BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, urges Australia to build an economy based on innovation and knowledge in The Daily Telegraph

21 August 2015

An opinion piece written by the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux President and Business Events Sydney (BESydney) CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, has been featured in today’s Daily Telegraph and on its website.

Sydney needs to bring the best together

Australia needs to be careful it is not to be left behind on the global business stage as more and more countries focus on building an economy based on innovation and knowledge.
 
National Science Week gives us an excellent opportunity to reflect on the debates of past months around science, technology, engineering and maths initiatives and to progress support from all sectors — governments, universities, corporates — to promote and encourage the development of skills in the knowledge economy.
 
The issue is now even more critical given the decline in the resources and mining industries.
 
Australians have been responsible for some of the world’s greatest inventions. But we now need to ask ourselves: does Australia have what it takes to compete in a world where most leading economies are increasingly knowledge intensive?
 
For a country to be successful in growing its knowledge economy, it needs to first identify which industries are future-proof and then support students and companies in these sectors who can turn skills into products and services. There should be seamless integration between innovation, business and education but we are a long way from that model.
 
Many Western countries are investing in their knowledge and resource base and Australia needs to do the same.
 
Conferences and professional meetings are vital to any country seeking to develop a knowledge economy. Business events drive trade, industry, investment, high-yield tourism and global talent acquisition.

Highly productive knowledge economies are those that manage to collaborate with others, not only within their own country but internationally. Business events are where people meet to exchange ideas and reveal innovations and it is often where networks and collaborations begin. These events are extremely valuable for those taking part and for their institutions and countries.
 
In building our knowledge economy, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux is working with the federal government to align business events with industry sectors.
 
By securing priority sector conferences and hosting some of the best minds in the world here in Australia, we are hoping to support and create jobs of the future.
 
Science Week coincides with a visit to Australia by two of the world’s leading scientists in the field of obesity and human genome research, eager to see what we can offer as a venue for their respective international events and conferences.
 
Australia is currently pitching to host the 43rd Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in 2020, one of the most prominent scientific meetings in the world. We have already won SIBOS in 2018, the world’s most prestigious financial services event.

We all have a collective responsibility to make sure the magic happens here in Australia and, in doing so, position ourselves as a global intellectual powerhouse.
 
The full online article is here.

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