design as a sophisticated problem solving tool that is understood to provide an essential competitive advantage.

Whilst the [AdA] has praised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his leadership and the whole of Government exemplary approach of his team, it believes that there is an opportunity to build Australia’s economic capacity which may otherwise remain unfulfilled.

[AdA] Executive Director Jo Kellock said:

“[AdA] is keen to work with the Government to demonstrate what enormous advances are possible. Learning from our counterparts in Europe and Asia would mean improving on their ‘Design-Led Innovation’ platform. We believe that opening opportunities for the application of design to challenging problems will achieve substantial economic outcomes for Australia.”

Kellock goes on to say that:

“The process of design has important roles to play in collaboration, particularly in biomimicry and the application of advanced materials and process engineering, in skills development and knowledge transfer and in ICT at the interface between man and machine.”

[AdA] has recently been reviewing its own strategy and has a 12 month design policy initiative kicking off next week to develop a considered response to today’s announcement.


The [AdA] is a self-funded not for profit advocacy and facilitation organisation, with a combined membership amongst the alliance organisations close to 150,000 with a broader reach to over 500,000 design professionals.