Research report

Australian innovation system report 2016

30 Nov 2016
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Australia)


The report identifies that the strongest performance results are achieved by businesses that innovate repeatedly. They outperform other businesses in terms of sales, value added, employment and profit growth.

Compared with non-innovative businesses, innovative businesses have reported:

  • 3 times more jobs/positions
  • 1.4 times more income from sales of goods and services
  • 1.4 times higher profitability
  • 2 times higher productivity
  • 4 times higher range of good and services offered

The report shows that innovation activity accounts for 50 per cent of economic growth in the OECD – and this is expected to increase. In Australia, innovative businesses contribute to over 60 per cent of sales and employment, and they are 40 per cent more likely to increase income and profitability.

Total expenditure on innovation by Australian businesses in 2014–15 was between $26 billion and $30 billion and sales from innovative goods and services about $60 billion. Therefore on average, every $1 invested on innovation returns $2 in sales.