The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the Innovation Statement recently released by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The Innovation Statement spells out programs designed to improve Australia’s position as a world-leading nation and productive economy.

Observing that driving investment in innovation can only be good for the economy and the wider community, AIA National President Jon Clements comments that architects are always looking for new and better ways to do things. He adds that the new policy will drive new thinking in terms of the performance of different building materials, sustainability and the social response to different design concepts for buildings and urban spaces. 

Given that the application of research policy has traditionally been fragmented, the Institute appreciates the whole of government stance reflected in the statement, which recognises the need to combine the individual elements to boost productivity.

He notes that architects consider research as intrinsic to their work; though most practice-based research is focused on the requirements of individual building projects, the focus on commercialisation of research and greater collaboration between universities and industry should increase the level of research and development in the architectural space.

According to Clements, this will benefit areas such as architectural design and theory, architectural science and technology, urban planning, landscaping architecture, existing building renovation and architectural heritage conservation.

He added that the supply chain of innovators can be supported by investing in people to generate ideas, strengthening Australia’s skills base, driving collaboration, and providing early start up incentives and tax breaks.