When InnovationAus.com launched in 2015, Tony Abbott was still Prime Minister and mainstream discussion about innovation policy was virtually non-existent. Industry policy as it related to the tech industry was a barren wasteland.
After four-and-a-half years of publishing hundreds of newsletters and thousands of stories about industry policy in this country, that environment has changed for the better.
Today we are very proud to rebrand InnovationAus.com under the simpler, cleaner InnovationAus masthead; to launch a redeveloped website that gives us flexibility in the way we present stories; and to offer a more effective platform to our sponsors and partners.
We are also very happy to soft launch a new companion publication, InnovationAsia. Our goal is to provide the same kind of market and policy insights across our region that we already provide within the Australian context.
InnovationAsia will begin as a separate section within the existing InnovationAus website. But as we build out the product to include in-region editors and stringers from next year, the publication will become its own standalone website and news service.
As a global community, we have entered an era of unprecedented change, representing both risk and opportunity. In Australia, we have been slow to comprehend and slower to react to both the changing environment and the changing technology.
We intend to be at the forefront of reporting on these tectonic shifts and the opportunities they represent. We will do this as we always have – independently.
Publishing is hard. Creating a platform that can broker conversations across the different silos of the innovation ecosystem is hard.
This is particularly the case in Australia, where a culture of don’t-rock-the-boat back-scratching exists in tandem with a shocking cultural cringe when it comes to local technology.
InnovationAus is my second foray into publishing. The first was a pan-Asia magazine about the internet called The Dataphile, launched in Hong Kong in 1993 with my mate Larry Campbell (who still lives in Hong Kong and has gone on to become a partner at KPMG China).
The magazine was originally conceived as a tiny newsletter to publicise the electronic bulletin boards services. But during the pre-planning stages, Marc Andreesen’s Mosaic browser was launched – blowing everyone’s mind – and we ended up with a front-seat reporting role at the birth of the World Wide Web (published on paper).
Media organisations survive in the internet realm by either becoming very large or very niche. But the problem with being very large is that that more ground you cover, the shallower you get. And the problem with deep niche is that deeper you go, the narrower your audience, creating wind-tunnels.
This is the challenge in writing about industry policy in the tech sector, where there are so many stakeholders distributed horizontally across the economy. Our goal – our ambition – is to provide coverage across these silos to better drive strong industry development outcomes for Australian companies.
We are very conscious about maintaining a platform that is a true cross section of voices across the ecosystem. From researchers to startups, from CEOs to developers, from multinational giants to home-grown Australian companies.
These are the voices of the ecosystem that policymakers rely on in building coherent industry policy. We aim also to be a conduit for policymakers to reach industry. It’s a two-way exchange, or policy development does not work.
Over the past four-and-half-years, InnovationAus has hosted more than 45 forums and roundtables. We have worked with partners ranging from the CSIRO and Data61, to PwC, SAP, Huawei and Verizon – and many, many more besides.
There is so much froth and bubble written about technology. And the same goes for technology policy. We try to cut through most of this. We are an independent platform. We write as independently of influence as we can.
And we try to be a platform for other independent voices in our tech ecosystem.
We are passionate supporters of the Australian technology industry. We are passionate believers in the unprecedented wealth creation potential of the sector.
And we are passionate believers in the importance of a dramatically better integration of the Australian tech industry with the rest of the region, particularly our ASEAN neighbours.
Thank you to all of our readers for your support and engagement since our launch in 2015. We are excited about the future and have recommitted to making a positive contribution to the development of our industry and the health of our nation.
Welcome to our new website. And welcome to InnovationAsia.