David Skellern, CEO of NICTA, said the Federal government's decision to ditch the AU$707 million Commercial Ready scheme — a SME grants program that subsidised the costs of innovative projects — will be a significant blow to innovation in Australia.
Skellern said that there is a cultural difference between the way researchers and companies approach technology, creating a gap that prevents them from ever reaching the market. The "Commercial Ready program filled that gap," he said.
Skellern added he hopes that the Federal government's innovation review will restore some of the money lost from the cut of Commercial Ready.
"I think it's really a loss to the sector ... I hope that the innovation review will study [the funding cut] carefully, and come back and say 'we need to bridge that gap'."