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The Capability Papers – Hard Copy

The Capability Papers is a one-off, tabloid-sized newspaper comprising a curated selection of 36 papers from local experts, founders and analysts. It coincides with the rollout of the much-anticipated National Reconstruction Fund – the single biggest investment in transformative economic infrastructure since the Snowy Hydro. This is a moment in time when Australia looks strategically at where its investment could best be directed locally – and where it makes sense to partner with allies around the globe.

To meet the challenges and opportunities that the coming decades will bring, Australia must be both pragmatic and ambitious. The Capability Papers is a deep dive into better understanding where these strengths and capabilities lie.

80 pages, 36 essays, 45 authors, 60,000 words. 

What’s inside

Australia’s clean energy opportunity – Dr Alan Finkel – PAGE 3

Redefining our national innovation mission – Professor Dr Marina Yue Zhang, Professor Roy Green & Professor Mark Dodgson – PAGE 7

It takes a village: Building our local tech ecosystem – Belinda Dennett – PAGE 11

Australia must get over its IP obsession – Adrian Beer – PAGE 13

Turning laser leadership into fusion power – Dr Warren McKenzie – PAGE 15

Energy debate: Taking the nuclear option – Christopher Skinner – PAGE 17

In this defining decade, our energy choices are critical – Dr Jehan Kanga – PAGE 19

Materials science: Shaping the future of manufacturing – Dr Marcus Zipper – PAGE 22

Leveraging decades of photonics research investment – Dr Simon Poole – PAGE 24

Net Zero: Concrete innovation must lay the foundation – Clare Tubolets – PAGE 26

Plasma power: Our renewable advantage – Professor Marcela Bilek, Dr Yunxia Yang & Dr Tony Murphy – PAGE 27

Bridging the funding gap between Industry and Defence – David Waterhouse – PAGE 29

Sovereign robotics and autonomous systems are a national security imperative – Rob Sutton – PAGE 31

Directed energy weapons are no longer science fiction – Matt Jones – PAGE 33

Accelerating Defence innovation: The strategic imperative for change – Professor Emily Hilder & Professor Tanya Monro – PAGE 35

Sovereign capability in AI is a national security issue – Professor Anton van den Hengel – PAGE 37

SME micro-partnerships can underpin AUKUS success – Sarah Pavillard – PAGE 39

Fostering mission-driven industry excellence – Dr Nigel McGinty & Professor Tanya Monro – PAGE 41

Putting a laser focus on dual-tech opportunities – Professor Miftar Ganija – PAGE 43

The Australian bioeconomy market is more than medicine – Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Professor Ian Paulsen & Thom Dixon – PAGE 45

Australia’s path to disrupting global BioTech and MedTech – Dr Denis Bauer – PAGE 48

Biomedical research translation: A look at bioconjugation – Professor Susie Nilsson – PAGE 49

Bolstering the lessons of self-reliance to fight the next pandemic – Mike Junger – PAGE 50

We are fumbling Australia’s digital sovereignty – David Elliot – PAGE 52

It’s time to call in the (technology transfer) professionals – Natalie Chapman – PAGE 55

APSLabs could be the ultimate GovTech sandbox – William Scheer – PAGE 57

Buckle up: The AI genie is out of the bottle – Dr Ian Oppermann – PAGE 59

Public sector procurement reform to build local industry – David Pocock – PAGE 61

Fostering talent that is hiding in plain sight – Alistair Gordon – PAGE 63

Home-grown AI is a key building block for our future – Professor Toby Walsh – PAGE 65

Business makerspaces can bridge innovation gaps – Holger Dielenberg – PAGE 67

We need a common language for digital skills – Ishtar Vij & Patrick Kidd – PAGE 69

Can we build a regulatory digital twin? – Síobháine Slevin & Marina Yastreboff – PAGE 71

‘Delivery science’ is a new model for industry – Christian Ruberg – PAGE 73

Breaking down decision-making silos – Professor Johanna Weaver – PAGE 80

Quantum attraction: The industrial prize for Australia – Professor Michelle Simmons – PAGE 75