Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
It’s my pleasure to welcome you to our third instalment of “The Sizzle” Australian Innovation Dialogue.
These events are fantastic opportunities to bring together cutting-edge Australian companies with those of you from Chengdu’s vibrant innovation and start-up community.
Both Australia and China recognise the need for our businesses to embrace innovation in order to compete in today’s modern economy and contribute to our countries’ continued development.
We both spend around 2 per cent of our GDP on research and development annually. This investment leads directly to the development of innovations that have a huge impact on our lives.
Take the Cochlear hearing implant, or bionic ear, the modern version of which was invented in Australia. Australian company Cochlear has now provided the gift of hearing to over 550,000 people worldwide. Early this year, I attended a groundbreaking ceremony in Chengdu to celebrate Cochlear’s first overseas manufacturing plant. They will also establish a Sino-Australian Hearing Research and Development Hub with the Sichuan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Promotion Association.
It is fitting that when one of Australia and the world’s most innovative companies decided to expand overseas, they looked to Chengdu.
The city has a growing reputation for being one of China’s most dynamic cities in the start-up and tech spaces.
The Australian Government’s Global Innovation Strategy is also increasing our innovation and science connections in the Asia-Pacific region by helping to build greater international business and research collaboration.
This includes through Austrade’s Landing Pad Program, which our guests here today are proud alumni of and which I’m sure Dane will have more to say about later.
Tonight, you will hear from two innovative Australian companies who are at the cutting edge of hologram technology and language education.
They are leaders in their fields and passionate about connecting with likeminded innovators in China.
The Australian Government is proud to be supporting these companies as part of our Global Innovation Strategy, and I look forward to hearing their insights tonight.
Finally, please let me thank MFG for hosting our event, Start-up Grind for their assistance in putting together arrangements and Morish Wines for sponsoring us with their fantastic Aussie wine.
Let me now handover to Dane Richmond, Australian Trade Commissioner from Shanghai, who will give an overview of the Australian innovation landscape and talk about further opportunities for Australia-China collaboration in the innovation space.